Dong Ha Boys John Noble & Mike Cornell

This is a pic from 2017.  Squadron (361) reunion in Arlinton VA.  We went to the USMC museum at Quantico to dedicate the display of YN-19 restored uh-34. that was restored by members of Popasmoke. It got too expensive to fly and was donated to the museum. This picture is of (L) John Noble, (C)Don Wagoner and (R)Mike Cornell. We all live in Indiana.

Dong Ha Vietnam began for me in early July of 1967 at Mag 16 Forward helicopter base.  This base was also home for the Marines and Delta Med all just a few miles form the DMZ and North Vietnam. When I first started flying out of Marble Mountain (MM),  I was there long enough to get banged up in one of my first missions.  It injured my shoulder and neck. Since I was from Midland Texas and hanging out with WG and Gene Clark,  this mini rice paddy dike mishap was not worth reporting since we made it back to base.  Now this was when HMM 363 was preparing to go back to Marble Mountain replaced by HMM 361.  The latter is who I flew with for the next few months until Sept 3 1967. Since I had run out of gas, I flew out for a break late on the 2nd just as the artillery began. What happened on 9/3/67 was historic.

The guys that stayed behind for the Big Bang on this day were many,  but of note are Bill Yancey, Tom Blankenship, Sean Barry, John Noble and Mike Cornell. The others were several hundred, if not 1000’s, since we took up one small area for 20 25 UH 34-D helo’s. 

Leave a Reply