Frank Walter Bengtson

First Lieutenant
Army of the United States
12 June 1949 - 07 May 1971
Millbury, Massachusetts
Panel 03W Line 025

Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Frank Walter Bengtson

25 May 2007

I wanted to stop by before Memorial Day to remember an old friend from Apache Troop, 1/9th and pay tribute to this young hero.

He was a great scout pilot. I served as his observer/air crewman on his OH-6 helicopter with A Troop, 1/9th Air Cavalry. We flew pink teams out of Tay Ninh to the north and east along the Cambodian border, and west into Cambodia to the Chup Rubber Plantation and the Mekong River. I always enjoyed spending time with Lt. Frank Walter Bengtson, either on the ground in Tay Ninh or anywhere in the air.

On May 7, 1971, he was shot down in Cambodia near the Chup Rubber Plantation. I am sure that he has been missed by a great number of his friends. I will think of him and the many others Cavalry warriors who made that ultimate sacrifice with thanks for their service.

In the future, we will all meet again at Fiddler's Green. Fiddler's Green is the happy land imagined by cavalryman where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stops playing and dancers who never tire.

It was featured in old English legend:

When he comes to a pretty little village deep in the country and the people ask him what he is carrying ... he will know that he's found Fiddler's Green. The people give him a seat in the sun outside the Village Inn with a glass of grog that refills itself every time he drains the last drop and a pipe forever smoking with fragrant tobacco. From then onwards he has nothing to do but enjoy his glass and pipe and watch the maidens dancing to the music of a fiddle on Fiddler's Green.

It is also described in a ballad written anonymously for the US Cavalry and published in a 1923 US Cavalry Manual. It is still used in modern cavalry units to memorialize the deceased:

"In a shady meadow green,
Are the souls of all dead troopers camped
Near a good old-time canteen
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddler's Green."

Rest well in the Mighty Hands of God, Frank Walter Bengston, and know that you will never be forgotten.

From a comrade,
John Nichols
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Three men from A Troop, 1/9th Cavalry, were killed when OH-6A tail number 67-16679 was shot down:
  • 1LT Frank W. Bengtson, Millbury, MA, pilot;
  • WO David P. Meyer, Collinsville, IL, observer; and
  • SP4 Larry W. Rothel, Granbury, TX, crew chief.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade,
John Nichols
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 May 2007
Last updated 05/30/2007