Roland Albert Nielsen
Specialist Five
254TH MED DET (HA), 498TH MED CO (AA),
Army of the United States
Monahans, Texas
September 04, 1944 to October 04, 1967
ROLAND A NIELSEN is on the Wall at Panel 27E, Line 49

Roland A Nielsen
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25 Dec 2004

Ronald grew up in Monahans, Texas. His official sites list it as Monohans, but the correct spelling is Monahans, Texas. He attended Monahans schools and graduated in 1962. He enlisted in the Army after high school in 1963 and was trained as a medic. He spent his first tour in Vietnam as a medic with the 2nd Battalion, 94th Artillery in 66-67 and had mobilized with the unit. He extended his tour and was assigned to the 254th Medical Detachment as a dustoff medic. He was killed in a helicopter crash on a night dustoff flight during a rainstorm. He is buried in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. He is remembered by the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial in Midland, Texas.

23 Jul 2007

As a correction, Roland was born in Smithville, Texas and grew up in Portland, Oregon. He attended schools in Portland and entered the U.S. Army on November 1, 1961 using Monahans, Texas as his home of record. I cannot really determine a reason, but he entered at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, normally out of the area where basic trainees go from West Texas. He did his basic training at Fort Ord and other training at Fort Sam Houston. He was a seven year soldier and had requested dust-off duty after he had served a year as a clerk/medic with the 94th and 18th Artillery Regiments in Vietnam. He had mobilized to Vietnam with the 94th in October 1966 from Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was killed in a failed medevac attempt in a rain storm. In Roland's Air Medal for Valor Citation, it states the helicopter had requested lighting when they made their first attempt to land and were coming out to make a go around and attempt another landing. In this attempt, the helicopter crashed in the trees, killing all aboard.

From a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown


A Note from The Virtual Wall

Five men from the 254th Medical Detachment died when UH-1D tail number 65-12848 crashed on the night of 04 Oct 1967:
  • 1LT Lawrence Gallego, Papaaloa, HI, pilot;
  • 1LT David B. Wainwright, Port Byron, IL, copilot;
  • SP5 Willie F. Green, Cleveland, OH, crew chief;
  • SP5 Roland A. Nielsen, Monohans, TX, medic; and
  • SP4 Ronald A. Martin, Cheswick, PA, gunner.

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

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