CPT Herbert L. Degner
"145th Air Lift Platoon"
August 1964 - August 1965
NOTICE OF COPYING PROHIBITION:
Herbert Degner died July 3, 2000, and these great pictures of his tour with the 145th ALP were contributed by his son Fritz. Many thanks to Fritz for sharing his Father's memories.
Camp Wolters | Flight Operations | "The Villa" | Hong Kong R&R
Fritz also submitted one of his Dad's photos for the Webmaster's Photo Contest and won Third Prize.
LTC. Herbert L. Degner
DOB: 01-29-1936 DOD: 07-03-2000
Herbert entered the United States Army in September 1959 as a Commissioned Officer and was assigned as a Platoon Leader to the 52nd ARB, 2nd Missile Command at Ft. Carson, CO. While there he completed the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Ft. Benning, GA receiving his Expert Infantryman’s Badge.
attended ORWAC, Class 62-8 in which he was the Honor Graduate.
After completing flight school he was assigned to the Army Aviation Test
Board as one of the Test Pilots for the Chinook.
He served in this capacity until he was sent to Vietnam in August of
1964. He flew UH-1Bs as a Section
Leader of the 145th Airlift Platoon. In
August of 1965 he returned to Ft. Rucker and the Army Aviation Center until
December of 1967.
returned to Vietnam in January 1968 for a second Tour of Duty as a Platoon
Leader flying Chinooks for the 147th ASHC of the 222nd Aviation Bn. On 4 May
1968, Hillclimber 027 performed one of the fastest air rescues of the Vietnam
Conflict. Major Herbert Degner and CW2 Samuel Taylor were returning to Vung Tau
from Xuan Loc after a re-supply mission. The FE SPC4 James Choate observed an
USAF O-1 crash directly below them. SPC4 Choate informed the pilots and they
entered a descent. Landing near the crash site, the crewmembers were dispatched
to assist downed aviators. Neither pilot appeared seriously injured. They were
loaded on 027 to Vung Tau and the ambulance was called in-flight and standing
by. Total time from crash to hospital was 31 minutes.
In June 1968, he was transferred
to the 1st Aviation Bde. serving as the S-3 Training Officer.
Vietnam he served as Company Commander of 154th TC Detachment and later as
Commander of HHC, 21st Avn Bn. at Ft. Sill, OK between January 1969 and
July of 1975 he was sent to the 190th ASHC, USAR in Olathe, KS as the Aviation
Advisor and completed the Army Command and General Staff College while there.
He made his last logged flight in June 1978 prior to being assigned as
the Assistant DIO for V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany. Part
of his duties there included devising a Corps wide evacuation order known as the
NEO Plan. He also assisted with the
Evacuation of the American Hostages from Tehran, Iran to Rhine-Main Air Force
Base after they were released from captivity.
chose Ft. McCoy, WI as his final tour of duty and was assigned as a Training
Officer for the Readiness Group, which supervised many National Guard and
Reserve Units in the Upper Midwest. In
March of 1982 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the Executive
Officer of the Readiness Group.
He retired in August 1984 with a 100% disability due to Multiple Sclerosis, which he had developed in early 1981, because it had affected his ability to walk. In his health he enjoyed big game hunting and camping with his family. Colonel Degner is survived by his son Fritz Degner, e- mail: email@example.com
Cody, Chris, Josh and Fritz Degner visiting the Matthews, April 23, 2003