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Army Aviator Ends 43-Year Career

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  • Army Aviator Ends 43-Year Career

    Bravo Zulu!

    Face of Defense: Army Aviator Ends 43-Year Career <http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58485>
    Fri, 26 Mar 2010 09:45:00 -0500


    Face of Defense: Army Aviator Ends 43-Year Career


    By Eric Durr
    New York National Guard

    RONKONOMA, N.Y., March 26, 2010 - When Chief Warrant Officer Herb Dargue joined the Army as a helicopter pilot, the Beatles' "Penny Lane" topped the charts, the UH-1C Huey was the hottest "chopper" flying, and actor William Shatner was "Star Trek's" Captain Kirk on prime time TV.
    Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

    Initiated Chief Petty Officer
    Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

  • #2
    What's great is that he potentially served those 43 years flying the same model helo.
    ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

    BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

    BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Gixxer86g View Post
      What's great is that he potentially served those 43 years flying the same model helo.
      The NYARNG aviation unit stationed at MacArthur Airport uses the Blackhawk.

      Kudos and thanks to CWO Dargue

      Here's an article from Newsday (LI's daily newspaper):
      http://www.newsday.com/long-island/s...tire-1.1831478
      I am going to quote the whole article only because Newsday.com does not allow free access to non-Cablevision subscribers.

      As an aviator, Chief Warrant Officer Herb A. Dargue represents the end of the line, both for the New York Army National Guard and for the Dargue family itself.

      The veteran helicopter pilot, a hale 62, whose retirement Friday ends a military career that began in the 1960s, is the last Vietnam War pilot still flying for the New York Guard.

      The Brookhaven resident is also the last pilot in a family whose aviation roots reach to the dawn of military flight.

      "I'm very proud of my grandfather," said Dargue, who flies Blackhawks with the Guard's 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation unit, based in Ronkonkoma. "He was at the very beginning of military flight."

      His grandfather, Maj. Gen. Herbert A. Dargue, flew two-seat biplanes during General Pershing's 1916 pursuit of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. Two years earlier, he was the first pilot to use a radio in flight.

      CWO Dargue's career as a helicopter pilot began with the muscular enthusiasm of youth 43 years ago in Vietnam, a 20-year-old Army airman dodging death at the controls of a multimillion-dollar aircraft. Dargue does not want it to end with a whimper - a retirement party, handshakes from colleagues, a final goodbye.

      "I'm looking for a job," said Dargue, of Brookhaven, whose last flight with the Guard is scheduled for this morning. "Flying is in my blood."

      Flying is also amply represented on his resume.

      Other pilots express astonishment at his more than 20,000 hours at the controls.

      After flying combat missions in the Mekong Delta, Dargue left the Army in 1969 to work as a helicopter pilot, ferrying traffic reporters above Washington, D.C., for a capital radio station. Later he provided helicopter training for the Iranian military, from 1977 to 1979 when the overthrow of the shah forced Dargue to flee. He joined the Guard in 1980 while keeping his day job as a corporate pilot based in New York. But in 2005, Dargue found himself again in a combat zone, when his unit was deployed to Iraq.

      An amazing career

      "I don't know anyone with 20,000 hours in helicopters," said Richard Schmitt, of Danbury, Conn., who flew corporate choppers for 40 years, before retiring in 1999. "It represents an amazing career in helicopters. I probably have 1,700 or 2,000 hours, which is very respectable in military aviation."

      Schmitt, 67, who also flew helicopters in Dargue's Guard unit, described Dargue as a low-key professional whose experience has steeled fellow Guardsmen.

      "He's not a flash dancer, so to speak - he's rock-steady Herb," Schmitt said. "I think the example that he sets rubs off on others - keeping your head and doing the job with very little fanfare."

      His calm demeanor probably saved his life on at least four occasions, when he went down while flying helicopters whose power quit.

      Each time, he coolly used the helicopter's own downward momentum to power the rotor and steer himself to safety.His Long Island roots

      "He's an aviator's aviator," said Keshner, 66, of Great Neck, who flew up from his Florida winter home to attend Dargue's Champagne-doused send-off Friday. "He's the end of an era for all the Vietnam guys."

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      • #4
        The veteran helicopter pilot, a hale 62, whose retirement Friday ends a military career that began in the 1960s, is the last Vietnam War pilot still flying for the New York Guard.

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        • #5
          That's a good run.

          A Brit one came to light last year, in 1982 had flown in the Falklands as a RM sgt pilot and was decorated, last year he was flying Apache in Afg, this time as a Lt Cdr RNVR. His day job is a 'civilian' flying instructor on Apache at the AAC Centre. He'd helped train all the pilots in the sqn he was posted to in Afg!

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