I remember my Company Commander in Viet Nam.  We were both in Troop A,
1st of the 9th U.S. Cavalry (Air Mobile) together during 1966 - 1967.

 It was during the last days of my tour.  The North Vietnamese was building
their troop strength for the Tet Offensive in January 1968.  We were coming
in contact with more and more NVA on our air patrols.  We were stationed out
of An Khe in the north central highlands but  our forward position was in
Bon Song at the time when we experienced a flood of activity in our zone.

 I was door gunner in the Scout helicopters and Major Mendenhall flew a gun
ship. Early May 1967, I had only 3 weeks left to rotate back to the World
for Honorable Discharge.  I was ready to go home when we began a fire fight
in the thick brush and trees North of our camp..

 During the ensuing "fire fight" with the NVA, Major Mendenhall took a
rocket propelled grenade to his gunship.  The ship veered out of control and
crashed in the trees.  All five on board were lost.

   I have paid my respects once at the Viet Nam Wall in Washington D.C. But
I am glad to get this opportunity to remember "Tom" again. Rest in Peace

   Sgt. Stephen T. Luton, Trp. A, 1/9 US Airmobile, 1st Cavalry Division