David Medina ’70

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David Medina
Medina medals

David Medina
Spec 5, Army

David Medina

David Medina, Class of ’70 was the sixteenth and final Bruin to be lost in Vietnam.

At the time of his loss, David was part of a “Dust Off” crew (a medevac chopper). The following is a report of the incident:

Ranger Radio Relay team CUBS was inserted near the east side of the A Shau on April 23, 1971, and made contact seconds after insertion while moving off the LZ. The team leader [Duren] was wounded and a B Troop ship [68-16199] went back into the LZ an hour later with a new team leader [Vodden]. It deposited him on the LZ where he was also soon wounded. The ship was then was shot down while leaving the LZ. It crashed over the east side of the ridge line and turned upside down, trapping the pilot and co-pilot in the wreckage [Collum & Spiedel]. A medevac, Eagle Dustoff 913 (Berhens and Madison, 66-16588), came in and successfully extracted the wounded original team leader and a wounded door gunner from the B troop ship. It returned a short time later to extract more wounded and was shot down on the LZ, resulting in two KIA’s, medic SP5 Robert F. Speer and crew chief SP5 Michael L. Brummer and another killed later, crew member SP4 David P. Medina. The survivors had no radio contact through the night, and the next morning [24th] D troop was inserted into a hot LZ, just north of the team's position. About this time a member of the radio relay team was shot, SP4 Johnnie R. Sly, while trying to retrive a radio from the LZ. He died shortly after recovering the radio. They finally had commo, and started working the guns around their location. D troop made an attempt to reach the team, but was ambushed while attempting to do so, and had 5 KIAs (CAPT Thomas D. Chenault, SP4 Christopher L. Vollmer, SP5 John W. Wilson, CPL Thomas H. Taft and SGT Jose A. Soto-Figueroa) and 14 wounded. At some time on the 24th B2502 was inserted, and later reinforced with the remainder of the 502 and A1-327. Finally on the April 25th a rescue team led by the Ranger C.O. [Ohle] and 4 volunteers reached the team and wounded survivors, and affected an extraction. Isako Malo was captured and became a POW for two years and SSGT James Champion was listed as MIA. All in all, a major effort by all involved.

Additional Note:
On 23 April 1971 a medevac flight from the 326th Medical Battalion (UH-1H tail number 66-16588) was downed by automatic weapons fire. One of the five crewmen died in the crash, and the other four men had to defend themselves from ground attack before they were rescued by friendly forces. Only two of the five survived:

SP4 David Phillip Medina, crew chief, died of wounds 30 Apr 71

Personal Data
Home of Record:   San Jose, CA

Date of Birth:         04/08/1952

Military Data
Service Branch:    Army of the United States (Regular)

Grade at Loss:        E5

Rank:                      Specialist Five

MOS or Specialty: 67N20:  UH-1 Helicopter Repairer

Length Service:     Less that one year

Unit:                        HHC, 326th Med BN, 101 ABN Div

Casualty Data
Start Tour:             12/05/1970

Incident Date:       04/23/1971

Casualty Date:       04/30/1971

Age at Loss:            19

Location:                Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam

Remains:                Body Recovered

Casualty Type:      Hostile, died of wounds

Casualty Reason:  Air Loss, Crash – Land – Helicopter – Crew

Casualty Detail:    Gun or small arms fire and additional injuries

On the Wall:             Panel 03W   Line 20