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Vietnam Nomex Pilot shirt (1969)


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Picked up at a community yard sale last weekend. The seller had several items from this pilot including a knife which I also purchased. He was selling items for several famlies and know nothing about the owner. The branch insignia has been removed. Dated 1969.

 

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Nice find! Looks like the US Army tape is in-country made, the 1st AVN BDE might be too?

 

"Ruthless Riders" is the 7/17 Cavalry.

 

I have some of their monthly/yearly histories from the VN period. Use my profile to send me an email and I will send them back to you as an attachment

Bud

I believe many of today's social ills and political party bickering could be solved by the simple implementation of legalized dueling.

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Did some research on this nomex and found a least two Robinson's that served with the "Ruthless Riders" 7/17 Cavalry in Vietnam. One was listed with a captain rank , OH-6 Cayuse pilot and was KIA near hill 763 in Kontum, Vietnam in 1970. The other was listed as an officer with no other information. Probably almost impossible to know which one it belonged to.

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Great shirt, I had knew a guy who was a medic with 7/17th and have some assorted odds and ends from that unit. GOod luck on your search, a 50/50 chance of figuring it out. Might want to see if there might be info on the senior pilot angle. And also what part of the country either of them came from and where you bought the uniform.. Paul

 

Si vis pacem, para bellum

 

https://www.facebook.com/BROLHD

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I looked at several Wall profiles of senior pilots and it just shows a regular wing badge without the star so I do not think this counts him out. I have to research and see if he was a senior pilot.

 

You are right with badge and insignia graphics on the virtual wall, you will see some how shall I say, ah stock depictions, I dont know for what reason that will be. My first reaction was just as baker502 in that I said its not the senior badge and then I seen your reply and I said what a minute that right.

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I did not see the number of years of service on the profile which was three. Not enough for senior pilot.

 

How about the U.S. army officer registry, you can peruse that, I would say 1968 and 1969 would maybe be of some help. I also checked out the vietnam Veteran data base the gus b robinson is listed twice one under Gus B and again under Gus Blakely they are the same man it also does not have him as a aviator, to check if commissioned piots had only there branch that they where commissioned in listed only, I checked out known officer aviators, like Major Bruce Crandall of LZ X RAY fame, here he IS listed as an aviator. so it would seem there is confusion regarding Gus B Robinson as he was a aviator but he not listed as such in the data base as one.

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Here are the two Robinson's. They are two different guys. One from California the other from New York.

Vietnam Veterans Database

 

Name: ROBINSON GUS BLAKELY

Branch: ARMY

Rate: O03

Rank: CAPTAIN

MOS: 1204

MOS Title: Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander

Entered:

Discharged: 700412

Service Number:

State: CALIFORNIA

Race: CAUCASIAN

 

 

 

Vietnam Veterans Database

 

Name: ROBINSON GUS B

Branch: ARMY

Rate: O03

Rank: CAPTAIN

MOS: 1204

MOS Title: Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander

Entered: 670607

Discharged:

Service Number:

State: NEW YORK

Race: CAUCASIAN

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Here is the repot on the mission where Gus B. Robinson was KIA. You will notice they were on an "Armored Recon mission". I guss the confusion on the databse not having him as a pilot was that the Army must have listed him by his unit description "Armored Recon Unit Commander" . The databse is good but not totally accurate or complete.

 

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16634

The Army purchased this helicopter 0369

Total flight hours at this point: 00000702

Date: 04/12/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1593

Incident number: 70041230.KIA

Unit: A/7/17 CAV

This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY

This was a Recon mission for Armed Recon

While On Target this helicopter was Attacking at 0010 feet and 020 knots.

South Vietnam

UTM grid coordinates: YB853347

Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.

Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)

Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL

Casualties = 01 KIA, 01 MIA . .

The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.

Both mission and flight capability were terminated.

Burned

Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1593, LNNF, JSIDR, CASRP, CRAFX, FM385 (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )

Summary: Was shot down during a VR mission east and south of Dak To.

