Charles L Kelly

Army of the United States
10 April 1925 - 01 July 1964
Warm Springs, Georgia
Panel 01E Line 057

Distinguished Service Cross
Army Medic


Army Aviator


The database page for Charles L Kelly

23 Oct 2002

Charles L Kelly

Major Charles L. Kelly was not known as a fighter but as a savior of life. He went into harm's way on a daily basis to rescue wounded comrades as a pilot of "Dust-Off" Medical Evacuation flights. His impression on the fairly new concept of helicopter evacuation will be long lived.

"On 1 July 1964 he received a mission request from an ARVN unit near Vinh Long. As Kelly came into the the landing zone he came under attack by Viet Cong forces. An American advisor radioed Kelly to get out of the area and his response set the tone for Dust-Off operations for the rest of the war: 'When I have your wounded.' Shortly afterward a round went through the open door window and pierced his heart. His last words were 'My God.' His ship pitched up, nosed to the right, rolled over and crashed."

Quotation taken from Chapter 2 of
by Peter Dorland and James Nanney

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

From someone who remembers.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

18 Dec 2005

Please feel free to visit a
Major Charles L. Kelly Memorial

Submitted on behalf of
fellow DUSTOFF pilots.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Charles L. Kelly served in World War II. After discharge he completed high school and college, then spent time as an educator before reentering the Army as a commissioned officer. He was graduated from flight school at Fort Sill, OK, on 2 Oct 54.

In Vietnam, Major Kelly was the third Commanding Officer of the 57th Medical Detachment. He and three others were aboard the UH-1B (tail number 63-08591) when it went down:

  • Major Charles L Kelly, pilot;
  • Captain R. Anderson, copilot;
  • PFC Pickstone, crew chief; and
  • Captain H. W. Giles, passenger.
The other three men survived the crash.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers.
E-Mail may be forwarded via the
23 Oct 2002

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GA State Index . Panel 01E
57TH MED DET Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 12/21/2005