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219th Aviation Company (Recon)

 


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OBITUARIES

In Honor of All Those Who Served as Headhunters

  Some 5,000 Brave & Loyal personnel were assigned to the 219th Aviation Company (RECON) in the Republic of South Vietnam during the period July 1965-December 1971.

These pages honor those who have passed away with one farewell message...

...."Thank you for your service to our country - WELCOME HOME!"


After many years it is difficult to find the specific details of those fellow Headhunters who have passed away, including finding copies of their obituaries. However, those who do remember have shared what they know and perhaps this way, overtime, we will honor as many as possible all those who served as Headhunters. If you have information on an individual Headhunter please share it for posting here by emailing here Obituary. (Please include a photo if available)

  2017

WINGS OF

ARMY AVIATION

 

Basic Crew Member

 

 

Senior Crew Member

 

 

Master Crew Member

 

 

Army Aviator

 

 

Senior Aviator

 

 

Master Aviator

 

 

MILITARY

MEDALS

 

Silver Star

 

Distinguished Flying Cross

 

Bronze Star

 

Purple Heart

 

Air Medal

 

Army Commendation

 

Army Good Conduct Medal

 

Vietnam Service Medal

 

Vietnam Campaign Medal

 

National Defense Service Medal

 

Army Valorous Unit Citation

 

WINGS OF

ARMY AVIATION

 

Basic Crew Member

 

 

Senior Crew Member

 

 

Master Crew Member

 

 

Army Aviator

 

 

Senior Aviator

 

 

Master Aviator

 

 

MILITARY

MEDALS

 

Silver Star

 

Distinguished Flying Cross

 

Bronze Star

 

Purple Heart

 

Air Medal

 

Army Commendation

 

Army Good Conduct Medal

 

Vietnam Service Medal

 

Vietnam Campaign Medal

 

National Defense Service Medal

 

Army Valorous Unit Citation

  

MAJOR VINCE PRINCIPE (Passed April 13, 2017 at age 71) 

Vince served with the 219th 5/70 - 2/72. He flew out of Bam Me Thout, LZ English,& Pleiku.

 

 

 

 

(1971)


CWO DALE BENNETT (Passed March 29, 2017)

  Dale served with the 219th 03/71-10/71

 

 

 

 


LTC DONALD RAY SHIPP (September 28, 1941 - February 28, 2017)

Don served with the 219th as company XO in Pleiku 10/69-10/70

Donald Ray Shipp, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and decorated military veteran was called home February 28, 2017 to be reunited with the love of his life, Ruth; to share eternal life. Don was born in Fort Worth, Texas to the late Donald and Ada Faye on September 28, 1941.
Don graduated from Azle High School in 1959 and graduated from UTA Arlington with a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Engineering. Upon graduation from college, Don entered into his Country's service in the US Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of honorable service of which he survived two long tours in Vietnam to protect our country. In lieu of plants or flowers, please make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ in the name of Donald Shipp.  He is survived by his children, Callie Bletsch and husband, Michael, J.R Shipp and wife, Grace; grandchildren, Deven Shipp and Allisen Shipp; brother Gary Shipp and wife, Dana; sister, Karen Sue Johnson and husband, Lloyd; and many nieces and nephews.

2016
 
2015

MAJ DAVID CHARLES NAUMANN (May 12, 1931- March 25, 2015)

Naumann, David Charles Posted: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10:05 am Mr. David Charles Naumann of Enterprise passed away Friday, March 20, 2015 at his residence surrounded by his family. He was 83. Memorialization will be by cremation. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Mr. Naumann was born on May 12, 1931 in Lancaster, WI to the late Ernest Henry and Lynette Lindley Naumann. In addition to his parents, one brother, Ernest Henry Naumann Jr. preceded him in death. David was a graduate of University of Wisconsin as well as Troy University. He also served his country in the United States Army and retired as a Major after 20 years of service and two tours in Vietnam. After retirement he served as a flight instructor at Fort Rucker. In addition to his love for the Army, Mr. Naumann also enjoyed a passion for golf. He was a member of the Enterprise Country Club as well as the Lions Club and former president of the local EAA chapter. One of David's biggest achievements in life was building his own airplane and later flying it. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Kirsten Naumann, Enterprise; two sons, Kevin Charles Naumann (Carrie), Decatur, AL, Erik Lindley Naumann (Katherine), Lynn Haven, FL; one brother, Robert Naumann (Jean), Lake Oswego, Oregon; four grandchildren: Taylor, Hayden, Madeline, and Grant Naumann; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends. Sorrells Funeral Home and Crematory 334­347­9598 is in charge of arrangements. To sign a guest register visit www.sorrellsfuneralhomes.com. Sign the guest book at www.dothaneagle.com.

