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April 25, 1949  ---   August 24, 2002

Jack Callaghan
Wolf Pack Door Gunner, 1970 

Crewed with CE Dan Smith.
SSAN Issued: Pennsylvania. Following Vietnam, Jack worked as Correctional Officer in the Pennsylvania prison system.
He is survived by a daughter and his wife Kathy who resides at : 152 Wood Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA  18702. Phone 570-829-1041.

June 20, 1948  ---  15 April 15, 2009

Weston D. Callender, born in Seattle, Washington June 20, 1948 and long time resident of Friday Harbor, peacefully entered into rest April 15, 2009, at the age of 60 years, in Mount Vernon, Washington. A family Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.

from the website of Affordable Burial & Cremation Services, LLC of Mount Vernon, WA.

Elmo Capo
March 17, 1940 - August 22, 2016

Elmo John Capo, known to us as John, served in the 281st from November, 1968 until May, 1969 as Bandit 27. On April 23, 1969, while supporting a Project Delta mission, John’s helicopter was hit by NVA fire with a bullet wounding him in the jaw. He was immediately evacuated to the hospital ship, where he was treated and evacuated to the states. John was an outstanding pilot and a credit to the Intruder family, who will always remember him.

From the obit:
Elmo J. Capo, Jr., 76, of Cantonment, FL passed away Monday, August 22, 2016. Elmo was born in Miami, FL and raised in Marathon, FL. He was a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army; he was shot down in Vietnam and he received a purple heart. Member of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company nicknamed “Bandit 27”. After the Army, he moved to Pensacola, met his soulmate and settled into family life. He flew offshore in Louisiana until retiring in 1993. He was inurned in Barrancas National Cemetery, NAS Pensacola, Florida.


John and the mission are remembered by Jeff Murray:
On April 23, 1969 towards the end of our Phu Bai Delta mission we were covering a Ranger Team and trying to extract them. They obviously had a new LT in charge as he was nervous and couldn't pick an LZ. Buck Sorem, the Bandit lead, was hovering above the trees trying to find a place to land and took fire from above, with a round coming thru the overhead and through John’s jaw. Buck immediately took him to the hospital ship Buck and Les White, got to go aboard the hospital ship the next day and when they walked in the room John, who couldn't talk, held up a hand written sign saying, SHORT. - Jeff. Murray, WP Pilot


Cindi Aldridge:

My Daddy.. what can I say. What a wonderful man. I am so proud to be his daughter. He taught me so much in life and most of it with laughter and a smile. What a great example of strength. He showed me that not everything is hard and if it is, I can get through it. I miss you Daddy, every minute of every day. I know that you are with Mom now. The love of your life. I hope that when you two are looking down on me, I make you proud and I make you smile. I LOVE YOU.
Your daughter, Cindi

Birthday ride !

go to hell hat!

Photos and obit by Cindi Aldridge, Faith Chapel Funeral Home and findagrave dotcom

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Al Carter
March 16, 1951 - Jun, 1976

SSAN Issued: Oregon
Crew chief with the "Rat-Pack" 1970's. Reportedly died in an auto accident.

Carter at pcs
On the occassion of Alan's DEROS.

April 23, 1950 --- AUGUST, 1984

Tom Carter
Tom "Mad Dog" Carter

Served as a WO with the Bandit Platoon (Bandit 22, affectionately known as "Mad Dog") in 68-69. He later served in the Michigan National Guard. Thomas was killed in a Helicopter Accident while transporting seismographic equipment on a sling load when, on takeoff, the load caught in trees and brought the aircraft down. Tom's last address was 48224 Detroit, Wayne MI. He was interred at Houghton Lake, MI with full military honors and a fly-by conducted by the Michigan National Guard.

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30 November 1942 - 20 February 2013

Rat Pack Platoon Sergeant  1968 - 1969.
William was a resident of Calhoun, Georgia.


