Norman Richard Kidd, Jr
Prior to entering the Army, Norman had grown up in the Mayfield Heights area of Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Mayfield High School, graduating in the class of 1954. While in school, he was the Co-Captain of the basketball team and Vice-President of the senior class.
After joining the Army he obtained his commission, decided to engage in Army Aviation and applied for and was accepted for the Army's Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course. He completed his primary phase of flight training at Fort Wolters Texas and the advanced phase at Fort Rucker, Alabama where he completed Flight School with the Class 66-20 (Same class as Lt Jack L Dodson) in the Rotary Wing Aviator Course to become a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot. He was then assigned to the 191st Assault Helicopter Company stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where they began training and preparation to deploy the unit to Vietnam.
When the 191st completed training in May of 1967, the unit deployed to the Republic of Vietnam. Norman was a member of the unit's Advance Party. They made preparations in Vietnam for the rest of the unit to arrive. He suffered his untimely death while undergoing in-country training with another helicopter unit's and their equipment.
The 191st had just been formed and the advance party had arrived in Vietnam - with CPT Kidd heading up the Armed Platoon - but their helo's had not gotten into country yet. Both CPT Kidd and 1LT Dodson were eager to get into the action and talked D/3/5 into getting familiarization and experience. As a result of a night mid air collision, these two men were the first two men of the 191st AHC to be killed in action.
At approximately 2100 hours, a light fire team consisting of aircraft 66-677 and 66-673 were called out by the 51st ARVN Ranger Battalion, Ben Luc Vietnam, to investigate suspected Viet Cong activity. The team arrived on station at approximately 2130 hours. They began a visual recon of the area with the assistance of flares fired by the artillery. At 2230 hours, the two aircraft met in an apparent head on collision in bad weather. There was an explosion and both aircraft fell to the ground in flames.
The nine men killed when their helicopters collided in mid-air and crashed were:
At the time of his death, Norman was survived by wife Delores L. (Pokorny) and daughter, Diana Leslie, his parents Florence (1916-2004) and Norman R Kidd Sr (1915-1971), all of Cleveland; a brother Douglas, sister Caroline and his grandmother Caroline Elerman, also of Cleveland.
CPT Norman Richard Kidd was laid to rest at All Souls Cemetery, Chardon, Ohio, along with his parents.
- - - The Virtual Wall, August 29, 2016
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