Loss to Inventory

Crew: TABB, ROBERT ERNEST;

 

Crew Members:

P CPT ROBINSON GUS BLAKELY KIA

O SP4 TABB RE POW

 

War Story:

VHPA Member Gary Downs recalls: Gus and I were West Point Classmates and had been through a lot together. The events surrounding his death are some of the strongest memories I have of Vietnam. Two NVA Regts had had the SF camp at Dak Seang under siege for some time. During that period NOTHING was getting in and out of the camp without getting shot down. I remember when things quieted down that there was a med evac, another Huey and two wrecked Caribou on the runway. We worked the flanks of the battle most of the time. We are always putting in airstrikes or shooting lots of Arty and doing BDAs for Arclights. I wasn't flying the day Gus was shot down but I was the next two days. It took us that long to get our Blues into the area. They had to blow an LZ with a 5,000 Daisy Cutter near the top of Hill 763 for us to get the Blues in. They found an NVA AA crew in a bunker and killed them before they could get the gun operational again. We displayed it outside our place at Holloway for some time after that. They found that Gus' LOH had rolled down the hill and that he was still strapped inside. He had two bullets in the head, so it was no wonder that it crashed. The Blues also found Tabb's shirt in a tree, so we figured he had been captured. I'll never forget that valley north of Dak To. It was very beautiful, but you never had any trouble drawing fire there

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Here are the two Robinson's. They are two different guys. One from California the other from New York.

Vietnam Veterans Database

 

Name: ROBINSON GUS BLAKELY

Branch: ARMY

Rate: O03

Rank: CAPTAIN

MOS: 1204

MOS Title: Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander

Entered:

Discharged: 700412

Service Number:

State: CALIFORNIA

Race: CAUCASIAN

Vietnam Veterans Database

 

Name: ROBINSON GUS B

Branch: ARMY

Rate: O03

Rank: CAPTAIN

MOS: 1204

MOS Title: Armored Reconnaissance Unit Commander

Entered: 670607

Discharged:

Service Number:

State: NEW YORK

Race: CAUCASIAN

 

You are right two different capt's, it is uncanny though, two extremely similar men with the same name except the one has his middle name listed in full and with the same rank and same MOS, but there may more then meets the eye, I'll bet that they may be one and the same despite the two differant states given. You will note that while Gus blakely has the date of 700412 as discharge date, thats the date he was killed right, there is however no entered date given, down below on Gus B there's no discharge date but there is a entered 670607 "WEST POINT' graduation date ?, you will note the cadet uniform in Gus Blakely photo on the vitual wall,and where is West Point located ? in New York, it also coinsides with that 3 year service listing, as far I know service time for west pointers starts upon the commissioning on graduation day and not the year they entered the academy as plebs. Of course this does'nt prove that this is the Robinson on your shirt but is interresting, you must know that this data base although a hughly helpfull sourse of in research, and I would'nt do without it, is kind of flawed in many ways.

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I guess the two Robinson"s could be the same. Maybe he entered the service in New York but was from California. These database entries are really bad.

 

Correct, I bet they are one in the same. The database is good but they can be either shot full of holes or spot on, there is also so many men who have been omited, I happended to talk in person to the lady who owns the site, she said that she routinly gets calls from vets who are distubed that they are not listed, I guess they dont what the B.....S....er tag laid on them, she says even her own father is not on it and he was was there, I too can not find my own cousin he was there, 4th Marines 3rd Mar Div 67-68, she went on to say that some names do show up on the Vietnam era database though. The Database for Vietnam veterans she believes was a VA compiled list done sometime in the early to mid 80s during that agent orange flap, and was done in response to lawyers wanting names and other details etc, but as we see it does not even have the time or times in country.

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The shirt must be from another Robinson. Probably the one listed on the 7/17 Cav site as "J.H. Robinson" Officer.

 

It's too bad that Officer BOS collar badge is no longer present, it would have been of some assistance.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bad news on this shirt: I took this shirt to a long time collector fried of mine and several questions were raised on the insignia. After carefully looking he determined that several of the patches had been replaced long ago. I confronted the seller with these concerns and it turns out that the Ruthless Rider, Name tape and SSI were added to the shirt. The original SSI was a 1st Cavalry patch. With the sellers permission I removed all the added insignia and returned the shirt for a refund. You have to be really careful with this stuff. Thanks to all who piped in on this one.

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