April 16, 1933 --- July 7, 1999

Residence:  45002  Cleves, Hamilton, OH  Born: 16 Apr 1933
Died: 7 Jul 1999 SS Card Issued:  Indiana, 1951
Source,  Social Security Administration

photo from findagrave dotcom

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James Cary

James E. Cary was born in Richmond Virginia on June 26, 1946.  Jim was the only son and oldest of two children born to James and Laura Cary.  His father was a career officer and veteran aviator of World War II, Korea and Vietnam, who retired as a Colonel from the Air Force in 1966.  Jim graduated from Pensacola High School, Pensacola, Florida in 1965.  Following high school he attended Pensacola Junior College.  After about two years of college Jim joined the Army on March 9, 1967.  After completion of basic training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, Jim requested and received orders for Ft. Wolters, Texas to begin primary helicopter training on May 29, 1967.  Jim was a member of WORWAC class 67-25 and completed the advance phase of his training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama on April 8, 1968.

Warrant Officer Jim Cary, after a month of leave, arrived in the Republic of Vietnam on May 6, 1968 and was assigned to the 281st AHC and eventually became a highly trained and skilled pilot with the 1st platoon, Rat Pack.

On November 5, 1968 in support of Delta Project, Jim was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroic actions that day. Warrant Officer Cary distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as aircraft commander of a UH-1H helicopter during the extraction of a Special Forces reconnaissance patrol team in contact with enemy forces west of Da Nang.  The primary pickup ship attempted to reach the landing zone, but was forced to abort because of highly accurate enemy fire. Tactical air strikes were then called in to suppress the enemy fire. Upon completion of the air strikes, Warrant Officer Cary spotted the team in a small opening between two ridgelines, descended to tree top level, and initiated a high speed, low-level approach towards the team. As he maneuvered, intensive enemy fire was directed at his ship. Despite hostile fire, dense vegetation, and poor visibility, he skillfully brought the aircraft to low hover over a pile of rocks, thereby enabling the team to safely board the aircraft. Warrant Officer Cary's courage and sound judgment were the decisive factors in the success of the mission. His actions ere in keeping with highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

Jim completed his Vietnam tour on April 28, 1969 and was reassigned to Fort Wolters, Texas as a tac officer at the primary helicopter school. On December 10, 1969, Jim accepted a direct appointment to First Lieutenant, Field Artillery. In early 1971 Jim completed the field artillery basic course and while in route to Vietnam, completed the cobra transition course. Jim's second tour was from July 6, 1971 to July 7, 1972 with two units, B/4-77 ARA, 101st Aviation Battalion and the 334th Aerial Weapons Company (Sabers).When Jim returned to the states he was assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky with the 7th Squadron, 1st Cav. In 1973 the Army began a reduction in forces and Jim was honorable discharged and released to the Army Reserve on September 16, 1973. After discharge.

Jim went into the automobile business in the Fort Knox area and it wasn't until 1981 when Jim became friends with some National Guard pilots that he decided to join the Kentucky Army National Guard. At that time I was the company commander of the UH-1 lift company and was more than happy to have another 281st pilot in the unit. Coming from the 281st there was never any doubt about his flying skills.


John V. Castello
April 28, 1949 - June 17, 2021

John served in the 281st AHC from July, 1969 until April, 1970 as a Combat Aviation Door Gunner in the WolfPack Armed Helicopter Platoon. His service in support of the units of the 5th Special Forces Group, and other U.S. and Korena forces was in keeping with the high standards set by his unit. John was a proud member of the 281st and was respected by his fellow Intruders. The members of the 281st family shall always remember John. His obituary follows.

SANDUSKY, OHIO; John V. Castello, 72, of Sandusky, passed away Thursday morning, June 17, 2021, in Stein Hospice Care Center after an illness.

He was born on April 28, 1949, in Sandusky to the late Leo and Margret Castello. A 1967 graduate of Perkins High School, John worked for the former Mark's Pick-N-Pay/Finast/Tops until their permanent closing. He then worked for Heidelberg Distributing.

From 1967-1970, John served his country in the U.S. Army and during Vietnam as a Door Gunner in the 281st Assault Helicopter Company. He received an Honorable Discharge and the prestigious United States Army Air Medal.


