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sf11b_p
03-19-2005, 12:53
Article published Mar 18, 2005
Army pays tribute to downed pilot from Vietnam War

The Associated Press

Soldiers at Redstone Arsenal paid tribute to a pilot shot down during the Vietnam War whose remains were returned to Alabama for burial.

The remains of Army Chief Warrant Officer Randy Ard were returned to Huntsville on Thursday. A special motorcade transported Ard's casket through the Army base and more than 600 soldiers stood at attention along the motorcade's route.

Ard was a 20-year-old helicopter pilot when he was shot down over Loas in March 1971.

His remains were identified in December by a special Army lab in Hawaii. His family learned the results in January.

"I'm glad for his family that he is home," said retired Army Command Sgt. Major Jack Hoffman, a Vietnam veteran who served 30 years in the Army and took part in Thursday's tribute. "It's also a tribute to our military today that 34 years after this man was shot down they have gone out and found his remains and returned them to his family for a proper burial."

Ard's helicopter was shot down by enemy soldiers in Laos just across the Vietnam-Laos border near the village of Ban Kahn, killing one man and injuring Ard, the Army says.

Ard had two broken legs and a shattered pelvis in the crash, but the other two passengers managed to drag him free of the wrecked helicopter.

According to military reports, Ard held the enemy soldiers back with a pistol for some time while the others made it to safety. Ard was buried near the village.

Ard will be buried Saturday with military honors at the Marshall Memorial Gardens in Albertville, his hometown. - AP

CWO Randy Ard and Lt. Col. Sheldon Burnett were both reported MIA resulting from this incident occuring during operation LAM SON 719.

May 1979 both were declared "Dead/Body Not Recovered".

http://www.wjwoodham69.homestead.com/MIA.html

Trip_Wire (RIP)
03-19-2005, 23:05
RIP

Welcome Home Chief Warrant Officer Randy Ard

Hooahman
03-19-2005, 23:30
Welcome home Chief, Blue skies.




JB