Captain Tollie Adkins, Jr., was born in Bruno Arkansas and is currently living in Fort Smith. He served with the U.S. Army in Viet Nam. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat, and the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters. During Captain Adkins assignment with the 118th Assault Helicopter Company as an Aircraft Commander, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The General Orders read: “For heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty Captain Adkins distinguished himself on 12 September 1966, while piloting a UH-1D helicopter evacuating casualties and delivering supplies to elements of the 25th infantry Divisions near Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. With two loads remaining a supporting artillery barrage was initiated which precluded climbing to altitude and making the usual tactical approach. He was forced to fly beneath the artillery fire to the infantrymen. As he departed after delivering the final load, bullets ripped through the cockpit, fuselage, and main rotor blades of the aircraft. Feeling a sharp pain in his leg, he knew that he had been wounded. Glancing across the cockpit as he fought to regain control of the ship, he saw that his co-pilot was in convulsions from mortal wounds in his neck and head. Struggling to counteract the pressures being exerted on the controls by his dying co-pilot, and with the radios and intercom rendered useless by the enemy fire, he yelled instructions to his crew as they held the co-pilot off the controls and applied pressure to slow the flow of blood. With vibrations and feedback in the controls of the crippled ship growing more severe and a painful bullet wound in his leg, he expertly executed a running landing on the Cu Chi airstrip. His courageous actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”
Lieutenant Colonel Billy Bert Dooly, US Army, retired, Fort Smith and served two tours in Viet Nam. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, the Air Medal with 22 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Lieutenant Colonel Dooly’s Distinguished Flying Cross narrative reads. “Captain Dooly distinguished himself by heroic actions on 8 October 1966, in the republic of Viet Nam. While serving as Aircraft Commander of a UH-1D helicopter, Captain Dooly was given the mission of evacuating wounded personnel from elements of the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry. Although the ground forces were receiving heavy enemy automatic weapons fire, he elected to attempt the approach into a small landing zone. Captain Dooly skillfully maneuvered his helicopter into the landing zone while under intense automatic weapons fire. After the two seriously wounded soldiers were successfully evacuated, he returned to the operational area. Discovering that there were more wounded men in the landing zone, Captain Dooly, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, again flew his helicopter through the hostile ground fire. Although an intense rainstorm had reduced visibility to near zero, he personally directed the loading of the wounded men aboard the aircraft and successfully departed the landing zone. Captain Dooly's quiet courage, initiative, professional skill, and determination to accomplish this mission resulted in a successful medical evacuation of several seriously wounded soldiers. Captain Dooly's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.”
Private First Class James R. Glidewell, deceased, Killed in Action, US Army, World War II. Private First Class Glidewell is from rural route 5, Jonesboro. Some of his awards include the Silver Star for gallantry in action, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, and the Purple Heart. Private First Class Glidewell was a farm hand when called to active duty in the U.S. Army one month following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Three years later, he was a member of Company I, 63rd Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division on Luzon Island, the Philippines.
Private First Class Glidewell’s narrative for receiving the Silver Star reads, “For gallantry in action against the enemy near (Location Classified), on 4 February 1945. Private Glidewell located an enemy concrete pillbox from which our troops were receiving intense machine gun fire. He then crawled forward of our front lines, killing several of the enemy with his browning automatic rifle enroute, until he had reached a point from which he could throw grenades into the pillbox. Before he had an opportunity to destroy the enemy installation, he was fatally wound by sniper fire. Private Glidewell’s cool courage and unselfish devotion to duty reflect high credit upon the military service."
Colonel Jerrell Everrett Hamby, deceased, US Army, from Jonesboro. Known in some circles as the “Grizzly”, Colonel Hamby served one tour as a Sergeant with the US Marine Corps in the Korean War and two in Vietnam as a commissioned US Army Officer. Some of his awards include the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action, Bronze Star Medal, with “V” device for valor, two Bronze Star Medals for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, five Purple Heart Medals for wounds suffered in combat, two Meritorious Service Medals, eleven Air Medals, one with “V” device, and the Army Commendation Medal.
