Thomas Pate Huddleston
Location: Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam
Memory from a Colleague:
I have a lot of memories of my tour in Vietnam, but the one that hit me the hardest was on November 19, 1967. I was a crew chief on a UH-1C gunship for A Troop, 9th US Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division on a small base called LZ Two Bits. Two Bits was located in the Central Highlands, Din Dinh Province. Our mission was recon, flying first and last light and anything in between missions. We flew in pairs of two known as Red Teams. On a first light mission we spotted and engaged a sizable NVA force and were receiving small arms fire when my wingman was shot down in the thick jungle canopy. On that aircraft was my best friend and bunker buddy, crew chief Jeffrey Allen Hawk along with the remaining crew of CW3 Curtis Hutto, WO1 Michael Utter and LJG William Murphy. Jeff, Hutto and Murphy died in the crash, Mr. Utter survived two days before succumbing to his injuries. Because of the firefight, it took hours before the rescue teams could get to the crash. In that same firefight we also lost pilot WO3 Thomas Huddleston and crew chief Donald Hettich. On my aircraft, three of us were wounded, only the left seat pilot remained unscathed. All of these deaths bothered me but none more than Jeffs as he was a close friend, we trained together and went to Vietnam together, he was within 3 weeks of rotating home. November 19th is hard on me every year as I often think of Jeff. The day he died my mind went immediately to his family in California and how they would receive word of his death.
All these names are on Panel 30E, please take a minute to think about them and their sacrifices on that day. May they rest in Peace.
— Marvin McMichael