My brother, John Castello, passed away today at 6:50 AM. He was a proud member of the 281st. He was my hero. I went into the Army a year after John. Although I kept telling him my MOS (Teletype Intercept Operator) was not in high demand in Vietnam, he extended his time in country so I won't go. He will be missed.
Best regards, Tom Castello USASA 1968-71



Jay Hays' presence was very much appreciated. He got to meet the family.
John's farewell went off without a hitch. He had a full blown military ceremony that included a Color honor guard from the American Legion (with 3 volleys from M14s), two current military in dress blues that folded the flag to present to Rose and a bagpiper in kilts that played at the gravesite. (The piper is an Ohio State Trooper and friend of our niece.)

The next step is the Lord welcoming John home.

Thank you again!

Best regards, Tom Castello


family note

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Jack Clendenon
February 19, 1937 - December 31, 2014

Jack served as the aircraft maintenance line chief for the 145th ALP in 1965-1966. The following information is from findagrave.com memorial #140785025:

"Birth: Feb. 19, 1937 East Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia, USA.
Death: Dec. 31, 2014, Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia, USA.
Parents: Ray and Mable Clendenon. Spouse: Margaret Clendenon.

Jackie Wayne “Jack” Clendenon of Big Stone Gap, VA, went to be with the Lord on December 31st, 2014 surrounded by his loving family. Jack was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and decorated Vietnam War veteran. He was a proud Westmoreland Coal Company employee from where he retired and lifelong member of the First Christian Church.

Jack was preceded in death by his father, Ray, and his mother, Mable, along with brothers; John Clendenon and Carl “Sam” Clendenon and sister, Betty Young.

Survivors include his wife of more than 50 years, Margaret Clendenon of Big Stone Gap, VA; his daughter, Micki Castle of Bluefield, WV; sons, David Clendenon and wife Sonya - Knoxville, TN, Mark Clendenon, and wife Beth - Big Stone Gap, VA and Paul Clendenon and wife Cindy - Norton, VA; 5 grandchildren, April Sorrentino and husband Bryan – Concord, NC, Christopher Moore, Audrey Clendenon, Logan Clendenon, and Katy Clendenon; one great granddaughter, Olivia Sorrentino; a sister, Mary Alice “Cokie” Kilgore and husband Glen; brothers, Robert “Bob” Clendenon and wife Janice and James “Jim” Clendenon and wife Helen; special niece Pam Giles and husband John; special nephew Todd Clendenon and wife Angie; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews; and a host of friends and loved ones to mourn his passing and cherish his memory.

Funeral services will be conducted at 12 p.m. on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at Gilliam Funeral Home with Pastor Greg Townsend officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until time of services.
Graveside services will follow in Glencoe Cemetery with Reverend Ronnie Mutter officiating and military graveside committal services performed by Local DAV, VFW Units and the Gate City Guard Unit. Family and friends will serve as pallbearers. Gilliam Funeral Home is honored to serve the Clendenon Family. ... Burial: Glencoe Cemetery, Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia, USA Created by: Wamplerg, Record added: Jan 02, 2015, Find A Grave Memorial# 140785025"

Jack Clendenon

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January 8, 1948 -- September 5, 1993

nick nick

Nick above in the 281st and in January of 1987
Last known address, 231 N Suffolk AV.  North Massapequa NY11758

From his nephew Mark...
21 January 2005

Nick was born and raised in Astoria, Long Island City, New York in the borough of Queens.  He was the son of Joseph and Tavia Clericuzio, both children of Italian immigrants.  He also lived with his grandfather, who lived in the basement of their row house.  He had only one sibling, Vera, who was my mother.  She passed away last year due to lung cancer.  He went to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and School (45th. Street, Astoria, NY, 11105, US). 

Nick was a drummer, loved to fish and always took great care of his cars.  In high school he formed a band and was the drummer.  His favorite drummer was Gene Krupa.  He loved music, especially Chicago, Santana, Rare Earth -- anything with great percussion.  I will always remember his great sound system he purchased while in Viet Nam (Pioneer amp/receiver, Pioneer Reverb, Sansui reel to reel, and Akai tape deck, along with Pioneer speakers with real wood cabinets).