COL Hamby's highest award, the Silver Star, was awarded due to his actions on 29 April 1970 while serving with the 2"d Battalion (Airmobile), 502nd Infantry, during combat operations in Thua Thien Province, Republic of Vietnam. When a platoon from the battalion made contact with an enemy force, Major Hamby immediately arrived by helicopter and moved to the point of contact. Assessing the situation, he found that an on-line assault on the enemy bunker was necessary. Leading the platoon, Major Hamby came under intense automatic weapons fire from the front bunker. Disregarding the enemy fire, he moved forward and single-handedly assaulted the bunker with his pistol and two hand grenades. After silencing the position, Major Hamby moved to a nearby bunker and was wounded by an enemy grenade. Despite his wounds, he assaulted the position and silenced it with his final grenade. Refusing medical evacuation, Major Hamby continued to lead the assault until the complex was taken
Lieutenant Colonel David Harrington, United States Army, retired, Maumelle. Colonel Harrington joined the US Navy following graduation from high school and served three years. Then, in 1962 he enlisted in the US Army. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and entered training with the Army’s elite Special Forces Green Berets. Colonel Harrington served two combat tours in Vietnam earning two Bronze Star Medals for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, the Meritorious Service Medal, nine awards of the Air Medal, and two Army Commendation Medals. Colonel Harrington’s terminal assignment was with the 5th Infantry Division, “The Red Devils,” Fort Polk, Louisiana. Following his retirement from the Army, he became Vice President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Baton Rouge. Returning to Arkansas, he was appointed Director of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission. Additionally, he was appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton to the Intergovernmental Policy Advisor Committee to the U.S. Trade Commission, and to the Industry Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
Captain Carmie Henry, United States Navy Reserve, retired, Little Rock. Captain Henry served almost five-years active duty, which included two combat tours in Vietnam. He was an Airborne Radar Intercept Officer flying 175 combat missions. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal and nine Air Medals. Following release from active duty he became an active Naval reservist serving for twenty-five years. As a civilian, he served on the staffs of three U.S. Senators (McClellan, Hodges, and Pryor), and on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee before joining the Arkansas Electric Cooperative as VP for Government Affairs, serving for seventeen years. Captain Henry’s civilian awards include the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s William F. Matson Democracy Award. Further, he served twenty-years on the Little Rock Air Base Community Counsel and advocated to exempt military retirement pay from Arkansas income tax.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert Allen Johnson, US Army, retired, Fort Smith. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, the Meritorious Service Medal, twenty-four awards of the Air Medal, one with “V” device. Mister Johnson enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1962 and served a combat tour in Vietnam. Discharged six years later having attained the grade of Staff Sergeant, he entered the Army’s Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight Training. Graduating from flight school in 1969, he requested assignment as a Medical Evacuation Pilot and was assigned to Vietnam flying the UH-1 Huey helicopter.
The following is the narrative for award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dates of action, 20-21 May 1970, Theater: Republic of Viet Nam. “For heroism, while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam: Warrant Officer W1 Johnson distinguished himself while commanding a helicopter ambulance during rescue operations in the Hiep Duc Valley. Responding to an urgent request to evacuate American soldiers wounded in combat with a large hostile force, Warrant Officer Johnson and his crew sped to the embattled area. Although, receiving intense enemy fire, Mister Johnson landed his helicopter in the pickup zone and evacuated the wounded personnel. Then, returning to the evacuation site, Warrant Officer Johnson descended his air ambulance amid the enemy fusillade and remained on station until all casualties were safely aboard. After refueling at Hawk Hill Aid Station, he again departed to the contact area and extracted six, injured ground troops while under constant enemy mortar barrages. The following morning Mister Johnson encountered a thick cloud layer which made the rescue attempt extremely hazardous due to the aircraft's vulnerability to enemy sniper fire when flying below the clouds. Undaunted, Warrant Officer Johnson skillfully flew his airship into the zone and successfully secured the remaining casualties. Warrant Officer W1 Johnson's outstanding flying ability and devotion to duty. were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army Mr. Johnson and his crew successfully evacuated 17 American troops to an intermediate medical facility.”
Colonel William Arthur Kehler, US Air Force, retired, North Little Rock. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Legion of Merit Awards, three awards of the Meritorious Service Medal and twelve Air Medals. Colonel Kehler logged approximately 4,600 flying hours during his 30-year career. Over 700 of these flying hours were combat time in Southeast Asia, flying 90 combat missions. He had multiple temporary duty assignments to Danang Air Base, Tan Son Nhut and Cam Rahn Bay, Republic of Vietnam, flying the C-123 Provider and the C-130 Hercules. His state side assignments include Chief, US Air Force Officer Force Structure; Deputy Commander, 60th Military Airlift Wing, flying the C-141 Starlifter; Commander, 314th Tactical Airlift Wing and Deputy Director of USAF Personnel Plans.
