CPT Herbert L. Degner
"145th Air Lift Platoon"

August 1964 - August 1965

These images (both thumbnails and linked larger ones on this page and linked pages) are the personal property of Fritz Degner, who has given express consent for them to be published on this 281st AHC "Intruder" Website only.  Any copying or reproduction without written consent from the owner is considered unauthorized use and a violation of copyright law, and the perpetrator of such copying will be subject to legal action by the owner.

Herbert Degner died July 3, 2000, and these great pictures of his tour with the 145th ALP were contributed by his son Fritz.  Many thanks to Fritz for sharing his Father's memories.

Camp Wolters  |  Flight Operations  |  "The Villa"  |  Hong Kong R&R

Fritz also submitted one of his Dad's photos for the Webmaster's Photo Contest and won Third Prize.

LTC. Herbert L. Degner (USA Ret.) 
DOB: 01-29-1936  DOD: 07-03-2000
Herbert entered the United States Army in September 1959 as a Commissioned Officer and was assigned as a Platoon Leader to the 52nd ARB, 2nd Missile Command at Ft. Carson, CO.  While there he completed the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Ft. Benning, GA receiving his Expert Infantryman’s Badge.

He attended ORWAC, Class 62-8 in which he was the Honor Graduate.  After completing flight school he was assigned to the Army Aviation Test Board as one of the Test Pilots for the Chinook.  He served in this capacity until he was sent to Vietnam in August of 1964.  He flew UH-1Bs as a Section Leader of the 145th Airlift Platoon.  In August of 1965 he returned to Ft. Rucker and the Army Aviation Center until December of 1967. 

He returned to Vietnam in January 1968 for a second Tour of Duty as a Platoon Leader flying Chinooks for the 147th ASHC of the 222nd Aviation Bn. On 4 May 1968, Hillclimber 027 performed one of the fastest air rescues of the Vietnam Conflict. Major Herbert Degner and CW2 Samuel Taylor were returning to Vung Tau from Xuan Loc after a re-supply mission. The FE SPC4 James Choate observed an USAF O-1 crash directly below them. SPC4 Choate informed the pilots and they entered a descent. Landing near the crash site, the crewmembers were dispatched to assist downed aviators. Neither pilot appeared seriously injured. They were loaded on 027 to Vung Tau and the ambulance was called in-flight and standing by. Total time from crash to hospital was 31 minutes.  In June 1968, he was transferred to the 1st Aviation Bde. serving as the S-3 Training Officer.  

From Vietnam he served as Company Commander of 154th TC Detachment and later as Commander of HHC, 21st Avn Bn. at Ft. Sill, OK between January 1969 and September 1970.   He then served as Commander of the 568th Transportation Company and later as the S-4 for the 222nd Avn. Bn. at Ft. Wainwright, AK.  He was transferred to Ft. Richardson, AK and served at HQ, USARAL in the Maintenance Section through July of 1975.

In July of 1975 he was sent to the 190th ASHC, USAR in Olathe, KS as the Aviation Advisor and completed the Army Command and General Staff College while there.  He made his last logged flight in June 1978 prior to being assigned as the Assistant DIO for V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany.  Part of his duties there included devising a Corps wide evacuation order known as the NEO Plan.  He also assisted with the Evacuation of the American Hostages from Tehran, Iran to Rhine-Main Air Force Base after they were released from captivity.

He chose Ft. McCoy, WI as his final tour of duty and was assigned as a Training Officer for the Readiness Group, which supervised many National Guard and Reserve Units in the Upper Midwest.  In March of 1982 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the Executive Officer of the Readiness Group.

He retired in August 1984 with a 100% disability due to Multiple Sclerosis, which he had developed in early 1981, because it had affected his ability to walk.  In his health he enjoyed big game hunting and camping with his family.  Colonel Degner is survived by his son Fritz Degner, e- mail: sniperteam2@yahoo.com

Cody, Chris, Josh and Fritz Degner visiting the Matthews, April 23, 2003