|Birth: ||Jul. 7, 1942, USA|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 1969, Vietnam|
On March 2, 1969 First Lieutenant Carl Leonard Radtke, a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot, died in Vietnam from the wounds he received when the enemy launched a late night mortar attack against the Operations Center of the 191st Assault Helicopter Company, which was located at a 9th Infantry Division Base Camp, at a place known as Dong Tam.
Prior to joining the U.S. Army, Carl grew up in Southern California, where his family eventually settled in Santa Ana.
Sometime after he enlisted in the U.S. Army, Carl applied for and was accepted into a program that provided the training that was necessary for him to become an Officer, and Carl received a Commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, when he graduated with the Class of 9-67 from the Field Artillery Officers Candidate School at Fort Sill Oklahoma.
Shortly after becoming an Officer, Carl applied for and was accepted into the U.S. Army’s Officer’s Rotary Wing Aviator Course, and Carl became a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot, when he graduated from that Course at Fort Rucker Alabama with the Flight School Class of 68-2.
After Carl became a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot, he was sent to Vietnam in May of 1968, where he was assigned to the 191st Assault Helicopter Company, and Carl continued to serve in the 191st , until his untimely death in March of 1969.
The Awards and Decorations that Carl received for his Military service, include: U.S. Army Pilot Wings, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Carl was 26 years old at the time of his death, and he was survived by his wife Mrs. Christiana M. Radtke, his parents Mr. and Mrs. Carl O. Radtke, and his sisters Nancy and Marie Radtke, all of whom were living in Santa Ana California.
Carl’s picture and the information contained in his bio were collected and provided by the 191st AHC Association.
Below is cited at www.virtualwall.org. Used with permission.
Home of Record: Newhall, California
Date of birth: Tuesday, 07/07/1942
Service: Army (Reserve)
Grade at loss: O2
Rank: First Lieutenant
ID No: O5425777
MOS: 2120 Administrative Officer
LenSvc: Between 8 and 9 years
Unit: 191ST AHC, 214TH AVN BN, 12TH AVN GRP, 1 AVN BDE
Start Tour: Saturday, 05/04/1968
Cas Date: Sunday, 03/02/1969
Age at Loss: 26
Remains: Body recovered
Location: Dinh Tuong, South Vietnam
Type: Hostile, died outright
Reason: Artillery, rocket, or mortar - Ground casualty
ON THE WALL Panel 30W Line 015
In 1969 the base at Dong Tam, just west of My Tho City on the Mekong River, was home to the 9th Infantry Division, parts of the Navy's riverine forces, a port facility, and a variety of supporting forces, including the 191st Assault Helicopter Company. Because it was a target-rich environment, the Dong Tam complex attracted more than its share of mortar and rocket attacks. On 02 March 1969 a mortar shell hit the 191st AHC's operations center, killing six men:
MAJ John A. Petric, Cleveland, OH, Company Commander
1LT Dennis S. Coker, Monroe, GA
1LT Carl L. Radtke, Newhall, CA, Admin Officer
SP5 Robert L. Heinmiller, Fresno, CA
SP4 Carl S. Douglas, Sanford, NC
SP4 George R. Lovellette, Urbana, IL
The 191st AHC's Historical Notes for March 1969 describes the incident as follows:
"On the night of 1 March 1969 a tragedy struck the 191st. During the initial barrage of a mortar and rocket attack, the 191st Flight Operations Office took a direct hit. Killed were MAJ Petric Commanding Officer, LT Radtke Admin Officer, LT Coker Aircraft Commander, SP5 Heinmiller a crew chief on guard duty, SP4 Lovellett a gunner also on guard duty, and SP4 Douglas an operations radio operator. LT LaSalle an operations officer was seriously wounded suffering the loss of an eye. SP4 Ayers, on flight line guard at the time, was hit by shrapnel from an exploding rocket and suffered multiple fractures of his left leg."
The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association database contains the following entry from a member of the 191st:
"They were all killed when a mortar round dropped into our Flight Operations building one night after a lull following several other incoming rounds directed toward the airfield. During the lull, several folks ventured out of the bunker to survey the damage and they then congregated in Flt Opns after taking a look around. One of the next rounds got 7 folks. ... It was a terrible night."
- Roger Stickney, October 1998 -"
Christina M Radtke Aiken (1942 - 2004)*
Holy Sepulcher Cemetery
Created by: Billy M. Brown
Record added: Jun 05, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 111831379