Deja Vu - Father & Son

The following is an extract from correspondence from Emil Hirsch to John Englemann (Condor 44) of which I had the privilege of recently being cc’d. I think it demonstrates who we are and why we stick together. Perhaps you were there, too, and can expand the story. From one Condor to another – Emil writes:

“I have never had the opportunity to meet you. I hope that changes for I am truly indebted to you. One evening at LZ Sally in February 1970, I was injured in a bunker explosion. My head and face were injured and the guy next to me lost his hand. I had no idea about this fact until the early 2000's when you told me you picked us up on your medevac. I remember very little about the event after the explosion. You recalled it clearly and said you had only one evac from Sally as the daylight was ending. Then, some 30 years later my son was injured by an IED in Iraq and evacuated to Landstuhl. You were so nice to visit him at Landstuhl, give him a nice gift, and you inquired about his condition and briefed me on it. This is stuff books are written about. You render aid to me after an explosion head injury in Vietnam flying me to medical care. Thirty some years later you again offer your assistance visiting my son, also injured in a combat explosion, and I have yet to meet you! If ever there is anything I can do for you or your family, I am here. Know that.”

Details later provided by Emil: “The guy that lost his hand was a red-haired SP5. I don't know his name but I do know he was supposed to replace Carl Trapp. Ralph Thornburgh was also on guard duty that night although he was not in my bunker. The guy they called to replace me was Bob Maholic. Bob was, if I remember right, a cobra crew chief. He went on to be a Sergeant Major and at the last reunion he attended several years ago, he recalled me being injured that night and told me he replaced me on guard duty. Bob Maholic passed away a few years ago and when he died, I felt for him because of the fact he stood in for me that night.


Extracted from an email from Richard Frazee (Slicks - Crew Chief '70 - '71):

I remember Bob Maholic well. I think I even have a photo of him. Our tours of duty overlapped but I think he left before I did. Yes, he was a crew chief. I also seem to recall that he might have been on his second tour. Maybe not, memory fails from that long ago.

Anything about Camp Sally is before my time. So I can't help with any bunker explosion details from the Sally days.. C Troop had just arrived at Phu Bai airfield when I got there. We were still building hootchs to house everyone. I remember Michael Horsch being the construction manager