GEORGE WILLIAM TOM
Specialist 5th Class, Combat Aviation Crew Chief
281st Assault Helicopter Company
From: Stanton, Texas
Born: January 2nd, 1947
Tour of duty began on July 5th, 1968
Killed in action on July 5th, 1968
in Pleiku, South Vietnam
when his helicopter was shot down.
SP5 George Tom, a
23 year old single soldier from Stanton, Texas began his
tour of duty with the 281st AHC on July 5, 1968. On April
27, 1970 he was flying a combat aviation mission with
WO Robert Wayne
Gardner (See WO Gardner's web page for details on the
WO Stanley J. Miller
when their aircraft, UH-1H 66-00870, was shot down near Pleiku,
SP5 George William Tom was a highly respected crew chief and member of the 281st AHC flight and shall not be forgotten.
When Gary Fields, the door gunner, realized that the aircraft was going to crash he jumped from the helicopter and fell approximately 200 feet, landing in a rice paddy. Gary was recovered by the crew of a observation helicopter from the 1st Cavalry Division. He suffered multiple injuries as a result of the fall, and until his death in October 2006 he was disabled. Gary remained in a coma for the first four months of his treatment. When he came to, he fell in love with his nurse who became his wife and nurse for life. In the crash he lost his best friend, SP4 William Tom, and two pilots he respected, WO1 Stan Miller and CWO Bob Gardner.
A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN
ONCE AN INTRUDER ... ALWAYS AN INTRUDER