 

2014

MAJ WILLIAM "BILL" GEORGE BALLARD (March 10, 1930- February 7, 2014)

"HH 36" - Bill served with the 219th from July 1966-July 1967 in Pleiku & Qui Nhon

BEAUFORT - William (Bill) George Ballard, Sr., 83, of Beaufort, South Carolina died at home on February 7, 2014. Bill is the son of the late James Hervie and Willie Vivian Ballard. He was born on March 10, 1930 in Meridian, MS. His beloved wife of 55 years, Suzanne, passed in 2011. He is survived by one son, William G. Ballard, Jr. of Beaufort, SC; three daughters, Frances Peters of Gilbert, SC; Laura Pruett (KW) of Beaufort, SC; Elizabeth Mackey (Kelly) of Watkinsville, GA; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. 

Bill was a long-time active member of the First Baptist Church of Walterboro, and more recently of The Baptist Church of Beaufort. While in Walterboro, he served as a deacon and was the long-time secretary of the church's Sunday School. He also taught adult Sunday School at a local halfway house. Bill was very active in volunteer work. He served as a volunteer for the Cancer Society and Colleton County Hospital; he served on the Board for the Colleton County Red Cross and on the county's Commission on Aging. Bill was the coordinator of Walterboro's Good Samaritan organization, working with local church leaders to provide gas, lodging, and food to people in need who were transiting the Low Country along the I-95 corridor. Bill was a member of Unity Lodge #55 in Walterboro. His interests also included gardening and the Atlanta Braves. 

Bill graduated from Meridian High School, Meridian, MS, in 1948 before joining the Mississippi Air National Guard. He graduated from pilot and officer training at the Air Force Pilot School in 1955. In 1960, Bill transitioned to the Alabama Army National Guard. He was activated for the Korean Conflict and again in 1961 for the Cuban missile crisis, remaining on active duty until 1973. While on active duty, Bill earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and did post-graduate work at the University of Southern California. 

Major Ballard served three combat tours in Southeast Asia as a fixed-wing and rotary-wing aviator. His military awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star Medals, multiple awards of the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, and numerous campaign and service medals.


CPT JAY THOMAS LEONARD (February 12, 1941 - October 9, 2014)

Jay Thomas "Tom/JT" Leonard, 73, of Barefoot Beach, Florida, passed away on October 9th 2014.  

Tom was born in Sioux City, Iowa, on February 12th, 1941 to Arthur Jaquette Leonard and Lee Elmo Smith Leonard. He graduated from Las Lomas High School in 1959 and received his B.S. in Biology from University of California Davis where he was captain of the football and wrestling teams, president of his college class, a member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and an ROTC officer. 

Following college, Tom served his country as an officer in the Army (219th Aviation Co.) and flew multiple missions in Vietnam in 1965-66. He was a decorated pilot, receiving an award for bravery (Distinguished Flying Cross and Seventh Oak Leaf Cluster) and he achieved the rank of Captain before returning to civilian life in June 1966. His first career was as a pilot for Braniff International, which drew him to Texas to pursue his love of aviation and raise a family. In his spare time, he obtained his real estate broker's license and became a cattle rancher. In 1984, he continued his career in aviation – both as a Captain on the L1011 and in management with American Trans Air (Indianapolis).  

On February 14th, 1991, Tom married Linda Praim Evans in Indiana. Tom and Linda flew around the world together for a number of years until his retirement in 2001. Shortly thereafter, they chose "another sunny day on the beach" as a place to enjoy their retirement, family and friends. 

Tom had a passion for the outdoors, and when he was not flying or traveling the world he was hunting, fishing, boating, golfing, reading or enjoying his family's constant news and events. 

