Ned Richard Heintz
23 year old Married, Caucasian, Male
Born on Jun 15, 1946
From: De Graff, Ohio
His tour of duty began on Dec 15, 1969
Casualty was on May 16, 1970 in Pleiku, South Vietnam
Hostile, died of wounds
Ground casualty multiple fragmentation wounds
Body was recovered
(Panel 10W - Line 50)
Richard Heintz was born on June 15, 1946 in Shelby County, Ohio. His parents were Vernon L. Heintz, who died in January 1992, and Ethel
Heintz, who died in August 1995.
age 13 in the 8th grade
graduated from Riverside High School in Logan County, Ohio in 1964 and from Ohio
State University in June 1968. He
was the student council president in high school, and played on the schools
varsity football and basketball teams. Being
from an agricultural family he was especially proud of the special honor he
received as being named the F.F.A. State Farmer of Ohio in 1964.
was married on September 15, 1968 to Karen Bishop of Arlington, Ohio.
His wife remarried and is Doctor Karen Forcht, a professor at James
Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Ned was commissioned through the ROTC program at Ohio State University,
entered the Army in November 1968 and completed his officer basic training at Ft
Knox, KY and completed flight school at Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia
in November 1969.
May 11, 1970 The 281st AHC established a forward operations base at
Camp Holloway, Pleiku, RVN in preparation for aerial operations into Cambodia.
At approximately 8:55 p.m. on May 11, 1970 the base at Camp Holloway came under
enemy rocket attack and Ned was seriously wounded when a rocket exploded in the
immediate area of his living quarters. The
same rocket also killed four crewmembers of the Wolf Pack gun platoon that were
in an adjoining tent. They
were Sgt. Joseph W. Cunningham, Sgt. Scott E. Sutherland, Sgt. Daniel J. Vaughan
and Specialist 4 Danny J. Taulbee. Also seriously wounded was 1st Lieutenant Jared H.
Bahre of the 1st Platoon (Rat Pack). Ned was immediately taken to the 71st Evacuation
Hospital in Pleiku, RVN. There,
despite the efforts of doctors and skilled medical personnel, Ned succumbed to
his wounds at 3:20 p.m. on May 16, 1970.
December 1970 at ceremonies on the Bowling Green State University campus, Ned's
widow, Mrs. Karen Heintz was presented posthumous awards by the University's
ROTC department. Mrs. Heintz was
presented with the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal with Second through Tenth Award
and the Purple Heart. She also
received decorations, which were awarded to her husband prior to his death,
including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam
brother Larry Heintz of 11620 West Elmore East Rd, Oak Harbor, Ohio and nephews
Matthew and David Heintz, and a niece Camille Heintz survive him.
Biography Prepared by: Roger C. Green Jr.
loved to play any kind of ball on Sunday afternoon with buddies.
He was always on winning teams. Baseball
in Pony League, his team won several championships.
Basketball his Jr. and Sr. years in high school. His team was League
champs and went to the Regionals. Football
his Senior year, the coach switched him from tight end after the first few games
when they couldn't score to fullback and put the fullback at halfback, and they
finished the season unbeaten and 1 and 2 in scoring and won the conference
title. He was truly a team player,
not caring what position he played, so long as he could contribute to the team.
He just seemed to be a natural born leader who was a people person who loved to voice his opinion. In high school, he was Student Council President both his Jr. and Sr. years and was President of the Future Farmers of America for 3 years and became a State Farmer. His Senior year, he led his Student Council in a debate in front of the student body on school finance before a much-needed school levy was to be voted on. Needless to say, the levy passed very easily.
After our trip to D.C. for the 281st Reunion and Memorial Service last July, Karen and I visited Ned's hometown, DeGraff, Ohio and met with his Senior Class Secretary who stated that their classmates have maintained a $500 per year scholarship in his honor for the past 30 years.
before he left for Viet Nam, he and his wife, Karen, bought a farm about 2 miles
from Mom and Dad, and he was planning on farming and maybe doing some crop
dusting or spraying when he returned. He
spent his last 6 weeks before he left working on his farm and making plans.