The citation that accompanied the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross reads:
“Major William A. Kehler distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an AC-130 Gunship Pilot over Southeast Asia on 7 June 1973. On that date, while on a Mekong River convoy escort mission, his actions led to the destruction of two hostile shore artillery batteries. Under the threat of antiaircraft artillery fire, he succeeded in escorting the river convoy to Phnom Penh; thereby bringing much needed supplies and ammunition to the beleaguered city. The professional competence, aerial skill, and devotion to duty displayed by Major Kehler reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”
Major James Edward Largent, United States Army Reserve, retired, Paragould. Major Largent enlisted in the National Guard and advanced to the grade of Senior NCO, Sergeant First Class He attended Officer Candidate School graduating as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers and retired as a Major from the Active Guard Reserves in 1992 His awards include three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals and two awards of the Army Achievement Medal. Major Largent voluntarily accompanies the Arkansas National Guard’s Military Honor Guard team of two enlisted soldiers, performing funeral services for all eligible veterans, regardless of their grade. Since 2013 he has participated in almost 500 funerals, averaging about 4,000 miles annually in his own vehicle, at his personal expense. As a retiree, he is not eligible for reimbursement. Major Largent has said he plans to continue working with the team until being told he is too old to continue.
Lieutenant Colonel Artis Tee Lofton, Sr. United States Army, deceased. Colonel Lofton’s awards include four Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and the Army Achievement Medal. Colonel Lofton was born in Forrest City, graduated high school in Hughes, and was commissioned in the Regular Army through the ROTC program, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Following an assignment to West Berlin in 1984, he became Professor of Military Science at Florida Southern College, Lakeland, Florida. Retiring after twenty years of active Federal service in 1994, he established the Junior ROTC program at North Little Rock High School. He served there for eighteen years until retiring in 2012 as the Senior Army Junior ROTC Instructor. Additionally, Lieutenant Colonel Lofton served as President for three years and 1st and 2nd Vice for four years in the Pulaski County University of Pine Bluff/AM&N Alumni Association. Further, in 1995, he was selected for induction into the National Alumni Association Hall of Fame.
Major James Edward Mason, III, retired, Searcy, US Army. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal, for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement, the Purple Heart, two Air Medals, one with “V” device for valor, and the Army Commendation Medal.
In January 1970, Major Mason was assigned to the 114th Aviation Company (Assault Helicopter), in the Republic of Vietnam as an Aircraft Commander of a helicopter gunship in support of ground troops.
The narrative for his second Distinguished Flying Cross reads: “For heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond-the call of duty: Captain Mason distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while serving as the aircraft commander of a helicopter gunship in support of friendly ground forces near Chi Lang. As he arrived over the area, his aircraft became the target of intense enemy automatic weapons and anti-aircraft fire from numerous positions. With contact established with the ground forces, target attacks were initiated on the enemy. Each pass was met with enemy fire so intense that his aircraft was hit numerous times in the fuel cell. Losing vast quantities of fuel, Captain Mason, rather than seek a secure airfield, continued to brave the enemy fire and place his rockets on the enemy with devastating accuracy. Pass after pass was made on the advancing enemy until still more hits in his aircraft made prolonged flight impossible. Reluctantly, he was forced to break station in search of a secure area. Finding a secure rice paddy, he landed his riddled aircraft and immediately assured that no further damage had resulted. Due to Captain Mason's highly skilled and superior flying ability, coupled with his daring courage and bravery, the ground forces were able to take the offensive and mount a counterattack that resulted in the over running of the enemy. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.”
Technical Sergeant 3d Grade Delbert Edwin Rogers, deceased, Monticello, United States Army, World War II. Some of he was awards include the Distinguished Service Medal for his exceptional service in his duty, the Silver Star for gallantry in action, and Bronze Star Medal for exceptionally meritorious combat achievement. While assigned as a Company Scout with the 2nd Squadron, 7th Regiment, official nickname “Gary Owen,” 1st Calvary Division, he was awarded the Silver Star and the narrative reads.