He is survived by his first wife Kathryn Hanson Leonard, daughters Laure Leonard Bolla (Michael Wade Bolla) and Julianne Leonard Ward (Don Allen Ward) and his grandchildren Michael Thomas Bolla, Erica Taylor Bolla, Emilee Morgan Ward, Grace Kathryn Ward, Hannah Louise Ward, his wife Linda P. Leonard and her children Richard Evans (Chelsea) and Kristin Rodil (José), and their children, Ashlee Evans, Kelsee Tucker (Jordan), Keiler Rodil, Kadyn and Drake Washington. He is also survived by his older brother Donald Leonard (Barbara) and their children; Scott, Marc, Meghan, and Jeff Leonard as well as their families.

 

2013

LTC JAMES DURBIN (September 28, 1943 - February 21, 2013)

Jimmy Durbin served as a pilot with the 219th in the 1st Plt in Pleiku '67-'68

Durbin, James P. LTC-US Army Retired, age 69 of Rosemount passed away on 2/21/13 after a 5 year battle from  military service connected lung cancer. Survived by wife Marie; children Beth (Steve) Gotwalt, Robert (Amy)  Durbin and Captain William Durbin. 7 grandchildren. Funeral Service 11AM Friday, March 1, 2013 at Woodcrest  Church, 525 Cliff Rd. Eagan, MN. Visitation 5-8pm Thursday at White Funeral Home, 14560 Pennock Ave. Apple Valley, MN. and also one hour prior to service at church. Interment, Fort Snelling National Cemetery.  (Picture is from HS Yearbook)

 

 


CPT CHARLES O. RYAN (August 19, 1939 - November 11, 2013)

Charlie Ryan served with the 219th from 10/69-9/70 as a Platoon Leader.

Major Charles O. Ryan, US Army, retired, of Manchester, passed away at his home on Monday November 11, 2013, Veteran's Day. Born in Tipton, MO, Charles resided in Manchester for the past 35 years. He was the owner and operator of Sugar Pine Kennels for 30 years. Charles proudly served for the US Army during the Vietnam War. He was a member of the Veterans of Underage Military Service and a Mason. Charles is survived by his wife Shirley A. Ryan, his sons Daniel Ryan and his wife Rachael of NC and Christopher Fenton and his wife Natalie of Hamilton, NJ, his ten grandchildren and two sisters, as well as many other extended family members. Visitation will be held at the Anderson & Campbell Funeral, 3010 Ridgeway Rd, Manchester, NJ 08759, on Sunday November. 17, from 6-9 pm. A Funeral Mass will be offered on Monday November 18, 2013 at 9:30 am at the Christ Lutheran Church, 40 Schoolhouse Road, Whiting, NJ 08759, with interment and Military Honors to follow at the Brig. Doyle Veteran Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Charles's memory to the American Cancer Society .

From Bob Kroman - Charles was my platoon leader 3rd platoon 203rd Hawkeyes and we were both transferred to the 219th April 15th 1970. He was awarded the Dist. Flying Cross for his actions April 5th 1970. you can read about his actions and see photo's of him at 203rdhawkeyes.net. He was one of the best.


SP5 EDWARD L. MCCARTY (October 6, 1943-September 18, 2013)

Edward L. McCarty

Ed served with the 219th in Pleiku 11/65-10/66

McCARTY - Edward L. September 18, 2013, devoted father of Brian (Heather) McCarty and the late Laurie Ann (Mark) Wiatrowski; dearest brother of Charles (Patricia) McCarty and Karen (Edward) Fuller; also survived by four grandchildren, a great-granddaughter, nieces, nephews and cousins. Family will gather for a Celebration of Edward's Life on Sunday 2-4 and 6-8 PM at the PIETSZAK FUNERAL HOME, 2400 William St. (near Harlem). Relatives and friends are invited to assemble on Monday at 10 AM for a Funeral Service at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 3487 North Boston Rd. Eden, NY 14057

At age of 69, Edward was aTruck Driver for Dave's Express Delivery and US Army Veteran of the Vietnam War. The devoted father of Brian (Heather) McCarty and the late Laurie Ann (Mark) Watrowski and dearest brother of Charles (Patricia) McCarty and Karen (Edward) Fuller. He was also survived by 4 grandchildren, a great granddaughter, nieces, nephews and cousins.

(Picture of Ed 1966)

"He aided me in getting my wings re-issued and aided me in getting other awards I had earned but was not issued. He challenged me to appeal VA on my disability which is still in progress. He was a great leader and great teacher! May he rest now in peace."

