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In Memory of Dan Shifflet
Mike, Dick Crawley, Ernie , Dan Shifflet
Dan only spent a few months with the Troop but lots of close friendships were made. For reason unknown, he was quartered in one of the RLO hootches which made him the brunt of many jokes.
On January 23, 1971, he was shot down and I was flying the recovery helicopter. The recovery crew and one of the crew had to work together to extricate him from the aircraft.
I always wondered what had happened to him after that crash.
Well, a few decades later at the VHPA reunion in New Orleans, we rented the paddle boat for the afternoon and I was standing on the top deck when I looked down one deck and saw Dan standing there with Ernie Arzabal.
The grin on my face seemed to touch my ears as I ran down the stairs to give him a hug.
He looked at me and said, "Do you remember who I am?"
I said, "Sure, I’m the one who picked up your sorry ass on January 21, 1971."
He grinned and the small talk commenced to bring us up to date.
I asked him what he was doing and he said he was a defense attorney.
I paused and dead-panned, "Shit, had I known that was going to happen, I would have left you on the ground."
We broke out in a roaring laughter and sealed forever our friendship.
I’ll miss and continue to think of him often.
We all have fond memories of Dan,the good times had at reunions and his great sense of humor . Many of us knew Dan because of the reunions, he will be missed .