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Info Sheet - Ron Welsh


Ron Welsh: I am married to Margaret and we live in Sierra Vista, AZ.

My initial tour in Viet Nam was from Oct 68 to Oct 69, with E Company, 725th Maintenance Bn., at Cu Chi. It was the 25th ID’s aircraft Direct Support maintenance company. I was the night maintenance supervisor. Our hanger was across the south (I believe) end of the runway from D Troop’s hanger. So, I was familiar with the Centaur’s helicopters from seeing them and repairing or salvaging them for combat damage. My next assignment was from Oct 1969 to May 1970, at Fort Eustis, VA, where was an Instructor at the Aircraft Maintenance Tech Inspector’s Course. Statewide duty was not for me, so never thinking of the risk involved, I volunteered to go back to the 25th ID again. I arrived at Cu Chi, May 1970, and this time, I was assigned to A Company (Little Bears) of the 25th Aviation Bn. It was a flying company and I took over the duty of VIP Flight Platoon Sergeant. In the summer of 1970, some of the Little Bears who had significant time left before their DEROS, which included me, were transferred to D Troop (Air) ¾ Cav.

After I was transferred to D Troop, Cu Chi, there is a blur. I know we were still at Cu Chi for a brief period and then we moved to Camp Frenzel Jones in Long Binh, where we stayed for a couple of months. During that period, I was one of the aircraft maintenance NCOs. In the Fall of 1970, we moved to Lai Khe, and I was there until 31 Dec 1971, when I left to return to CONUS. I had two New Years Eves, one at Long Binh, the other when our flight stopped at Anchorage. If my assignment periods on my second tour appear to be wrong, it is because I extended for an additional six months at Lai Khe. The first month or so I was in maintenance but the majority of my duty assignment at Lai Khe was the Slick Flight Platoon Sergeant (late 1970 to 31 Dec 1971).

I’m in the group photo of Slick Platoon members shown as an MP on my MyPage. (I’m on the right side and wearing jungle fatigues ). I’m also in various other photos with some of my slick crew chiefs and door gunners. Crew Chiefs : George Aguilar and Danny Alexander. His picture is in the 1971 year book picture and is definitely how he looked at the time; Phillip Blackmond (RIP); Harley Bales; Darrel Focken (RIP); Joe Hoover; Jimmy Jacks ; Larry Ruddick, Larry Parrish. Door gunners: Guy Boudreau; Terry “Smitty” Smith; Bud Wyatt (RIP); Henry Felder; and Park, first name not recalled; listed on roster as SP4 Park,1971, no ending date. I’m sure I’ve missed some people and I apologize. It has been too many years ago.

SSG Rick Benner told us that his unit, 75th Rangers, was reorganizing, because the 2nd Brigade of the 25th ID was returning to Hawaii. He said he was hoping to transfer to F Troop. Later when I saw him at Lai Khe, and he saw that I was the Slick Platoon Sergeant, he told me that if I ever needed door gunners, to check with him first. He added that if his Ranger team came with him to Lai Khe, they were top notch, I could count on them, and he would let them come to the Slicks. When Benner subsequently volunteered transfer to the F Troop, Air Cav, Aero Rifles, his Rangers, Boudreau, Smitty and Wyatt, among others (who were not close to DEROS), volunteered to come with him. That shows the respect and confidence his men had for him.

Those Ranger door gunners, as well as other gunners, worked as a team with their crew chiefs, not only during their missions but before and after the missions were completed. Guy Boudreau not only would clean his and the crew chief’s 60s but he would also help with taking oil samples and helping with other scheduled maintenance requirements. He must have really taken an interest in aviation. I heard that after Boudreau returned to the States he applied tor and was accepted to Army flight school.