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CH 46 40th Anniversary event with HMM-164

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  • #16
    Last Helo out of Vietnam

    My name is Earl Burks from HMM-164. I wrote the Book:
    "The Diary: The Last Combat Mission of the Vietnam War"
    There were two helos that headed to the US Embassy to retrieve the last remaining forces that final morning of Operation Frequent Wind. My pilots fell asleep during the briefing and we took of about 5 minutes behind Chris Woods 154803. As we approached Saigon going up river we heard that Chris had gotten everyone out in his chopper and we rendezvous shot him the moon and he went to the Blueridge and then to the Okinawa before returning to the Hancock. We were ordered back to the beaches of Vietnam to look for the Last two Marine pilots to die in Vietnam, Capt. William Nystul & Lt Michael Shea who crashed the night before. Coincidentally they were my pilots for the entire deployment of the evacuations of SE Asia. We did not find anything American in the waters or on the beaches and were ordered back to the Hanncock. The plane at the ceremony was put up front for me as I sent Lt. Col Smith my book and was invited to come to the Anniversary party at MCAS Pendleton. After Lt. col. Smith's research he found out not only was 154812 the last plane to leave Vietnam but was the workhorse of the Marine Corps. 154812 had more hours than any other 46 and even more hours of other planes that had flown in the Marines. She was taken from 164 by mistake and sent to the desert but was suppose to go to the NAS Pensacola Museum to be refurbished for display. There is an effort underway now to rectify the Mistake. My book was self published in the late 1980's and is being re-written now for publication in 2008. Who would of thought that ol number YT-07 was the workhorse of the Marine Corps!
    Earl Burks

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