HE ALWAYS HAD A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
nearly 5 years older than Ned, our interests were at a different level.
I regret that we could not share our adult lives together.
Even with the age difference, we did have a fierce competition in
anything we participated in. HE WAS ONE TOUGH LITTLE BROTHER.
Larry Heintz, Brother
Letter From Mrs. Ned Heintz
heartfelt thank you to all the 28lst for including us in the Remembrance
Ceremony held in Washington, D.C. last July.
We were a little shocked to hear from Roger Green after so many years and
were so glad to be invited to attend the ceremony.
It was a very emotional time for everyone present and, yet, very
reassuring to see that you guys still have a bond that even years cannot break
and that you have always remembered the ones you left behind.
and I met in September, l967, when he was a student teacher in the Agriculture
Department at a high school in Ohio, and I was a first-year Business teacher.
I can still picture this tall, handsome man walking into my classroom
after school early in September and confidently introducing himself and asking
me to show him around town. We
seemed to immediately mesh together and continued to date when he returned to
Ohio State University in January to complete his senior year.
We became engaged in April, l968 and shared pinning on his 2Lt. bars at
his ROTC commissioning and graduation in June, l968.
started flying fixed wing aircraft while still a student at OSU and was hooked
from day one. We married in
September, l968 and began "our" Army life in November, l968. Ned always called me his "co-pilot" (as if I flew
the plane). Our first posting at
Fort Knox, Kentucky from November, l968 to March, l969 for Armor Officer's Basic
School was a new experience for both of us.
We spent hour’s spit shining his boots, polishing his brass, learning
how to "read" military rank and how military protocol works.
The 4 months was a new adventure during the winter for newlyweds freezing
in a WWII-vintage trailer off-post. Love
next assignment was to start flight school at Fort Wolters, Texas (March, l969
to July, l969) and celebrate the check rides and the first solo that was
accompanied by opening a bottle of champagne that had been chilling in the
refrigerator for the occasion. Then,
in July, off to Savannah, Georgia, for the completion of flight school.
It was a VERY proud moment to pin those wings on Ned in November, l969
and have him say, "WE made it! Being
a part of "the military family" was a good life, and we both enjoyed
it very much. The friends we made
have been in my thoughts all these years, and I often wonder where all of them
and I planned to move back to Ohio eventually and settle on the farm we bought
while he was on leave before departing for Viet Nam.
As much as he loved flying, he loved farming more.
Before we left for the airport in Dayton, Ohio in December, l969 for his
departure for Viet Nam, we made one last stop at our farm to walk around the
snow-covered fields. This is where we were going to settle down, raise children,
and forge out our future. It was
very difficult to see our farm this summer and see someone else living our
dream. Ned always had a plan and
was determined to meet every goal with a stubborn will that never let up until
"the job was done." His
enthusiasm, optimism, and love of life and people always were there and rubbed
off on everyone around him.
feel very blessed to have shared those precious years with such a wonderful man.
He will always be in my thoughts as he was a very special person who is
missed by so many people Good memories do last forever.
bless all of you and keep the flame going.
We all need each other so that we will never forget the things we all
shared. All of you are truly
"such good men". Ned
would be proud!!
Karen Heintz Forcht
C. Green, Jr.
When Ned Heintz arrived at the
281st in early 1970 he was assigned as assistant platoon leader in
the "Bandit Platoon". I
was the platoon leader at that time. Like most young officers fresh out of
flight school he wanted very much to fly, and make Aircraft Commander.
The only duty I gave the assistant platoon leader in the Bandits was to
learn to fly and to survive. Having
what I felt were the best pilots in the 281st, I knew it would not
take him more than a few months to gain the experience and expertise to be an
Ned was a very enthusiastic
outgoing person and it didn't take him long to fit in with the platoon pilots
and crew chiefs. At that time we
had four or five new Lieutenants and they did tend to hang together and did some
The 281st BOQ had
the officers living on the first floor and the Warrants lived on the second.
