|Birth: ||Jun. 24, 1936|
|Death: ||Feb. 1, 1968|
Phu Tho, Vietnam
Chief Warrant Officer Tommy Gerald Sandefur, a U.S. Army helicopter pilot, died in Vietnam on Feb. 1, 1968, from wounds he sustained while engaged in combat operations against a large enemy force entrenched in fortified positions in and around the Vietnamese city of Ba Ria.
For his actions that day Tommy was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against an armed hostile force.
Other awards and decorations that Tommy received for his military service include: the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, and U.S. Army Aviator Wings.
Tommy was born June 24, 1936, in Haskell, Okla. He grew up in nearby Tulsa, graduating from Central High School in 1954.
In 1966 Tommy became a U.S. Army Warrant Officer and a helicopter pilot after completing the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course at Fort Wolters, Texas, and Fort Rucker, Ala. (Flight School Class 66-13).
Shortly after Tommy graduated from Flight School, he was assigned to the 191st Assault Helicopter Company, which was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.
In May of 1967 Tommy deployed to Vietnam with the 191st where he served as an aircraft commander and fire team leader until his untimely death in February of 1968.
Tommy was 31 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife, Carole Payne Sandefur of LaGrange, Ga., a daughter, Lisa, a son, Marc; his parents, S. T. and Neva Sandefur, and sisters, Karalee, Ann, Kaye, and Janet of Tulsa.
Tommy?s picture and the information contained in his bio were collected and provided by his niece Terri Beckham and the 191st AHC Association.
Below is cited at www.virtualwall.org. Used with permission.
Home of Record: Tulsa, OK
Date of birth: 06/24/1936
Service: Army of the United States
Grade at loss: W2
Rank: Chief Warrant Officer
ID No: W3154258
MOS: 062B: Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Length Service: 14
Unit: 191ST AHC, 214TH AVN BN, 12TH AVN GROUP, 1ST AVIATION BDE, USARV
Start Tour: 05/22/1967
Incident Date: 02/01/1968
Casualty Date: 02/01/1968
Age at Loss: 31
Location: Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Helicopter - Pilot
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land
ON THE WALL Panel 36E Line 059
Shalley Terrell Sandefur (1913 - 1996)
Neva Sandefur (1914 - 2008)
Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Billy M. Brown
Record added: Jan 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83703617