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Bill Abbott
281st Assault Helicopter Company, Maintenance Officer
From: England
February 22, 1937 - January 15, 2018

Chief Warrant Officer William Abbott served in the 281st AHC from May, 1968 until May, 1969. His principal duty was ensuring that the unit maintenance teams performed their responsibilities in a manner that provided the highest level of flight safety for the 281st Aviation Crews. Bill took his responsibilities seriously and his performance of duty earned him the respect of all Intruders. Bill fought a long hard battle with Brain Cancer, which claimed his Life. CWO4 Abbott served the members of the Intruder family well and he shall be remembered by the Intruder family.
Obituary to follow.


I am sad to announce the passing of Intruder Bill Abbott. His wife Marsha notified me that Bill died of brain cancer yesterday. Bill was a maintenance pilot 68-69.He was a fun-loving spirit and a good friend.I will pass along more information as I receive it. Bain

Memories of Bill Abbott:

Both Bill and I arrived in the 281st AHC in May of 1968 and we departed VN together one year later. He had prior service and attended WO flight school following a previous tour in country.

Bill was one of those individuals with a strong personality, one that resulted in a vivid memory of him. He could act tough, but under that veneer he was fun-loving and great to be around. Our Vietnam friendship grew as he took special interest in the maintenance needs of our Wolf Pack gun platoon. He seemed to get a real kick out of fixing the aircraft we broke and sending us back into action, even if he had to test fly the C models into the wee hours of the night. We could always count on him and the others on the maintenance team to accomplish the impossible. Bill once retrieved an aircraft that I was flying after it went down from engine failure. This happened up North in a remote area between Da Nang and Chu Lai.

He gave me a tough time because I broke the chin bubble on a shrub during autorotation. I gave him a tough time for giving me a POS rebuilt engine that spewed its guts out the hot-end!

I recall eating some great food with Bill in Ted Untalan’s hooch. Ted always had something cooking.

Bill and I both went to Germany after our tours with the 281st. He was in Goppingen and I was in Hanau, two hours to the North. We rode motorcycles together, I met him and his family for camping trips (he in his VW camper and I on the motorcycle), we skied together in Austria and we partied over a memorable Thanksgiving turkey dinner until the wee hours of the morning. We went to the Frankfurt Auto Show and later bought identical orange VW convertibles, without each other’s knowledge.

Several years ago I reconnected with Bill and invited him to our Intruder reunion in St. Louis. He came and it was like old times. Life’s ups and downs had not changed Bill (or me, I hope) and I met Bill’s current wife, Marsha. He hit the jackpot with Marsha! We stayed in touch after the reunion and he planned to visit me and Karen in NC… to escape the cold Wyoming winter. Bill and Marsha never made it to NC, but in 2015 my cousin Jimmy and I spent two nights with them in Wyoming while on a motorcycle ride across the upper tier of states. Centennial, WY (population 250) is 37 miles from Laramie. It is beautiful and near heaven…in August. Bill and Marsha were the perfect hosts. I regret they never made it to NC so I could repay the hospitality. Bill fought brain cancer for over a year…. with the same energy he showed in the rest of his life.

I will miss him. May another wonderful Intruder RIP.

Bain Black, Wolf Pack 36

Findagrave memorial 189044315.

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Bob served as a pilot in the 281st AHC from June of 1966 until June 1967.  He returned to the states and served as an instructor pilot at Fort Rucker for two years then left active services but remained active in the National Guard.  Bob died in a motorcycle accident on November 10, 2002.  His wife Betty resides in Watertown, WI and is an honorary member of the 281st AHC Association.  Bob's DOB was 23 April 1946.

Findagrave memorial 115341538.



