Earl R. Grove

Posted on March 27, 2010


   Earl was assigned to Charlie Troop on October 18, 1966 and was Killed in Action on May 10, 1967. Earl was a Crew Chief. Earl was awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and a set of Crew Member Wings.

If any family member or friend reads this blog, please contact me as I am looking for pictures and personal stories about this brave man.

Earl “Duke” Grove was one of my best friends in high school. I think about him a lot and have gone to the “wall” every chance I get. I look him up and due the tracing and wish he had come home with the rest of us. I was lucky….I got a navy chopper to ride in, then a patrol plane. Had it made compared to you guys. I joined, he got drafted. I came home he didn’t. I have a couple photos of Duke in high school and a few of his 59 chev and his “cushman”.

Steve Hundley was a Pilot in Charlie Troop 1/9th Cav,

Mr. Kramer, myself, and Street, the crew chief were getting ready to test fly Streets’ helicopter, coming out of periodic maintenance. I saw Earl walking into our area carrying his duffle bag, returning from R&R in Hawaii. “Welcome back Earl”. “Hey Sarge”. He dropped his bag, and walked over to the helicopter. “ Are you going on a test flight”? “Yeah”. “Can I go along”? “Sure you don’t want to put your stuff up and get settled in”?  “I’d really like to go Sarge”. “ OK, hop in”. Earl was a wonderful young man, good mechanic, never complained, always busy, so I thought he deserved a joy ride. Off we went, flying just outside of LZ Two-Bits. We went through all the mandatory checks, and last was an auto-rotation rpm check. Down we went like a rock in that heavy gunship, and rounded out tree top level. Before we could climb back up, a bullet came through the pilots door window, traveling front to rear. I was in the left front seat, and I swiveled around to see where it went. Earl was sitting sideways in the door, with his arms up to hold on, and he looked into my eyes with a hurt look, as though asking me not to let him die. “ Street, get a hold of Earl, he’s hit.” Street grabbed Earls collar and pulled him flat across the seat. “ Sarge I think Earl swallowed his tongue”. “ OK, roll him over on his stomach, get your finger up in there, and pull it out”. Moments later, I saw a stream of blood running past my left foot, into the chin bubble. We got him to the medical tent as fast as we could, but they couldn’t save him. The bullet, tumbling, had ripped into his left lung.  The look in his eyes still lives with me today.

Steve Hundley