Notes and Letters

From time to time we get some very nice letters and notes from folks we've had the pleasure of helping. Here are some examples of the correspondence we receive.

From the album of Jesse C. Snyder via Dennis Cole

Hello, I saw your site and enjoyed looking through it, thanks for making it available for others to learn and enjoy. I saw the picture of the Cox-Klemin XA-1 and wanted to sharte with you a photo from my grandfathers picture album from when he was stationed at France Filed Panama in the mid 1920s. This image was in his album, a picture of the only other Cox Klemin XA-1.

This aircraft is a Cox-Kleimen XA-1 ambulance aircraft, one of only two made. The aircraft was assigned to the 63rd Service Squadron of the 6th Composite group at France Field, Panama. This aircraft saved many lives in the time it was in use. It proved to be extremely valuable in emergency medical missions. Reputedly the Cox-Klemin could land on any road or cotton patch, and its partisans swore it could take off in a backyard. In 1926 the Army deployed one Cox-Klemin at Kelly Field in Texas and the other at France Field in the Canal Zone. The plane stationed in Panama served proudly until it was surveyed in 1929.

This partial e-mail passed along by Willaim G. Howard [], Eagle Dustoff 06, Commander, 50th Medical Company (Air Amb), OIF 3 Taji, Iraq 09378. I thought you would like to see the kind words in the e-mail below from 1-3 Attack Bn Safety Officer on his views of the fighting 50th Med.

"On a side note, my hat goes off to all MEDEVAC   personnel.  Here in the Baghdad AO, all missions for all aircraft are minimum   of two ships.  MEDEVAC are the only ones who fly single ship.  I have   personally witnessed MEDEVAC landing in areas where the battle is still   ongoing and transported the wounded out of the area.  Our MEDEVAC guys and   gals have taken rounds through their aircraft and some of these guys and gals   have been hit by small arms, IEDs, VBIEDs and shrapnel.  I’ve seen them land   where no-one else would and where no-one else DOES. As an Attack guy, I know I   have big ones, but theirs are much   bigger and I SALUTE them!  I will protect them to the utmost of my ability,   because of what they do and I know that they will be there for me if I ever   need them.

Hope this   helps in this discussion.  And to all past, present and future MEDEVAC   personnel, THANK YOU!"


CW4 Jerry W. Frye

Battalion Safety Officer

1-3 Attack/Reconnaissance Battalion

Camp Taji, Iraq

Task     Force Viper Safety

Hello, I had the great honor and privilege of carrying Michael J. Novosel and Michael J. Novosel Jr. in the May 28, 2001, Memorial Day Salute To Veterans Parade here in Columbia, Missouri. The crowd of over 100,000 heartily cheered and saluted both of these heroes as we passed along the parade route.

I am a U. S. Navy nuclear submarine veteran and meeting the Novosels and learning about DUSTOFF was truly a moving experience for me. I have attached a scanned photo for your use if you so choose. I have several other similar photos if anyone is interested

I salute all who participated in DUSTOFF.

Paul Hobbs Columbia, Missouri

Just came across the DUST OFF website by accident, and found myself lingering there for a very long time. Some of the members talked about the book I wrote, entitle DUST OFF which was a paperback published by Bantam Books. This version is no longer available. However, I have revised and expanded it. The new title is RESCUE UNDER FIRE: The Story of Dust Off in Vietnam. There are move photos, some in color and this new version is a hard back. It is available, Barnes & Noble, Border Books, or directly from the publisher, Schiffer Books. ( The publisher has done a great job in re-publishing this, and it should be of interest to DUST OFF members. Without question, this is the greatest group of guys involved in the war and I am truly honored to have told their story. All the best.

John L. Cook

My name is Bernt Kristiansen from Norway, and I have served with UNPROFOR and IFOR in Bosnia as a medic. I've been stationed at blue factory together with 236th and 45th air ambulance. You have a great site!

I'm impressed with the professionalism that the US air medevac units showed in Bosnia.

Bernt Kristiansen APC MEDEVAC Plt.

Hello DUSTOFFS !!!

I am forwarding the same message to several helicopter units that served in VIETNAM.

The purpose of this is to establish a friendly link with those veterans who would like to contact us and know what is happening with some HUEYS  that are still flying :

 At present time we have 13 HUEYS in the Argentine Army that served in VIETNAM.