Major US Army Ret.
Maintenance Officer 281st AHC 04/69 - 04/70

Major (Ret) Craig S. Albee, 60, lost his long battle with Parkinson's disease on Tuesday, 09/05/06, surrounded by family. Major Albee, a retired helicopter pilot with the United States Army has touched many lives all over this county try that he loved so dearly. Craig was a decorated veteran. He served in active duty for 9 years and continued full-time in the Army National Guard for another 21 years. He was a member of the 281st AHC in Republic of Vietnam and later assigned to the 48th Aviation Company, Katterbach Army Airfield in Ansbach, Germany, 1970-1973 where he was recognized by the Department of The Army as an innovator for current Army Helicopter Maintenance Doctrine. Major Albee later became the facility commander of the Reno-Stead Army Aviation Support Facility, Nevada Army National Guard for several years before transferring to Alaska to finish his service to our country. He was honorably discharged from the Alaska Army National Guard in 1997 as Maintenance Test Pilot Evaluator and UH60 Standardization Instructor Pilot. Upon leaving the military he flew Lear jets for Kalitta Air and Raytheon Travel Air, and then finished his working career selling sporting goods at Cabela's. On August 29, 2006, Major Albee took his last flight aboard a CH-47D, Chinook helicopter courtesy of the Reno/Stead Army Aviation Support Facility. The family of Major Albee would like to thank and applaud the flight crew for the respect and dignity that they extended Craig on this day that brought him such joy. Craig's interests were hunting, fishing or flying, along with any excuse to gather with friends and family. He has touched the lives of many and will be truly missed. Craig was preceded in death by his father, George and his mother Elizabeth. Craig is survived by his son, Geoffrey of Sparks and his brother, Richard of Oxford MS. A graveside service will be on September 11, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley Nevada, followed by a private family gathering. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The American Parkinson's Foundation, c/o Susan Gulas, 1000 Locust St, Reno, NV 89502. Arrangements are entrusted to Ross, Burke & Knobel Mortuary in Reno. We invite you to send a condolence message online at www.rossburkeknobel.com.

"CRAIG S. ALBEE In Loving Memory We were related by marriage, but became family by heart. I referred to you as 'my dad' not because it was an easier story to explain, but because you were the dad I never had. You gave me away at my wedding, you taught me to balance a check book, you touched my children's hearts and you instilled a meaning of family, even when family was not the official tie. Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad. Thank you for sharing your life with me." Your daughter, Susan Zinser.

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July 29, 1949 - August 5, 1996

Roger was a resident of Southington, CN when he passed away on Monday August 5, 1996 in Bangor Maine. He was very active in veterans affairs and served on the board of several veteran’s organizations. His obituary follows:
Roger is survived by his wife, Maybelline "May" (Lévesque) Albert, a son John Albert of New Britain, and a Daughter Stacie Albert of Southington; 4 brothers: Robert, Jean, Richard and Paul.  Also survived by several Nieces, Nephews, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. Burial with Military Honors was at St Mary Cemetery, New Britain
Roger served in the 281st AHC in Vietnam and he shall not be forgotten by his fellow Intruders.

January 20, 1942 -- October 1, 1995

Bill Allen III

Bill Allen was born on 20 January 1942 in North Carolina and passed away on 1 October 1995 in Robeson County, NC. Bill served as a Staff Sergeant with the 281st Assault Helicopter Company in the Viet Nam War. He is interred at Meadowbrook Cemetery, Lumberton, Robeson County, North Carolina.


Rat Pack DG
10/66 – 4/67

William Holcomb "Bill" Allen Jr., 69, of Hurricane, WV died peacefully on Monday, December 30, 2013. He was the son of the late William H. Allen Sr., and Ruby Allen. Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Frances; sons Bradley and Matthew of Cincinnati, Ohio. Bill was a wonderful "PopPop" and "Poppy" to his grandchildren Justin, Bain, Brandon and Alexis Allen, who will miss him greatly. Also surviving are sister Jeanette Riffe; brother Joe Douglas Allen; uncles,Pearl, Charles and David Allen; brothers-and sisters-in law Vordaman and Nancy Van Bibber, Edward and Linda Riffe, Charles Riffe, John and Delberta Riffe, Hannelore Allen; eight nieces, nephews, and numerous cousins. Bill was a Christian who attended the First Baptist Church of Hurricane.
Like his father, he was admired for his hard work, steadfastness, honesty, dependability, integrity, fairness, and true friendships. His wish was that his legacy would live on through his children and grandchildren. Bill was a graduate of Hurricane High School, Marshall University and a U.S. Army Vietnam veteran. He was employed as Hub Manager with UPS for seven years and as the Business Manager with WSAZ-TV for 26 years, where he thoroughly enjoyed working. In the community, Bill was a past member of the Hurricane Lions Club and served ten years on the Putnam County Board of Education. He volunteered as coach for his sons' youth soccer and basketball leagues. He enjoyed working in the yard, the hay/tobacco fields, and his vegetable/flower gardens. The old red tractor and his pickup truck were two of his favorite "toys."
During his retirement years, Bill loved wintering in the Florida sunshine where he golfed, danced, played basketball and softball. A visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, January 4, 2014, at the First Baptist Church of Hurricane, with funeral services immediately following to celebrate Bill's life. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Hubbard House West Hospice at 4605 MacCorkle Ave. SW, South Charleston, WV 25309 or the Lung Cancer Foundation of America. 

