Posted by Michael Putzel • November 11, 2016
VETERANS DAY, 2016–They were a band of brothers, a tiny one, but proud.
The ranks of military aviation have remained overwhelmingly white for decades. With the exception of the famed fighter pilots of World War II known as the Tuskegee Airmen, a unique unit of black pilots in a segregated force, very few aviators in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines were nonwhite. That is still true.
“We were a band of brothers,” said Clyde Romero, one of four African-American helicopter pilots who served together in Vietnam as part of a distinguished, gung-ho air cavalry unit: C Troop, 2/17 Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division.
C Troop, known as the Condors, very likely was the only unit of its size in Vietnam with four black pilots.
There were some efforts to change that by recruiting more volunteers […] READ MORE
Posted by Michael Putzel • August 09, 2016
It took 46 years, but Ricky Miller finally went to say good-bye to the best friend he tried desperately to rescue in Vietnam. It wasn’t easy.
The first time he tried, about 25 years ago, he got as far as the little cemetery in Kentucky where he thought his friend was buried–but couldn’t get out of his car. The stress of the trip to visit his friend’s family was so intense that he developed Bell’s palsy a day or two afterward, and the paralysis of the facial muscles caused the left side of his face to sag dramatically for months.
He didn’t know until his return last week that the family members he saw on that first trip were related to a different soldier with a similar name, and Miller had never actually met any of […] READ MORE