From your units we have the following aircraft :

67-17624  (years 69 to 71)
and 65-10071 (years 66 to 67)

Please check 235 and 237 MED DET for 17624

Please check 82 MED DET for 10071

They now belong to our B HEL ASAL 601 ( equivalent to AHC 601) of the ARGENTINE ARMY AVIATION Battalion based in CAMPO de MAYO, Buenos Aires. ARGENTINA.

We are proud to have this machine with us.

VETERANS... We will never forget !

My special thanks to Gary Roush for his help!!

If someone wants to get in touch or to receive a picture of his aircraft, please feel free to forward your letter, email or fax to :

Juan Souto
Lavalle 695 piso 11A
1878 Quilmes.
Buenos Aires
fax : (5411) 4524 8140 


fax : (5411) 4254 3534

I was the 4th Platoon Leader of the 45th Air Amb Co., stationed in direct support of the 1st Inf Div at Lai Khe. Shot down five times, watched 12 copilots get shot and killed, and took a machine gun round through the belly. Have survived to be grateful for every new sunrise. Just this past Memorial Day visited the new Nat'l Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ. I didn't like going to Vietnam. Really have a lot of disdain for the politicians who sent us over there; but, every time I got someone to the hospital who needed it, I felt a sense of personal gratification and a real sense of purpose. Looking back I won my own "WAR" against feelings of personal inadequacy. Have had a little difficulty dealing with guilt over surviving to come home when some of my dearest friends didn't. What you have done helps those of us who have returned feel like we were not forgotten. Thanks.

Nelson E. Luce

Thought I'd forward this for the DUSTOFF Assoc. letters' page. It's from another satisfied customer. Mike Hilliard "Dustoff 80"

Hello Warrant Officer Michael G. Hilliard,

I imagine this message will seem like it came out of nowhere.

My name is Ken Reid and I live in Pullman, Washington and I'm getting ready to move to a new job in Boise. Yesterday while packing I came across some old papers from the Phuoc Long district advisory team I was assigned to in the summer and fall of 1969. The papers included several business cards from the 82nd Medical Detachment out of Binh Thuy and Soc Trang. You guys used to pass them out to us when we loaded our casualties on to your helicopters, "you guys" being your crew, and those of CW-2 Charles T. Colley and CW-2 Thomas S. Turner. On the back of one of Colley's cards I wrote "night dustoff 27 Aug 69 7 WIA." I remember that one in particular because it was so hard to bring the ship in without strobes or any other illumination, and how my counterpart insisted that the four dead RFs go out ahead of the less seriously wounded so their ghosts wouldn't get lost in that miserable marsh.

I can't remember which Medevac you flew for me, but because your card is so much cleaner and crisper than the others I wonder if it wasn't the last one, early in the afternoon around mid-December 1969. An RF had triggered a booby-trapped 105 round and was more or less blown in half, though still alive when we flew him out. He must have died in the air...

On the spur of the moment I decided to look on the internet to see if I could track any of you down. I found the Dustoff site pretty quickly, but yours was the only name I recognized. Anyway: please consider this a belated thanks for the way you guys took care of us. You may never know how much those Viet grunts appreciated your efforts.

Best regards,

Ken Reid

Thank you so much for the quick reply , my wife's brother passed from agent orange cancer in 92 , he never told them much about Nam , except a little about his second tour there , he told them he was a stevedore on the docks ? We have been looking all through the web for different things on Vietnam , lost and found , buddy search etc. , we ran across a web that had 2.6 million Vets who were checked for orange back in the 80s , we found her brothers name there at it was 67 N 20 , we were going through your site and found this also under you chopper KIA list , it kinda floored the both of us , my wife has a lot of questions now , I tried to ease her wonder by telling her 99% of the guys in Nam ( myself included ) never wrote home and told the truth, so now our search will go on. Thanks again , you are in my debt Bro Michael "Mac" McBride E/17th/Cav 173rd Abn Bde Vietnam April 68- November 69 P.S, I was in 3rd platoon E/17th/Cav , we were supposed to be mounted recon , but from Apr 68 to Feb 69 the HERD made us a recon , rescue and reaction force , we made 147 CAs during this time , might have rode with some of your friends, I know once if some of your friends wouldn't have risked their lives to come in and get us------I wouldn't be here now ,along with 17 other Bros GOD BLESS and WELCOME HOME MAC