The rooms were small but had enough space for two occupants to live
comfortably. On the first floor CPT
Jim Brown took the wall down between two rooms and made a party room with a
small plywood bar and big refrigerator (borrowed from the 5th Group).
This became a gathering place for any of the pilots night or day, when
not on a mission. After Jim left,
Steve Bovio and I inherited the room and expanded it to three connecting rooms.
Eventually Ned and Jerry Bahre moved into the room and it continued to be
a party area. Some local musicians
such as John Korsbeck and Bob Edgley often gave impromptu concerts there.
Late one night during one of our get togethers, someone remembered that
the 5th Group field grade quarters had a nice lounge area with a
bamboo bar. It was decided by a
unanimous vote by all present the bar could be better utilized in our room. At that time I believe it was Ned and about eight other
pilots that quietly sneaked into the field grade BOQ, also where our commander
MAJ Stevens lived and borrowed the bar for out room. I kept waiting for MAJ
Stevens to say something about the missing bar.
It was never missed.
I will never forget how glad I
was to see Bob Mitchell, Ned and their crew chief Ron Lee when they picked us
from a very hot LZ one morning. They
performed in the true 281st tradition, bravely and as a team.
The last time I saw Ned was on
11 May 1970. Ned, Jerry Bahre and
myself had packed our bags and were getting on the helicopter headed to Pleiku
to participate with the unit in the Cambodia invasion (Operation Binh Tay I).
The unit was already setup in Pleiku and MAJ Stevens, the CO was flying
additional pilots up for the operation. At
that time I was the Company Executive Officer and the Commander decided that I
should stay in Nha Trang and run the rear operation.
I reluctantly got off the helicopter.
That day we lost five outstanding soldiers to a rocket attack on our base
camp at Pleiku.
Ned clearly had his future
laid out after the Army. He and his
wife Karen were both schoolteachers and had a farm in central Ohio where they
were going to make their life together. He
thoroughly enjoyed flying but farming was his real passion.
Ned was a friend and an
outstanding officer who I will always remember.
Not a day goes by that I don't remember those soldiers I served with in
the 281st. They were my
friends and comrades who I trusted and was willing to die for if necessary.
Roger C. Green Jr.
28lst AHC members and their families:
I'm submitting this letter to
our Book of Remembrances for Ned Heintz, but also for all our guys who died in
Ned, Jim Kelly, and I were
assistant platoon leaders in early l970. That's
a status that marked us clearly as not in command of the platoon, and not
in command of the ships in the air (the clear venue of the warrant
officers). We were acutely aware
that we were expected to achieve both platoon leader and AC status within a
period of months. Consequently, we, along with one or two other stray
lieutenants, were the most comfortable and formed the strongest bonds with each
Ned was the most athletic
member of the company that I can remember.
When we all had an uneventful night in Nha Trang, we'd have a midnight
basketball game, either against each other or some SF headquarters people.
Most of us took up space under the basket, while Ned scored points off
his hook shot.
Another thing I remember is
the day Steve Bovio died. Many
of you who were my close friends were there.
I wasn't. Ned was.
I left Viet Nam abruptly in
May, l9070, wounded by a rocket that killed five of our guys. While in the hospital at Qui Nhon, I had been informed of the
other casualties. When I returned
to the States and was discharged, I knew that I had lost a lot of friends, and I
had the impression that there were probably more, and I didn't need to know
That is not to say that I
didn't think about our company. Here,
I can count maybe twenty people who would drive five miles in a snowstorm to get
me if my car broke down. There, it
goes without saying, each of us risked or sometimes lost his life to save
So, I didn't have any contact
for thirty years with the 28lst, until June, when Roger Green called me and told
me about the Memorial Service in D.C. My
wife and I attended. It was a
wonderful thing. First and
foremost, to honor and remember our fallen.
And second, to re-establish ties with our company.
Ned Heintz was my friend.
So were several of the others remembered here.
The ones I knew and the ones I did not know personally, I am proud to be
in the same company with them.