Gary Lee McKiddy

Army of the United States
01 April 1950 - 06 May 1970
Miamisburg, Ohio
Panel 11W Line 115

Silver Star

Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Gary Lee McKiddy

The database page for Gary Lee McKiddy

28 Feb 2003

Sgt. Gary Lee McKiddy was a door gunner on an OH-6A light observation helicopter and was assigned with 1/9 Cavalry. He was killed on May 6, 1970, when the helicopter he was in was shot down. Gary was either thrown or jumped free of the crash upon impact with the ground. Although the chopper was burning, Gary risked his own life when he returned to the chopper and retrieved the copilot, Jim Skaggs, and carried him to safety. Gary again returned the chopper, even though it was burning out of control and ammo from inside of the chopper was "cooking off", in an attempt to rescue the pilot, WO1 Tommy Leon Whiddon. As Gary entered the chopper and positioned himself to retrieve the pilot, the fuel cells exploded and killed both men. When the rescue team arrived, Gary was found stretched across the seat that he had just removed Skaggs from, laying across Whiddon with one arm behind him. The transmission had fallen across Gary's back pinning him in. The military tells us that this happened after the explosion and he was already dead when this occurred.

Gary was awarded the Silver Star for his action, however there is a bill pending in Congress that if approved will provide for Gary to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions; the bill is HR 369. Gary had flown more than 650 combat missions and was awarded 37 medals during his 6 months in Nam.

In August of 1999, the First Air Cavalry Division dedicated a barracks at Fort Hood, Texas, in honor of Gary Lee McKiddy. Inside of the 400 person building there is a day room that displays pictures of Gary from the time he was a baby until soon before his death, as well as a trophy case with all of Gary's medals in it. A beautiful plaque on the outside of the building tells the story of his heroism.

We would like to hear from anyone who knew Gary.

From his father, Edgar McKiddy

his brother, Rick McKiddy

8 Oct 2004

I knew Gary McKiddy back in high school. Gary always displayed confidence and integrity. No he wasn't perfect, but if I were in a bad situation I know I could count on him to be there. I say Gary McKiddy is a real hero. It's a shame it took the U.S. Government 30 plus years to consider awarding him the Medal Of Honor. They should change the name of D.C.'s Pennsylvania Ave. to Sgt. Gary L. McKiddy Blvd.

From a friend,
Wayne Carter
Nashville, Tn. 37217

25 Nov 2004

I do not know your son/brother, however I just want to say thank you!! Sgt Gary McKiddy, I salute you, and may you rest in peace.

Robin Geiger
US Army
6828 Tabby Road, Huber Heights, Oh 45424

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009