Life of valor, service but be careful, say Bob Dickens

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Life of valor, service but be careful, say Bob Dickens

If you listen to Bob Dickens, all he did was what any other gunship helicopter pilot would have done on June 10, 1965, in Vietnam.

A group of nine wounded members of an American special forces team was in a village being overrun by Viet Cong.

Dickens was called that fateful day to get there in a hurry. He oversaw three Huey attack helicopters, each with a crew of four and six machine guns.

Since today is Veterans Day, it seems as good a time as any to tell the story of what he did that day, as told by a Marine major who was one of the people whose life was in the balance. The major would live to write the letter that led to Dickens, of Springfield, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross.

(If you listen to Dickens, whether someone is recognized for heroism often depends on if the person making the nomination can write a good letter. This major, according to Dickens, just happened to be a good writer.)

Bob Dickens says one of his supply officers had the creative idea to repurpose F100 fighter jet fuel tanks into water tanks that were used to take showers.

Here it is:

“Chief Warrant Officer Dickens distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous action on 10 June 1965 while serving as pilot and gunner of an armed helicopter on an evacuation mission in Ap Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam.

“Upon reaching the evacuation area, Chief Warrant Officer Dickens’ aircraft became the target of intense hostile fire. He flew his ship at slow speed and at tree-top level to provide suppressive fire support necessary for the troop carriers.”

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Editor

Editor is WebTech Group (WTG). WTG is a web hosting, design, SEO, press release distribution company and news agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. Site is owned and operate multiple news sites in the region. Our objective with STLNewsMissouri.com is to offer readers a one-stop news site for Missouri news. We aggregate news from news media across the state. We do not aggregate news from all sources. We pick from those that offer RSS feeds and pick the best with eliminating those that might produce the same news stories, written differently.
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