- Vic Hickok 219th 1966

 

 

 

2012
John G. Pappas passed away  October 9, 2012. Obituary was published in the Star Ledger Newspaper, Tenafly, N.J.

2011
Arlie Deaton passed away  November 19, 2011. Obituary as published in the  Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, Georgia  Click Here for special Arlie Deaton Memorial Page

 
2010
LT Michael Neal McCloy (February 18, 1943- April 12, 2010)

Served with the 219th in Pleiku '67-'68

Lt Colonel Michael N. McCloy, United States Army, Retired, 67, passed away Monday, April 12, 2010 at Wuesthoff Medical Center in Rockledge, FL. Mike was a member of the St John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Mike is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Carole; children, Gerald McCloy of Melbourne, Lisa McCloy of Orlando, Korissa (Dave) Williams of Satellite Beach; 5 brothers; 1 sister and 3 grandchildren, Katelynn, Carmen and Aiden.

A Funeral Mass will be held at 12:00Noon, Saturday, April 17, 2010 at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Viera. The interment will be 1:00P.M., Monday, April 19, 2010 at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fl with full military honor. In lieu of flowers memorial contribution may be made to Juvenile Diabetes, 1101 North Lake Destiny Road, Suite 415, Maitland, FL 3275
1

Comments from Charley Barnes -

"The obituary is on a guy I have tried to find for years.  Didn’t even remember his name and neither did anyone else I asked.  Found it when a Google search turned up a home movie belonging to Michael N. McCloy of the Headhunters in Pleiku, 1967 – 1968.  It was transferred to DVD and offered for sale by Vintage Film Arsenal in 2013, after his death.  It is over an hour long and costs $20 plus shipping.  There is a short, 3-minute excerpt available on the internet at YouTube and Vintage Film Arsenal.  Includes footage of parties, hootches, flight line, orderly room, Spencer-Maffett change of command, etc.  I think Michael left in early 1968, so his videos cover mostly 1967. Pretty sure he flew for 1st Platoon.  He died in Rockledge, right in your back yard.  Following is obituary.  I found a photo at Pennsylvania Military College (Class of 1965) that I believe to be him. It is attached." 

2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2003
2002
2001
2000
1965 - 1999
After many years it is difficult to find the specific details of those fellow Headhunters who have passed away, including finding copies of their obituaries. However, those who do remember have shared what they know and perhaps in this way, we will continue to honor all those who served as Headhunters. If you have information on an individual  deceased Headhunter please share it for posting here by emailing the information to Obituary. (Please include a photo if available)

1993

Here is an obituary for Joseph Steadman “Stead” Davis II from the files of the Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home in Carlisle, PA.  When I arrived in the 219th in May 1967, the 4th Platoon Leader was Vic Weber.  He was succeeded by Stead Davis, exactly when, I don’t know.  I, along with Cam Sutherland, were Section Leaders under Stead.  When Stead left, Cam became 4th Plt Leader and I became Plt Leader of the newly formed 3rd Plt, supporting the 52nd Arty Grp.  I have augmented this obituary a little with facts known to me.  (Notice the home address of “219” and funeral home address of “219”)  Wish I had a photo, but I don’t.  Maybe Cam or somebody else might come up with one.

Charley Barnes

HH 40 and 36

67 - 68

COL JOSEPH STEADMAN "STEAD" DAVIS II

Retired Col. Joseph Steadman “Stead” Davis II, 53, 219 Cavalry Rd., Carlisle died Tuesday, August 3, 1993, in the Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA.

Born on May 24, 1940 in Bryan, Texas, he was the son of the late Marie Byrnes Davis and Joe Eugene Davis, Stephenville, Texas.  He was a retired Colonel of the U. S. Army, having served 25 years as an infantry aviator, including two tours in Vietnam.  One of these tours was with the 219th Recon Airplane Company in Pleiku in 1967 where he served as 4th Platoon Leader, supporting the 4th Infantry Division.  He also served two tours with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was a graduate of the Army War College in 1982, Texas A&M University, and received a master’s degree from Shippensburg University.  He received numerous medals and ribbons including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC), Air Medal (25 OLC) and the National Defense Service Medal.

Surviving in addition to his father are his wife, Marsha Nesbitt Davis, Carlisle; two daughters, Tina K. Morrow, Dawn K. Morton, both Carlisle; and two grandchildren.

