LtCol. Statzer's Letter to Parents/Wives

Marine Aircraft Group 36
1st Marine Aircraft Wing FMFPac
FPO San Francisco, California 96602 

1 September 1968

Dear (Parent/Wife)

 The month of August saw the officers and men of Marine Helicopter Squadron 364 putting forth their customary maximum effort in support of the Marine combat forces operating in the Republic of Vietnam.  Under the very capable leadership of LTCOL J. R. Dobbratz, over 1200 flight hours were logged in the Boeing Vertol CH-46D “Sea Knight”, while the Purple Fox insignia became a familiar and welcome sight from south of Da Nang to the DMZ.  A special “well done” should be extended to the ground support and maintenance personnel for the critical part they played in this performance.

 The Phu Bai weatherman was not very sympathetic to our cause as a week of torrential rains seemed to herald the advent of an early monsoon season and turned our usual dust bowl into a muddy quagmire.  However spirits never flagged and many welcomed the cooler temperatures as a relief from the intense 100 degree heat which normally prevailed.  In spite of the extremes of weather the state of operational readiness and effectiveness of the squadron remained at a constant one hundred per cent.

 It was not always talk of work and weather that was overheard during the month.  The National Democratic and Republican Conventions generated much discussion as did the upcoming General Election.  The Voting Officer was kept busy distributing requests for absentee ballots so that every man would have the opportunity to exercise his voting privilege.  HMM-364 appears to be well on the way to 100% voting participation.

The stage was set on the 26th and 27th of August for an all Squadron party which provided some well earned diversion and relaxation.  Since Squadron operations require an around the clock commitment, seven days a week, two consecutive days were necessary to enable all hands to attend.  The shore of a small pond provided an ideal setting for the gathering and local color was evidenced in the imaginative native pavilions constructed with bamboo and elephant grass especially for the occasion.  One of the highlights of the afternoon was the volleyball tournament, which was won by the Enlisted Men.  A bit of comic relief was provided when several of the Staff NCO’s ended up in the pond after being ostensibly “helped” into a small boat by some of the men.  On the whole the event proved to be very successful and the Squadron is looking forward to its next outing.

 The spirit of Hail and Farewell” was in the air during the month of August as many transfers took place.  The traditional Welcome Aboard was extended to Major J. E. Harvin, Lt. “Doc” Linkous (MC) U.S.N., 1stLt D. R. Robbins, 1stLt M. F. Bailey, Sgt J. L. Sheppard, Jr., Cpl. R. S. Williams, Cpl. D. E. Pickard, LCpl A. L. Hernandez, LCpl. T. H. Rich, Pfc. Rangel, and LCpl H. Collier, Jr.

The following HMM-364 personnel were transferred: Maj. L. P. Reiman, Lt. “Doc” Greenwood (MC) U.S.N., 1stLt I. P. Bullard, 1stLt J. R. Rudolph, 1stLt H. T. Foss, 1stLt J. H. Leighton, 1stLt G. H. Siggins, 2ndLt L. B. Jividen, GySgt. C. S. Franke, GySgt P. W. Mott, Cpl R. K. Platts, Cpl A. C. Krubsack, LCpl W. R. Lindner, HM3 T. A. Ryan.  1stLt J. L. LaRue was assigned to temporary duty as a Forward Air Controller.  Sgt A. E. Kroll and Cpl G. D. Lindfield completed their tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam and have returned to the United States.  The Squadron wishes each man good luck in his next assignment and hopes that their tour with the Purple Fox was a rewarding experience.

 September the Squadron will witness a formal change of command ceremony when LTCOL Dobbratz passes the Squadron colors to LTCOL M. V. Statzer.  LTCOL Dobbratz has been assigned to Marine Headquarters Group I where he will serve as the Wing Aviation Safety Officer.  The squadron has benefited greatly from his leadership and guidance and wishes him continued success.

An award ceremony was held on the 22nd of August at which time Maj. L. P. Reimnan received the Single Mission Air Medal and Capt M. G. Monk the Distinguished Flying Cross.  Purple Hearts were awarded to the following men: SSgt Kahalehili; SSgt K. L. Bridgeman; Cpl K. A. Altazan; Cpl J. L. Gilreath; Cpl R. F. Robitaille; Cpl R. L. Vincent; and Cpl R. E. Hanna.

 Congratulations are extended to the following personnel who were recently promoted: Capt J. A. Cantrell; Capt E. L. Carson; Cpl J. M. Warbiany; LCpl D. T. Samson.  Cpl E. S. James received a meritorious promotion to the rank of Sergeant.  Cpl W. E. Poulin was selected Crew Chief of the Month.

 All in all, the month of August proved to be both productive and pleasant for the members of HMM-364.  If past performance may be used as an indicator, the Purple Fox will undoubtedly continue to excel in all phases of operation during the coming months.

Lieutenant Colonel United States Marine Corps

Submitted by:
    Sgt. Dean Cohoon, USMC (Vet)

LtCol. M. V. "Bud" Statzer's HistoryIndex

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