Major Rolla M. Breed, United States Army, retired. 1955 alumnus of Paris High School, Paris Arkansas and 1972 graduate of the University of Texas, El Paso. Private Breed served two years in the Arkansas National Guard and one year as a midshipman in the Naval Reserve before entering active duty in the Army in 1957. He served six years as an enlisted man, attaining the rank of Specialist 5, and was commissioned upon graduation from Artillery and Missile Officer Candidate School on the day after President John F, Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. He was assigned to an Air Defense Battery in the Saint Louis Defense until selection for flight training in 1965. His first assignment out of flight school was with the 116th Assault Helicopter Company where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star with V device, and two Army Commendation Medals with V Device. After a tour as an Instructor Pilot at Fort Wolters, Texas, he returned to Viet Nam to serve as Operations Officer and Scout Platoon Leaser in D Troop, 3/5 Cavalry, earning two Silver Stars, another Distinguished Flying Cross, the Soldiers Medal, two Air Medals with V device, another Army Commendation Medal, and a Purple Heart. He was also awarded the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. His 2702 hours of combat time piloting helicopters earned him 81 Air Medals. After retirement from the Army, Rolla was an engineer for General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Sikorsky Aircraft. He has been inducted into the Paris High School Hall of Fame and the Artillery and Missile OCS Hall of Fame.
The order for the Distinguished Service Cross reads: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain (then First Lieutenant) Breed distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on the night of 22 December 1966 while flying in a flight of nine troop helicopters responsible for extracting beleaguered elements of the 25th Infantry Division. Throughout the day, extremely intense hostile fire had taken its toll of infantry and helicopters. When his aircraft received several damaging hits on the first landing, Captain Breed skillfully flew to a secure area to make repairs and evacuate his wounded crew chief. Returning to the battle, he dauntlessly braved the hostile fire and impending darkness to successfully extract a lift of troops. When an aircraft was shot down on departure, Captain Breed accompanied three other aircraft back into the besieged pickup zone. As the flight attempted to insert a security force, two of the helicopters were raked by hostile fire and crashed. With complete disregard for his own safety, he selflessly remained over the battlefield, hovering in the darkness and rain, until he could safely land his troops and evacuate five of his wounded comrades. After refueling, Captain Breed voluntarily led another flight of reinforcements on a successful lift into the ravaged pickup zone. When intense Viet Cong fire brought down another helicopter, he again deliberately risked his life to rescue the wounded crew. Exposing himself to the intense fire and hazardous conditions, he courageously flew into the center of the conflict for the fifth time and extracted two more wounded men. His repeated gallantry under the most critical conditions, helped save many lives. Captain Breed’s extraordinary heroism 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.
Briefing on Cheyenne prototype by Lockheed chief test pilot Don Segnor.
Captain Richard A. Carvell, United States Air Force, Jonesboro. He is a 1966 graduate of Arkansas State College. Carvell commissioned in the Air Force in 1967 and served honorably until his release in 1971. During that time he served in the 12th Recon Intelligence Technical Squadron where he earned a Bronze Star. Upon completion of his Military Service Captain Carvell earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Illinois.
While he was deployed he served in the 12th Recon Intelligence Technical Squadron a Vietnam assignment, June 1970-1971. Served as 12RITS Civic Action Officer to help orphans at Sanctuary de Phu My in Saigon. After leaving the Air Force, Captain Carvell returned to Arkansas State University, teaching for 37 years, including 19 years as chair of the Department of Radio-Television. He retired in 2008.
Captain Carvell has been an active member of American Legion Pickett Post #21 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter #26, both in Jonesboro. He has been the Nettleton school Board Preside from 1987-2010. Active in the Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Jonesboro, with service as Board of Trustees Chair, Finance Committee Member, and Administrative Council Member. He was appointed to five-member American Legion Boys State Commission. He has also served as the Vice President of the Tan Son Nhut Association, a national Vietnam Veteran organization.
