Michael Dennis Brightman

Army of the United States
18 July 1941 - 31 October 1969
Morrison, Illinois
Panel 16W Line 007



National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael Dennis Brightman

23 Oct 2001

I do not fear an army of lions, if they are led by a lamb.
I do fear an army of sheep, if they are led by a lion.

-- Alexander the Great --

From his sister

23 Sep 2007

We would like for anyone accessing Mike's memorial to know that he left behind two children, Franklin and Anna. If he had acknowledged his children to any one who served with him in the Peace Corps or Army, please let us know. Franklin was placed for adoption by his birth mother, Mike's high school girlfriend, and Anna was born to a French woman Mike met while stationed in Germany. We know both of these children and their birth mothers but it would be a kindness to know that Mike acknowledged them in even a small way. We had to find out the hard way that he left children, however we've been reunited with them so the ending of this story is a happy one and a comfort.

From his sister,
Deidre Brightman

14 Apr 2003

Mike was a kind, intelligent, and gifted forward observer.
Once, when we were lost, he called in a "willie pete" marking round,
and it was directly overhead!

From his medic,
Super Doc
3121 Chinaberry Dr., Columbia, SC 29204-3664

22 May 2003

Although I never met you, I will never ever forget you or the mark you have left on our family. I will always wish that you were in our lives - how different things would have been. I miss you, Uncle Mike!

Love, your Godchild, Libby
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

26 Feb 2004

I had the pleasure of knowing Mike when he was stationed in Germany. He was a great guy and good friend. May God always bless him

From a friend,
Marty Siegel

07 Sep 2007

I served with Mike in the Peace Corps in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) 1963-65, from training in Puerto Rico and Brattleboro, Vermont, to the repair and occupation (by Mike, Bob Smith, Mike Scott, and me) of the old concubine quarters in the maharajah's tumbledown palace in Gouripur, to the trip back to the States in 1965. I remember the many nights we sat on the verandah at Gouripur in the hot, sticky Bengal twilight, talking, joking, laughing, later walking down the lane lined by 101 royal palms, the four of us in lungis (traditional village attire of cloth sewn in a cylinder and knotted at the waist), going for a late swim in the tepid water of the palace pukur (pond). So many nights the four of us sat at the makeshift table that Mike and Mike built, feasting on turtle curry and parathas (fried bread) prepared by our tiny, ancient Buddhist cook. I grieved then and grieve still, for he was a good man and a good friend.

From a friend,
Gary Morley

01 Dec 2007

I am Captain DeAngelis's (Capt. "D") son, Mark DeAngelis. My mother has told me many times that my father and Michael were very close. I have been told Michael was an amazing solider and man. My father was very proud of him.

I always think of them together on that final day. I pray for them and our families. Bless them and the soldiers that serve today.

Please e-mail me if you have any information or photos to share. Thanks!

Mark DeAngelis

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 31 Oct 1969 a UH-1H (tail number 66-16650) of B Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, was tasked with a command and control mission for a battalion-sized operation. The aircraft, Spade 650, returned to base at about 0830 for refueling. When it departed, it carried the 1st Bn, 12th Cavalry, command group and two artillery forward observers as passengers. At about 0930, other aircraft in the operations area heard a "MAYDAY" call from Spade 650 and watched helplessly as the Huey went into a steep descent, crashed, and burned. Ten men died in the crash, which was determined to be due to transmission failure:
  • B/229 AHB aircrew:
    WO Michael D. Rosenthal, pilot
    CPT Murray J. Wyman, copilot
    SP4 Steve L. Escallier, gunner
    SP4 Larry J. McGraw, crew chief

  • Command group, 1/12th Cavalry:
    LTC Robert L. Alexander, HHC
    CPT Adamo E. De Angelis, HHC
    SGM Edward E. See, HHC
    CPT Paul E. Reaume, D Co

  • Artillery FOs from 2/19th Artillery
    CPT Michael D. Brightman
    Sgt Brian J. Morrow

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Deidre Brightman

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Oct 2001
Last updated 05/06/2008