Gerald Alan Cahela

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
15 October 1945 - 23 September 1968
Bessemer, Alabama
Panel 43W Line 068


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gerald Alan Cahela

22 Apr 2000

My name is Catherine Rice. In 1994 my late husband, Roger Cahela, died suddenly in a motorcycle accident. We have a son, who is now 8 years old and I have been researching the family name. I would like to honor Gerald Cahela on this wonderful website.

Gerald's relatives,
Catherine Rice and Aidan Cahela,

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 23 Sep 1968 a crew from the 604th Transportation Company took UH-1H tail number 66-16531 out for a post-maintenance check flight. The Huey, which belonged to the 283rd Medical Detachment, had had a main blade and rotor hub replacement as well as lesser repairs. Six men were aboard the aircraft, which proceeded to an open area west of Camp Holloway for autorotation and abrupt maneuver testing.

After several earlier maneuvers, the pilot entered an autorotation and transitioned to forward flight at a very low altitude, immediately making a steep right bank followed by a 60 degree or steeper left bank. The main rotor blade hit ground and broke, causing loss of the rotor hub and an immediate crash. Three men survived; three others died:

  • WO Gerald A. Cahela, Bessemer, AL, test pilot;
  • SSG Jack Sizemore, Boonville, NC, passenger; and
  • PFC John M. White, Independence, MO, crew chief.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a relative,
Catherine Rice 
22 Apr 2000

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 01/30/2005