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June 30, 1948 — November 21, 2014

Al Alvarado
Operations NCO 69-70

SP/5 Albert R. Alvarado served in the 281st from November 18, 1968 to July 22, 1970 and as assistant operations NCO in 1969 thru 1970. He is remembered and a warm and friendly individual who performed his duties in an excellent manner. He cared for his teammates and saw to their needs. The Intruder family shall always remember Albert.

His obituary follows:

Albert Alvarado, born June 30, 1948 in Mathis, Texas was called home to be with the Lord, on November 21, 2014 at the age of 66. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Juanita and Joe V. Melig, parents Mary Katherine and Thomas A. Alvarado and brother Thomas Alvarado Jr. Albert was a U.S. Army Veteran and will be greatly missed by many. He is survived by his loving wife, of 45 years of marriage, Linda A. Alvarado, children; Albert Alvarado Jr., Stephanie A. Cao, Zachariah Alvarado, Tabitha Alvarado, 11 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren, brother Gilbert Alvarado, sisters; Dolores Dominguez, Gloria Dominguez, Cynthia Castillo. Interment was in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

Posted by His fellow Intruder, Jack Interstein:
I remember Big Al very very well. He was a very patient and kind individual to me when I first arrived at 281st operations in Jul 69. He was extremely proud of his Hispanic heritage and woe to he that offended him on that count even in joking around as I found out on more than one occasion. Al, Al Kruck (Major Little's driver) and myself roomed together the first year with 281st. Al "organized" the trips to beautiful downtown Nha Trang and its sites of interest. He was very neat and organized and helped keep me together in my first few months in RVN. I did not realize he was only two years older than myself as he was already SP/5 when I arrived on scene. The three of us, along with SP/5 Moreno, SP Bumbalough and SP Dickey and later SP Nieckula got along very well both in operations and at the enlisted club after hours, most of the time. One of us always worked nights and usually one of us was at the FOB but we did work together very well under SSG Bast and later SSG Brown and various Operations Officers.

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Dale Anderson

Raymond Dale Anderson LUBBOCK- Raymond Dale Anderson, 68, passed away in Lubbock, Texas on July 15, 2013. Ray was born on Aug. 1, 1944 in Oakland, Calif. at Oak Noll Naval Hospital. He served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1970 receiving honors as a decorated soldier in Vietnam.  He then served his country again in the Army National Guard from 1975 to 1980. He received multiple prestigious medals and distinguished awards during his times of service. He married the love of his life, Patricia Smith, on Nov. 27, 1976. He continued his passion for work as a helicopter pilot, flying the United States Geologist into Mt. St Helens during active eruptions in the attempt to capture real life images of the volcano. He also flew the filmography crew for  “The Fires of Kuwait” on IMAX and finally the last 21 years with the medical flight crews of Aero Care and Life Star, helping save lives. His wife, Patricia Anderson of Lubbock, survives him.


July 2 1941 - June 24, 1969
Dick Arann

Richard was initially assigned to the 281st as an aviator and was subsequently transferred to the 192nd AHC and placed on temporary duty with the 10th Battalion Headquarters where he was killed in a fragging incident.

