Troop F, 8th Cavalry, “BLUEGHOST” served in Vietnam from 1 April 1968, until February 26, 1973. Initially organized October 27, 1866 as Company F, 8th Cavalry regiment, the troop was reactivated in Vietnam using assets of Troop C, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry and was assigned to the Americal (23d Inf.) Division to provide aerial reconnaissance for the division.
Blueghost Green served with the troop as the Aero-Lift Detachment Commander from October 1, 1970, October 1, 1971.
BLUEGHOST BY CHOICE, NOT CHANCE!!!
Prior to flight school, I was a desk jockey (Battalion Adjutant / XO) at the training center at Fort Knox. My neighbor was a captain fresh from his tour as Blueghost’s infantry platoon leader and unit supply officer. His recollections of the unit’s cohesiveness was inspiring and (even though) my service obligation was almost complete, I extended for helicopter flight school in the hopes of being assigned to a unit with a spirit similar to that of Blueghost.
When I told my Dad about my decision to attend flight school, he mentioned that a co-workers son was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. (As it turned out, the pilot was Blueghost’s Gun Platoon Leader. Small world!)
Being a proud part of BLUEGHOST was my goal
After graduation from flight school (Class 70-26), I got my FAA Commercial Instrument license (never to be used) and shipped out to Vietnam. At the “REPO DEPOT”, I received orders for IV Corps. But, having spent time as a battalion adjutant, I knew assignment orders were merely a “starting point” IF the system was understood. A few inquiries resulted into new orders for the Americal Division in I Corps. (Unit assignments could only be obtained after reporting to Division). Once at the Americal’s orientation center, I hustled a jeep and drove to Blueghost’s orderly room to see if they would accept me IF I could get orders cut. “IF” is a smalI word and I was assigned as Blueghost’s aero-lift detachment commander less than 48 hours later. THE REST IS HISTORY!
As Blueghost’s “unofficial” historian, I am SEARCHING for individuals who served with BLUEGHOST for the collection of unit history, recollections, and re-establishment of the bonds that will never be forgotten.
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I wrote the following years ago and first shared it with others at the VHPA Reunion in 1991. Since then hundreds of copies have been made for others. Additionally, it received an award in the 1996 National Veterans Drama Competition (Original Solo Dramatic Reading) It is included on this page for your reading.
…AND YES, IT IS OKAY…
In my time, In my war – I saw too many die.
Friend and foe. Some by me, and others at my side.
Oh the pain… was so great, but yet no time to cry,
For the tears, just water… I knew that I could hide.
In my mind, tears could wait – would only cloud my view.
So I stood, as men fell – with tears that did not flow.
As time passed, and years went – the drought remained it’s true.
I stood tall, played the role… Emotions did not show.
I never did feel the pain, hidden so deep inside.
I never did feel the pain, and dared not question why.
Then one day, listened in – heard my heart was annoyed.
“Don’t leave me! I’m too good. I, too, a role to play.”
“Let me speak! Let me yell! You’ve kept me in a void.”
“Let my tears, gone so long, say what they have to say.”
With this thought – dropped my guard. Inside, began to cry.
My throat tight, heart racing, noticed my knees were weak.
The tears welled. One got loose. With haste I wiped it dry.
Fought the next (with success), the third ran down my cheek.
I finally felt the pain, hidden so deep inside.
I finally felt the pain, and hoped it was Okay.
Strange they felt, warm and wet. My heart called out to me.
“Yes, It’s strange, pain so deep. I know you must be scared.”
“Thank you so. You did well. To let your tears run free.”
“Takes such strength. Courage too! To show how much you cared.”
With this thought, I sat still, and watched them hit the floor.
As they did, reached inside, and let my heart feel free.
Tears still flow. They still fall. Thank God there are some more.
Sensations… Hid so long… A precious part of me.
I finally felt the pain, hidden so deep inside.
I finally felt the pain and felt it was Okay.
Yes, it hurts. Oh so much. Tears so thick – could not see.
Would they stop? Would they stop? I truly did not know.
“Let them flow! Let them flow!” My heart reminded me.
“They need to. They need to… If you still want to grow.”
It’s a fact. It’s the truth. Something I shouldn’t hide.
Learned a lot. That is true – Needed to feel the soul.
It’s a fact. It’s the truth. Something once hurt inside.
Pain remains. That is true – But now I feel I’m whole.
I finally felt the pain and, “Yes, it was Okay.”
I FINALLY FEEL THE PAIN AND, “YES, IT IS OKAY.”
RICHARD A. CRAWLEY (c. 1989)
“BLUEGHOST GREEN” F/8 ’70-’71
The above photo is the Blueghost sign I had on my hootches throughout my tour. The Ghost is guarding the beer and peanuts in the early days of Lam Son 719 at Quang Tri. I even carried it on my ships for those nights we remained overnight (RON) at Lang Vei. (Just for good luck!)
The center image is taken from a propaganda leaflet (circa May ’68). These are examples of the revised Blueghost logo. (NOTE: The initial logo had Blueghost flying – much like my little flyer on this page – with a mini-gun at its side.)
VHPA – Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
VHCMA – Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association
HELI-VETS – Internet web for Vietnam Helicopter Crew members
Ft Rucker Home Page (Army Aviaition Center)
Joe Kline Aviation Art
The Ultimate White Pages
Americal Division Veterans Association
Veteran/Military Web Sites
National Archives and Records Administration
Other Veteran Resources
But, then again… some days were better than others….. In the above photo, CPT Kline (Frank) and WO1 Peterson (Pete) enjoy the resort atmosphere at the O-Club we took over after moving to DaNang after Lam Son 719. The Marines left it for us!!!!! (Thanks to the USMC this country club on the South China Sea))