“Private Delbert Rogers, Cavalry, United States Army, for gallantry in action at Luzon Island, Philippine Islands, on 29 April 1945. Private Roger's patrol moving along the bank of a river, was ambushed by an undetermined number of Japanese armed with automatic weapons and rifles. The initial burst of fire so seriously wounded one of the men that he was helpless to move, and the remainder of the six man patrol took cover behind a twelve inch rice paddy dike which was the only available protection and route of escape. By taking advantage of the cover of the river bank and protective fire from their automatic weapons, the enemy attacked and reached a position ten yards from the dike. Realizing the perilous situation Private Rogers unhesitatingly and at the risk of his life, stood in a fully exposed position with two other companions and rapidly poured heavy rifle and grenade fire on the enemy lying behind the river bank, killing three and forcing the remainder to flee. He then went to assist the rest of the patrol, who during the brief counterattack had succeeded in dragging and carrying the wounded man partially across the rice paddy to a position of safety. His conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty saved a wounded comrade from certain death, prevented heavy casualties from being inflicted on the patrol, and accounted for several enemy dead.”
Colonel Donald Harrison Stokes, Junior, United States Air Force, retired, Hot Springs Village. Colonel Stokes enlisted in the Air Force in 1964, serving a combat tour in Saigon, Phan Rang, and Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam, before being released from active duty as a Sergeant in 1968. He entered the Air Force Reserve until returning to active duty in the Air Force and completing Officer training in 1976. Colonel Stokes retired with more than twenty-five years active Federal service in 2002. His awards include the Legion of Merit, nine Meritorious Service Medals, the Joint Services Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. Retiring to Hot Springs Village, he served as Commander and Quartermaster with the VFW Post, working countless hours to give the post the much needed leadership required to maintain support for Veterans and the surrounding communities. Additionally, Colonel Stokes participated in the Flag Education Program for K-3 children at three local schools and served on the Hot Springs Village Veterans’ Memorial Board.
Captain John Yancey, deceased, Little Rock, United States Marine Corps, World War II and Korean War. Some of his awards include two Navy Crosses the Bronze Star with “V” for heroism, and two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat. Because of his actions on Guadalcanal, Corporal Yancey was awarded the Navy Cross and given a battlefield promotion to Second Lieutenant. At the end of World War II, he was released from active duty and joined the Marine Corps Reserve Unit in Little Rock. At the outbreak of the Korean War, John was called to active duty for his second combat tour and was awarded his second Navy Cross.
"For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine infantry battalion in Korea on 27 and 28 November 1950. First Lieutenant Yancey was serving as the leader of the 2nd platoon of his infantry company which was assigned the mission of defending the high ground north of Yudam-ni, Korea. On the night of 27 and day of 28 November when his company came under savage and sustained attack by a force of approximately two enemy battalions and the enemy had broken through the 3rd platoon positions, with complete disregard for his own personal safety he ran to the 3rd Platoon lines through heavy enemy fire and into the midst of the enemy, fighting hand to hand and yelling words of encouragement to the men of the 3rd platoon. He so inspired the men that the enemy break through was stopped and although a bullet had penetrated his left cheek and lodged in his neck, he directed the reorganization of the 3rd platoon. After reorganizing the 3rd platoon and upon discovering that his company commander had been killed, Lieutenant Yancey went from platoon to platoon through heavy enemy fire, directing the reorganization of the entire company. Although wounded two more times, Lieutenant Yancey refused to be evacuated and continued to lead and inspire his men to repulse two more enemy attacks, and only when he was weakened by loss of blood and could no longer see because of his facial wounds did he consent to evacuation. His aggressive and positive leadership and determination in the face of overwhelming odds inspired all who served with him and were directly instrumental in the defense of the company’s position. Lieutenant Yancey's display of outstanding courage and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Major Kenneth Earl Zellmer, United States Air Force, retired, Sherwood, Viet Nam. Some of his awards include two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Meritorious Service Medal, twenty Air Medals, the Joint Services Commendation Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. During his over twenty years active duty he logged approximately 6,000 flying hours. Over 1,200 of those hours were combat time---from 600 combat missions in Southeast Asia. Stationed in the Philippines, Major Zellmer flew the C-130 Hercules performing all-weather day/night tactical airlift operations to major and austere runways in mostly Vietnam and Thailand.
The narrative for his second Distinguished Flying Cross reads: “Captain Kenneth E. Zellmer distinguished himself by extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as an A-37 Pilot in Southeast Asia on 1 May 1971. On that date, Captain Zellmer was scrambled off the alert pad at Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, in support of friendly troops under attack by a large hostile force. Despite intense ground fire, Captain Zellmer placed all his ordnance exactly on target. His extremely accurate ordnance delivery caused heavy damage to the hostile force, and helped the friendly forces repel the hostile attack. The professional competence, aerial skill and devotion to duty displayed by Captain Zellmer reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.”