Norman Lee Plemmons
In addition to the Medals and Badges automatically posted above, SGT Norman "Nump" Lee Plemmons was awarded a second Bronze Star Medal, another Purple Heart, four more Air Medals, and the Combat Infantryman Badge, from earlier assignments.
The differences in ribbons appear below.
The two aircraft departed Dian about the same time and joined into formation. At the time of impact, the investigation board determined that tail number 818 was leading and 529 was flying right echelon. Helicopter 529 called 818 and said that they were going to pass them (818). As 529 attempted to pass on the right, 818's main rotor blade contacted 529's mast. The force of this contact and a possible sudden stoppage of 529's main rotor caused 529's transmission to be ripped out towards the front.
Severe vibrations, including mast bumping, separated 529's main rotor blade from the transmission. About the time of impact, one tip of 529's main rotor blade struck 818's main rotor hub. After initial impact, the main rotor blade of 818 continued on to knock the left pilot's door of 529 loose and decapitated the pilot of 818. After the main rotor and transmission separated from 529, it crashed and burned killing all on board.
After the initial midair contact, one blade of 818's main rotor blade lost a sizeable piece of honeycomb. This created an out of balance condition which added to the severe vibration that followed. The vibration caused loss of control and the aircraft started to shake itself apart. The tail boom separated from the fuselage, the mast bumping caused the main rotor to come off the mast. 818 then crashed and burned killing all four crew members.
SGT Plemmons was survived by his mother, Mrs Annie Gertude Ennis Walker (1921-1978). They are buried in the family plot in Woodside Cemetery Clover (York County), South Carolina. He was also survived by a brother, Robert W. Plemmons, and a half brother, Bruce Wayne Walker (1957-1998). He was predeceased by a sister, Fretta Mae Plemmons (1942-1943).
Norman and Robert's step father, Jimmy is buried to the right of Annie and has a military marker. Norman's biological father divorced Annie shortly after Nump was born. He passed away in 1971 or 1972 and donated his body to the University of Texas.
Family Plot. Mother and Stepfather to the right side of the family stone.
Family marker with Nump's marker in lower portion of photograph.
To 'Nump' I would ask: Why Brother?
To me his answer would be: Why Not Brother.
To Nump I would ask: Did it hurt Brother?
To me his answer would be: No more so than my comrades suffered.
To Nump I would say, why tears after thirty years?
To me he would say its called Love, Brother.
To Nump I say, I loved you little brother.
To me he would say, I loved you too big brother.
To Nump I say: Rest in peace Little Brother, you earned it.
Robert Plemmons, Eagle Point Rd, Clover, SC 29710.
- - The Virtual Wall, September 5, 2014, 2014
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