Tribute to 1Lt. Victor M. Hodson
I doubt very much that I will ever forget that eventful day of the shoot down and crash of the O1 Birddog being piloted by Lt. Hodson. This day in April started out like so many other one's in Phan Thiet. Since the 2nd Flt. platoon was attached to MACV, we were allowed to take our meals at the dining hall at their compound in downtown Phan Thiet.
It was during our noon meal that we were notified that one of our birds was reported "down". We immediately raced back to the flightline to find out any more information we could. We naturally wanted to get out to his last know reported position, so as many of us crew chief's that could went with our pilots to assist in the SAR. I'm pretty sure that it was Capt. Robert Taylor who was at the controls of the plane I was in.
When we arrive at the crash site, I remember vividly seeing parts of the still smoldering wreckage. The terrain around the crash site was sort of a low valley with small mountains on one side. At the bottom of the hill was a creek with some small trees and brush growing along the water.
It was in that creek that I first saw some parts of the wreckage. We flew around in circle's for a while, hoping for some signs of life. There apparently were some friendlies nearby, because we soon saw some ground troops coming over the hill with a couple of APC's leading the charge. They soon had the area cleared of any VC that might have still been around before they searched the wreckage for the remains.
Lt. Hodson was just 27 years of age when he gave his life for our country on April 14th, 1969. I remember him as being a fine man and a dedicated solder.
Victor M. Hodson
183RD AVN CO, 223RD AVN BN, 17TH AVN GROUP,
1ST AVIATION BDE, USARV
Army of the United States
Moses Lake, Washington
November 27, 1942 to April 14, 1969
VICTOR M HODSON is on the Wall at Panel W27, Line 81