From the VHPA website:
grease gun ready Chief Arann was on his second tour in Vietnam when he died. On the night of 24 Jun 69, PVT William E. Sutton, who was angry at his CO (CPT Angeli) because he received an Article 15 for smoking pot, detonated a claymore outside of the billet where he thought Angeli would be sleeping. He killed Arann by mistake. Sutton was court-martialed and sentenced to life imprisonment. His sentence was cut to thirty years and he will be released from the Oklahoma Transfer Center next month. From George Lepre, April 1999. On 7 Aug 99, the last Vietnam-era fragger will leave prison. Ex-PVT William E. Sutton will be released from the federal prison in Yazoo City, MS (Although most military offeders serve their sentences at Leavenworth, during the early 1970s, a number of particularly incorrigible inmates were sent out into the regular federal system). Sutton, a signal wireman in HHC, 10th Combat Aviation Bn, 1st Aviation Bde, had received an Article 15 for smoking marijuana from his company commander, CPT Robert Angeli. On the night of 23-24 June 1969, Sutton placed a claymore outside the CO's quarters and detonated it. However, he was so stoned when he did it that he placed it in the wrong part of the building and he killed helicopter pilot CW2 Richard M. Arann by mistake. He then ran to a second mine he had set up to kill the company first sergeant. This mine too was set up in the wrong place and it seriously wounded the battalion sergeant major, Grant McBee. CW2 Arann was an outstanding pilot and was on his second tour in Vietnam. Sutton proved to be a disciplinary problem while he was at Leavenworth. He was charged with failing to stand count, disrespect to a guard, homosexual assault, and a number of other offenses. As a result, he was quickly sent out to the regular federal system. He was briefly paroled in 1980 but quickly re-arrested on a violation of this conditional release (I presume he burned a piss test).
George Lepre Co. A, 2d Bn., 4th Inf. (Warriors)

From an anonymous source:
"After receiving a non-judicial punishment for marijuana possession, PVT William E. Sutton decided to kill his company commander and first sergeant. On June 24, 1969, the intoxicated private set up claymore mines outside their billets, well aware that the explosions would easily penetrate the outer walls of the structures and strike his victims. The first device did not so much as scratch the company commander but killed helicopter pilot CWO Richard M. Arann, who was asleep in the building. His second detonation missed its intended victim as well, but nearly killed a sergeant major. Sutton was apprehended and sentence to life imprisonment. The longest-serving fragger from the Vietnam War, he was released in 1999, only to be rearrested a month later in Tennessee for burglary and theft.
[Taken from the book Fragging by George Lepre]

"The following is a personal account of this incident [from the same anonymous source:
My hooch was about 5 yards from CW2 Arann's hooch and about 20 yards from SMAJ McBee's hooch. When Willie Sutton detonated the claymore mines, we actually thought we were under a mortar attack. The reason our commanding officer's life was spared was because Sutton had run the claymore mine wire over a water pipe that ran along the rear wall of the officers' hooch. As he pulled the wire back to the bunker he would be in, the wire and claymore mine slid along the pipe and ended up where CW2 Arann was sleeping. Our First Sergeant was spared also because he had just moved his bunk from the wall where Sutton had placed the claymore to the wall that was perpendicular to the front wall. So when Sutton hit the detonator, the fragments blew right by our First Sergeant and hit SMAJ McBee, whose bunk was against the far wall at the back of the hooch. I don't know why our First Sergeant moved his cot, but that's what saved his life. Although SMAJ McBee was wounded by the second claymore mine, his wounds were really not life-threatening. He received fragments in his right leg and shin, and was walking with a cane the next day. Unfortunately, two weeks later, he was hit with mortar fragments in his left elbow. Yeah, it was a really bad couple of weeks for him. For some stupid reason, Sutton listed me as a character reference for his court-martial. Since I would be back in the states when the court-martial was to be held, I gave a deposition in Nha Trang before I rotated back home. Based upon what I said, Sutton's defense attorney decided not to use me as a character reference. Perhaps my statement that I didn't care if they took Sutton out back and shot him right there had something to do with his decision! Yeah, Sutton was a thief, liar, and murderer who should have gotten the death penalty instead of life in prison, which he didn't serve anyway. I've heard that he was shot and killed during a bad drug deal in his hometown of Memphis after he was released from prison the second time. Even though this happened 47 years ago, I still can't get those memories to go away. At the time, I was a 22 year old Sergeant.