Services will be held 1:00 p.m. Saturday in the Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home, 219 North Hanover St. with full military honors.  Chaplain Col. Anthony M. Imberi will officiate.  Burial will be in Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens, W. Pennsboro Twp.  There will be no viewing, however family will receive friends at the funeral home from 12 Noon until the time of service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Cumberland County Unit, 117 North Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013.


1966

CAPTAIN WALLY KELL

Cpt Kell was killed in a  mid air crash at Donnelly {SP} Field in Montgomery, Al on Dec7th 1966.  I understood he was transitioning to helicopter for a return trip to Viet Nam.  As I remember they were on an instrument approach and collided with an F-84 jet.
 
Capt Kell "Wally Kelo"  HH36,  was our 3rd Plt  Ldr at Qui Nhon.  We were all charter members of the 219th,  organizing at Gray Army Airfield in May and June of 1965.  We said our goodbyes around midnight on about June 9th 1966 at Ton Son Nutt bound for home on different flights.  He was quite a man, leader and friend whom I will never forget.
 
He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.  I have visited the grave site.  He was from Copper Hill, TN and went to Middle Tennessee State Univ.  I know he had two children, and I often wonder where and how they are doing.  If anyone reads this and knows anything about them, I'd like to hear from you.
 
I wish we had more info and contact on the original group from 1965-66. 

 - Robert L Taylor, 1st Lt  {later Capt in Mississippi Guard}

HH 34

This is not recent, but the 219th lost a tremendous platoon commander when CPT Wally Kell was killed in a helicopter training accident at the civilian airfield in Montgomery, AL in 1967 (I think).  Wally was our platoon commander in Qhi Nhon from the time I got there in Oct 65, till he DEROSed in the summer of 1966.  A hellava good commander and a great guy.  The only Army aviator I have ever seen wear issue sun glasses and a tinted flight helmet shied at the same time – Wally was red headed an apparently his eyes were very sensitive to the sun.

                        - Michael Robertson


MAJOR RUSS BLANCHARD

CAPTAIN JAMES SCOTT

Major Russ Blanchard served in the same platoon at Quin Nhon in my section, where we were also attached to the 101st Airborne at Tuy Hoa where Cpt James Scott was the Plt Ldr. Russ also served with the 220th RAC while I was assigned to the 123rd Avn Bn (Americal Div) flying slicks and guns Feb 68 to Feb 69. Russ was killed in a horrific car crash in Oneida, NY a few years after his retirement from the US Army.  Jim, Army Aviator of the Year(?yr) has also passed on. Their obituaries should be in their local newspapers. Russ and his wife were dear friends and attended my wedding in Darmstadt, Germany on Jan 13, 1968, shortly before I had to return to Vietnam. I also visited with them in NY after his retirement. I still well up when I think about their passings and only hope they are in a better place now.

- Tim Flynn, Lt Col, US Army Retired


1974

SP4 TROY ROLLIS GAINOUS

Troy Rollis Gainous, 25, was killed on April 11, 1974, when he was accidentally electrocuted when his hand came in contact with a 7,200 volt power line while working on a power line pole. Gainous was an employee of the Grady County Electric Membership Corporation. 

Troy was born July 17, 1948, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Coy Gainous of Pelham, Georgia. He was married to Patricia Bulloch of Mitchell County and is survived by a son, Matthew Troy Gainous, of Metter, Georgia; two grandchildren, Mary Emma Gainous and Carter Troy Gainous, also of Metter; and a sister, Linda Barfield, of Cairo, Georgia.

Spec 4 Gainous was with the 219th stationed in Kontum VN '68-'69 and served as a crew chief.  He was honorably discharged from the Army in February 1974.  In 2011, his son Matthew attended the 219th Headhunter reunion in Beaufort, SC, in his honor.


   
  © 2007 Eagle Team Publishing Group. All information on this website is the property of the brave military personnel who sacrificed their time and well being by putting themselves in harm's way in the service of their country. This website is dedicated to those 219th Aviation Company Headhunters personnel & their families who made the ultimate sacrifice with their lives in this service. Permission for the use of any content on this website is reserved for use by any person who served on active military duty with the 219th Aviation Company . All others must obtain written permission in advance by contacting bob@219headhunters.com