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VMO-6 Personnel 1967

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  • VMO-6 Personnel 1967

    Gentlemen,

    We need some information about BuNo/Modex No for the huey in which Steve Pless made his rescue for the UH-1E restoration approaching completion in November. Paint job is underway.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Did anyone fly gunner or pilot/copilot in that huey with the crew chief prior to that mission. If so, check your flight log

    PLESS, STEPHEN W.

    Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, VMO-6, Mag-36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Place and date: Near Quang Nai, Republic of Vietnam, 19 August 1967. Entered service at: Atlanta, Ga. Born: 6 September 1939, Newnan, GA.

    Citation:
    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a helicopter gunship pilot attached to Marine Observation Squadron 6 in action against enemy forces. During an escort mission Maj. Pless monitored an emergency call that 4 American soldiers stranded on a nearby beach were being overwhelmed by a large Viet Cong force. Maj. Pless flew to the scene and found 30 to 50 enemy soldiers in the open. Some of the enemy were bayoneting and beating the downed Americans. Maj. Pless displayed exceptional airmanship as he launched a devastating attack against the enemy force, killing or wounding many of the enemy and driving the remainder back into a treeline. His rocket and machinegun attacks were made at such low levels that the aircraft flew through debris created by explosions from its rockets. Seeing 1 of the wounded soldiers gesture for assistance, he maneuvered his helicopter into a position between the wounded men and the enemy, providing a shield which permitted his crew to retrieve the wounded. During the rescue the enemy directed intense fire at the helicopter and rushed the aircraft again and again, closing to within a few feet before being beaten back. When the wounded men were aboard, Maj. Pless maneuvered the helicopter out to sea. Before it became safely airborne, the overloaded aircraft settled 4 times into the water. Displaying superb airmanship, he finally got the helicopter aloft. Major Pless' extraordinary heroism coupled with his outstanding flying skill prevented the annihilation of the tiny force. His courageous actions reflect great credit upon himself and uphold the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.
    Alan H. Barbour, Historian
    USMC Combat Helicopter Assoc
    SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
    "Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"

  • #2
    Pless Huey

    Al: Some years ago I somehow was contacted by an air/space museum in Liberal, Ks. They had somehow gotten the actual Pless Huey and were looking for info on the VMO-6 1968 paint scheme. I took them some pix etc. at that time. I haven't been in that area in some time but understand the museum is still there and open. Hope that helps. Bob Hughes, Houston

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    • #3
      Al,
      The museum swcbob1 mentions is the Mid-America Air Museum, Liberal Kansas. They have a long standing relationship with the Quantico Air Ground museum folks. Several aircraft from Quantico are on diaplay there including the YOV-10D prototype and at least one F4U.

      Phone is 1-800/408-5263 or 316/624-5263
      Hostage IGOR

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      • #4
        Cpl John Phelps who was the crew chief on that flight and spent 18 months in VMO-6 is in Kentucky and his email address is gondor13@insightb. He has a lot of photos.
        Ed Alexander

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