Both before and after the war, Nick worked for Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) in various positions leading up to a position as a supervisory manager.  Nick got married to Violet Fasolino around 1973 or 1974 and they had two children, Tina and Nick.  Nick passed away on 5 Sep 1993 due to a heart attack.  He was buried in section 71 site 1511 Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, NY


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Lynn Coleman
1936 - December 8, 2020

Colonel Lynn Coleman was one of the first officers to join the 281Assault Helicopter Company when it formed at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1965. He was initially the Service Platoon Leader, responsible for preparing and transporting the unit’s helicopters to Vietnam by ship. Lynn arrived in Vietnam in June of 1966 and almost immediately became a member of the newly formed Wolf Pack, the unit’s areal weapons platoon. In late 1966 he assumed command of the Wolf Pack and completed his tour as their commander. His service in the 281st was exemplary and set the standards for future weapons platoon commanders.

When the 281st Association re-organized, Lyn was a strong contributor and served as the association president in 2003-04. Lynn was an outstanding Intruder, and we shall always remember him. His obituary follows:

“Coleman, Lynn F. (LTC Retired) Lynn Coleman, 84, was born in Albany, CA to R.W. & Viloe Coleman. He passed away peacefully on Dec. 8, 2020 in The Villages. He graduated from Admiral Farragut HS and earned his BS from Hofstra College and MS from Troy State University. He was commissioned in the US Army in 1958 and served over 26 years including 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam as a helicopter pilot with the 281st Assault Helicopter Company and A Battery, 4th Battalion, 77th Field Artillery Regiment.

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Diane, daughter, Linda Coleman, and grandchildren. He became a Mason while serving in Japan and held leadership positions in several bodies at both the local and state levels. He moved to The Villages in 2004, where he enjoyed travel, golf, bridge, guitar and his many friends.

Burial will be at Florida National Cemetery for Veterans with a celebration of life to be held at a later date when it's safe for his family and friends to come together and remember this wonderful man.

Lynn and Diane at a reunion.

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July 31, 1945 - August 3, 2019
Bill Cnota
28st, 1969 - 1968

The obit on Findagrave.com:

William "Bill" Cnota, age 74, a 41 year resident of Naperville, IL, passed away peacefully on August 3, 2019 at his home, surrounded by the love of his family. He was born on July 31, 1945 in Chicago, IL.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 48 years, Linda; his loving daughters, Rachel (Zach) Heuer of South Elgin, IL and Sarah Cnota of Chicago, IL; his cherished grandsons, Mason Kascher and Alexander Heuer; his dear sister, Judy (the late Louis) Affarano and brother, Jerry (Maureen) Cnota; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and great friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, William J. and Mildred Cnota.
Bill was a graduate of St. Patrick's High School, Chicago. He proudly served in the United States Army as a Warrant Officer with the 281st Assault Helicopter Company. He was awarded the Bronze Star and The Air Medal for his meritorious achievements during his service. After he was honorably discharged, Bill served as a Chicago Police Officer from 1970 until 1973. He then began his career as an Air Traffic Controller with the F.A.A. and served over 30 years in the Aurora Center. He was proud to continue his involvement in the industry as a trainer at the center after his retirement. Bill was also a longtime member of the Judd Kendall V.F.W. Post 3873, Naperville.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, 908 Jackson Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540.

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 29 August 2019), memorial page for William D “Bill” Cnota (31 Jul 1945–3 Aug 2019), Find A Grave Memorial no. 201996614.

January 30, 1931 -- June 16, 1983
Tony memorial

Tony was a member of the 145th, 2/171 and 281 AHC. He died of a heart attack at the age of 52 in 1983. He joined the US Army in 1947 and flew as gunner on B-17 and B-29. Joined the Navy during the Korean War and flew recon missions. He joined the Army again in 1964 and came to Viet Nam as a door gunner in the 145th Avn Plt. Tony stayed with the unit when it changed to the 2/171. While serving with the 2/171, he was shot down coming out of the Ashau Valley in April 1966. When the 2/171 was deactivated he was assigned to the 281st. At the time of his death he was NCOIC of the Navel Reserve Unit in Ontario, California with just two years to go until retirement. His Wife lives in California.


January 8, 1947 --- 5 January 5, 1998

SSAN Issued: Illinois.  On orders for 3rd -17th award of Air Medal

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December 21, 1951 - October 1, 1998

SSAN Issued: Illinois

Photo from findagrave.com

March 14, 1945 - March 17, 1997

George served in the 281st and his last known Address was Corvallis, Oregon.

Photo from findagrave.com

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