Private Herman Davis, United States Army, deceased. Born in Manila he was initially rejected for military service because he was only 5’3”. He was eventually drafted on 4 March 1918 and set sail to France. He served as a scout and encountered poison gas on numerous occasions. During this time he earned the Distinguished Service Cross and was listed fourth on General John J. (Black Jack) Pershing’s list of greatest heroes of World War I.
Davis was a scout and was required to go out in advance of his company. Many times, he encountered poison gas. On patrol in a valley near Verdun, his platoon came under fire from a German machine gun situated on a hill on Molleville Farm. Davis crawled within fifty yards of the gun and killed four enemy gunners. In other engagements, Davis was credited for killing fifteen enemy gunners in a machine gun nest and eleven enemy soldiers climbing out of a dugout. Another time, a group of enemy soldiers were trying to set up a machine gun in an area they thought was out of range of American troops. Davis shot and killed five of the enemy soldiers. He reportedly stated that 1,000 yards was “just good shootin’ distance.” Davis was honorably discharged from the Army on May 29, 1919.
The United States awarded Davis the Distinguished Service Cross. The narrative reads as follows: The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Private Herman Davis, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company I, 113th Infantry Regiment, 29th Division, A.E.F., at Molleville Farm, France, 10 October 1918. On duty as a company runner, Private Davis was accompanying the left assault platoon of his company during the advance through the woods, when it was fired on by an enemy machine gun. As soon as the gun opened fire the members of the platoon scattered and attempted to flank the gun, but Private Davis pushed on ahead, being the first to reach the nest, attacked it single handed, and killed the four enemy gunners. His gallant act enabled his platoon to continue the advance.
Davis returned to Manila and began work at the Big Lake Hunting Club. He told no one about his war record or his exposure to poison gas. His friends and family learned of his heroism only after Pershing’s list was published. At their insistence, he took the medals from a tackle box and reluctantly showed them.
By mid-1922, Davis’s health began to fail. His exposure to poison gas during the war caused him to develop tuberculosis, and he eventually became too weak to work. Members of the Dud Cason American Legion Post in Blytheville transported him to the Veteran’s Hospital in Memphis for surgery, where he died during an operation on January 5, 1923.
Colonel Jesse J. Lewis, Jr., National Guard/Army Reserve, Retired, Fort Smith. Col. Lewis was born in Danville, VA and a 1964 graduate of Southwest University. Upon graduation he joined the Army and graduated Officer’s Candidate School in 1966. After a tour in Vietnam and completion of active duty he transferred to the National Guard. His civilian employer brought him to Fort Smith where he continued his service. His awards include the Army Air Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal (1 oak leaf cluster), and the Army Legion of Merit. Colonel Lewis retired after a combined 32 years of service in the National Guard and Army Reserve.
During his dual careers, Col. Lewis remained active in his community, civic and military support organizations such as Sebastian Masonic Lodge #706 and the Victory Masonic Lodge. He is a member of the Scottish Rite, 32nd degree, a charter and life member of the Darby Rangers Military Officers Association of America, and has served as President of that group. Jesse is a Life Member and Past commander of American Legion Post #31, and a member of the Army Officer’s Candidate School Hall of Fame. Col. Lewis retains life membership in the Reserve Officer’s Association, the Americal Division Veteran’s Association, and the National Rifle Association.
Major General Lewis E. Lyle, United States Air Force, deceased. A native of Pine Bluff General Lyle began his military flying career as a B-17 pilot in the European Theater during World War II. It was during WWII when he earned numerous awards including the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star (2 oak leaf clusters), Legion of Merit (1 oak leaf cluster), and the Distinguished Flying Cross (3 oak leaf clusters). In 1967 General Lyle retired after completing over 26 years of service.
Lewis Lyle began his military career as an infantry lieutenant in 1938, entering active duty in 1940 in an anti-tank company. He was selected to become an aviation cadet in 1941 and received his pilot wings in December of that year. He logged more than 6,500 hours flying time and among his decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with two clusters, two Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three clusters, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with nine clusters, the British Distinguished Flying Cross and the French Croix De Guerre. He retired in 1967 as a U.S. Air Force Major General.
