George Vernon Airey, Jr

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
21 July 1944 - 09 May 1968
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Panel 57E Line 012



Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for George Vernon Airey, Jr

27 May 2001

I think about George when I am having a really bad day,
and then I realize how lucky I am to have a bad day.


A memorial from his friend and classmate,
Val Taruntaev

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 08/09 May 1968 the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry, was operating in western Quang Tri Province from a temporary base located at grid coordinates YD237678. At 0705 on 09 May the battalion came under attack by North Vietnamese Army forces - initially by mortar fire, then a full-fledged ground attack. One of the first casualties was the morning logistics helicopter, a Huey from A Company, 227th AHB, which was shot down and crashed between the NVA and 5th Cav positions. The cavalrymen were able to rescue two crewmen from the burning wreckage but both pilots were killed in the crash.

Charlie Company was cut off from the other companies and bore the brunt of the attack. The NVA were fended off, but not without cost, and the aggressive patrolling which followed brought more US losses. By day's end, 19 men had died:

  • B Company:
    • SGT Daniel G. Gladding, Seaford, NY
    • SP4 George E. Guyett, Springfield, IL

  • C Company:
    • 1LT Robert N. Jones, Delta, PA
    • SFC Albert E. Smith, Clairton, PA
    • SSG Frank W. Elliott, Streamwood, IL
    • SGT Mitchell McGuire, Hanoverton, OH
    • SP4 Robert Alexander, Washington, DC
    • SP4 Robert J. Capanda, Detroit, MI
    • SP4 Carlos W. Cornett, Flatwoods, KY
    • SP4 Winford R. Crabb, Shafter, CA
    • SP4 Ronald N. Koitzsch, Camas, WA
    • CPL Ramiro F. Olivo, Eagle Pass, TX
    • PFC James C. Bang, Minneapolis, MN
    • PFC Freddie J. Cox, Oakland, CA

  • D Company:
    • 1LT John C. Dougherty, Terre Haute, IN
    • SP4 George V. Airey, Ann Arbor, MI

  • HQ Company:
    • CPL William J. Waysack, Orange, CA (Medic with B/1/5)

  • A Co, 227th AHB (UH-1D 66-16784)
    • WO Donald K. McNeil, Seattle, WA, pilot
    • WO Mark D. Young, Sidell, IL, copilot

Delta 1/5 Cav lost two more men during patrol operations on 10 May - SP4 Herman L. Taylor of San Diego, CA, and SP4 David G. Thomas of Port Huron, MI.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and classmate,
Val Taruntaev 
27 May 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 10/21/2004