Thomas Rodgers Stansbury

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
02 November 1946 - 30 September 1971
Houston, Texas
Panel 02W Line 032


Army Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Rodgers Stansbury

12 Oct 2005

Tom was a classmate of mine.
We graduated with 70-45 in Jan of 1971.

I lost touch with him shortly after graduating flight school.
I later heard he was flying with the Sidewinders (117th AHC).

I heard he was a 'Mike' model driver. I also heard he had chrome miniguns on his bird. Didn't believe it until I saw it. We were escorting another bird up high and I saw a pair of 'Mikes' working out down low. When one turned so you could see the side, you couldn't miss them. Saw his bird on and off during the next few days while working North of Tay Ninh.

I was heading North at the end of September, on a fire mission. Saw his bird working out a bit west of my location. Then, I saw the fireball midair and watched the flaming wreckage hit the ground. I couldn't do anything but watch. A few days later word trickled down that indeed Tom's bird was shot down. All were lost.

We weren't close. . . But we were Brothers!
Goodbye, Tom.

From a flight schoolmate,
Steve Borden

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 30 Sep 1971 the 117th Assault Helicopter Company was tasked with providing a light fire team for a mission across the Cambodian border. WO Stansbury was flying the #2 position in UH-1C tail number 65-09458. As the flight proceeded west of Tay Ninh they came under fire from a .51 caliber heavy machine gun. Stansbury's aircraft was hit, resulting in engine loss and an in-flight fire. Stansbury entered an autorotation but as he descended through 400' the tail boom separated, the aircraft rolled inverted, and crashed. All four crewmen were killed:
  • WO Thomas R. Stansbury, Houston, TX, pilot;
  • WO Frederick C. Hebert, Richmond, VA, copilot;
  • SP4 Chris R. Behm, Pensacola, FL, crew chief; and
  • SP4 Ronald G. Ricks, Dallas, TX, gunner.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009