On July 22, 1944 the Distinguished Service Cross was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel (Air Corps) Lewis Elton Lyle, United States Army Air Forces, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a B-17 Heavy Bomber in the 360th Bombardment Squadron, 303d Bombardment Group (H), EIGHTH Air Force, while participating in bombing missions from 17 November 1942 through 15 June 1944. During this period Lieutenant Colonel Lyle has served as Pilot of a heavy bomber on forty-six combat missions against the enemy over Continental Europe. He has voluntarily flown on many dangerous missions since completing his normal tour of operations, leading bombing formations against well-defended targets in France, Germany, and Poland. Upon one occasion, while leading a group on a deep and extremely hazardous penetration to the heart of Germany, Lieutenant Colonel Lyle's airplane had one engine shot out and suffered other damage. Displaying gallant leadership and exceptional flying skill, Lieutenant Colonel Lyle continued on to bomb his target. Neither adverse weather nor enemy resistance has ever deterred Lieutenant Colonel Lyle from completing an assigned mission. The heroism, brilliant leadership, and unflinching determination to inflict damage upon the enemy, regardless of the dangers involved, displayed by Lieutenant Colonel Lyle uphold the highest traditions of the Armed Forces of the United States.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 James R. Oden, United States Army, Rogers. Drafted into service during World War II he served in Japan with the US Occupation Forces. He served with the US Army 25th Infantry Division during the Korean Conflict. He also served two combat tours in Vietnam as a heavy lift helicopter pilot. Through three military conflicts he earned many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Bronze Stars, 20 Air Medal (one with valor). In 1968 he retired after completing over 27 years of service.
He was one of the first pilots qualified to fly the complex CH-54 Skycrane and was trained at the Sikorky aircraft factory as an instructor pilot 1964. In 1968, Chief Oden was selected by the Army for the highly classified test mission to drop 10000 pound high explosive bombs from the sky crane into the jungles of Vietnam to create instant Landing zones for helicopter combat assault. After the mission was Declassified and photos the tests were publicized, Chief Oden was known throughout Army Aviation as the skycrane bomber pilot and was declared a war criminal by Hanoi Hannah, a radio propaganda personality in North Vietnam.
In 1969 he was assigned to the 291st HH company at Fort Sill completing the following duties: dropping a Space Capsule from 13,000 feet to test the parachute rigging, took a 1/10 scale model of the shuttle to 14,000 feet to test guidance systems, developing firefighting techniques using a 1,000 gallon of water bucket, developing a procedure to dissipate fog by spraying it with a mixture of ammonia and urea to open landing zones and airports, and in 1972 as Pilot In Charge took a CH 54 and crew to Panama to attempt to displace the fog in the canal.
James Oden 20 February 1954 swearing in as 2nd Lieutenant
Lieutenant Colonel Aubrey B. Stacy, United States Army, Malvern. Lt Col Stacy is a 1966 Distinguished Military Graduate of Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. He completed two combat infantry tours in Vietnam; where he earned the 2 Silver Star Medals, 2 Bronze Star Medals (one with a Valor Device), 2 Purple Hearts and an Air Medal. In 1989 he retired after completing over 22 years of service.
On April 23, 1968 the Silver Star was presented to First Lieutenant (Infantry) Aubrey Bruce Stacy, United States Army, for gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force. First Lieutenant Stacy distinguished himself by heroic actions on 23 June 1967, while serving as a Platoon Leader with Company A, 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, on a combat operation in the Republic of Vietnam. When his platoon sustained several casualties Lieutenant Stacy immediately placed his men on line and assaulted the enemy emplacements. He successfully overran the enemy positions and continued to pursue the Viet Cong although several heavy explosions rocked his track, causing the radio to be rendered useless. He then exposed himself to the intense enemy fire to give arm signals to his men, and succeeded in killing many of the fleeing insurgents. Lieutenant Stacy's personal bravery, aggressiveness, and devotion to duty are 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.