[Narrative by anonymous (November 2016)]"

Hunt Arann kids
Jesse Hunt, Dick Arann


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James O. "Jim" Atkins
Jim Atkins
May 1, 1943 - June 27, 2017

Specialist 5 (SPC-5) Jim Atkins served as door gunner and crew chief in the Rat Pack. His obituary follows:

"James A. "Jim" Atkins, a resident of Gardendale, AL, was born on May 1, 1943 and passed away peacefully on June 27, 2017 at the age of 74. Jim proudly served our country in the US Army during the Vietnam Conflict. He loved to travel around and try his luck at the Casino's with his sole-mate. Jim never met a stranger and loved to talk to different people as he traveled. Jim will be greatly missed by all those that loved him.
Services will be held at Ridout's Gardendale Chapel on Sunday, July 2, 2017, with a celebration of life gathering to begin at 2:00pm; memorial service at 3:00pm followed by his inurnment in Oakwood Memorial Gardens, Gardendale, AL.
Arrangements under the direction of Ridout's Gardendale Chapel, Gardendale, AL."

Jim Atkins Jim Atkins Jim Atkins

"June 30, 2017
I will miss your friendship, but I have many wonderful memories of our time in the Army. You were a great Army buddy!
~ Johnny Church, Connelly Springs, North Carolina"



483rd Maintenance Detachment 
Jan 1966 - May 1967. 

Joined the 483rd at Fort Benning and traveled with it and the 281st to Vietnam. 
Member number 310 of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association. 
Living in New Gloucester, Maine at the time of his death on 1/5/06

NEW GLOUCESTER - Raymond C. Atwell, 62, of New Gloucester, passed away peacefully on Jan. 5, 2006 at his home surrounded by his loving wife, Donna, his cherished daughter, Wendi and his adored sister, Mary, after a long illness.
Ray was born and raised in Baltimore, Md., and spent his adult life in Maine. He served in the U.S. Army for eight years. He was a member of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company in Vietnam. He was a member of the VFW Post 11553 and served as quarter master and post commander.
After serving his country, he worked at Beechcraft Corporation at the Augusta Airport and worked at several Maine companies as an engineer. He was an avid outdoorsman and thoroughly enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his wife of 34 years, Donna E. Atwell of New Gloucester; two daughters, Wendi Rockett and her fiancee Daniel Brume of Portland, and Robin Goodwin and her husband Steve of Westbrook; a son, Jeffrey Brooks of Windham; four sisters, Mary Prince and her husband Raine of Quantico, Md., Jean Kernan and her husband Bud of Essex, Md., Pat Murray of Frankford, Del., and Dianna Evans and her husband Tom of Ocean view, Del.; several nieces and nephews; and eight grandchildren, Alexander, Brad, Jasmine, Cameron, Kylah, Brooke, Benjamin and Cody.

A VFW service was held at the Dolby Funeral Chapel, 434 River Road, Windham followed by a celebration of life will follow at the VFW Post 6859, 687 Forest Avenue, Portland.

Donna, Rays widow resides at: Mrs. Donna Atwell, 11 Donnas Lane, New Gloucester, ME 04260

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Served as a CW2 with the 281st in 1968-1969.
He was assigned to each of the platoons with the majority of his time spent with the Wolf Pack.

LT Ausness was killed with 3 other crewmembers while flying
for the US Coast Guard out of Opa Locka Coast Guard Station, Miami, FL
Interred at the USCG Aviation Memorial, Elizabeth City, North Carolina.


November 17, 1948 -- September 21, 2000
Last residence: 17901 Schuylkill, Pottsville, PA, SSAN Issued: Pennsylvania
Findagrave.com indicates his son Justin died in July of 2000.

Robert's grave

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Pernel Avery
499th SIGNAL DETACH 1/66 - 5/69

Pernell H. "Butcher Boy" Avery, 74, retired driver for United Parcel Service, 5th Special Forces United States Army veteran and veteran of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, died August 14, 2012.
Services were held on Friday, August 17 at M.J. Edwards Funeral Home. Pernel was buried in in the West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery, 4000 Forest Hill Irene Rd.
He is survived by his loving family and friends.

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