Rance A. Kirby

 
Name Rance A. Kirby
Rance A. Kirby
Rank/Grade CAPT - O3 - Army - Regular
Age 28
Marital Status Married
Race Caucasian
Gender Male
Date of Birth Feb 12, 1939
From Wedowee, Alabama
Length of Service 4 years
Tour Began Aug 01, 1966
Casualty Date Mar 26, 1967
Location SOUTH VIETNAM
Hostile/Non-Hostile   NON-HOSTILE
Classification HELICOPTER - CREW AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body Recovered Yes
Religion Protestant

Vietnam Memorial

 

Panel 17E - - Line 52

Posted by:Ron Seabolt
Date:Thursday, June 20, 2002 7:15 PM UTC
Relationship:crew chief
From:Terrell, TX
Comments:One day my aircraft was on standby and after the rest of the flight took off and we knew we would not be flying, a captain came walking up to my ship and asked if I was the crew chief. I said, "Yes sir"! I did not recognize the man and I asked him what unit he was with? With an icy stare and glare, Capt. Kirby said, "I'm with the 71st Assault Helicopter Company!" Rance Kirby was an operations officer that I had never met, until that moment. My question was caused by having been on standby before, not taking off and then having my ship and crew loaned to the 68th AHC. After spending an entire day of overlapping rotor blades by some hot dog pilots, I had told my platoon Sgt. I would never do that again. So now that I had embarrassed myself with Rattler 31, I decided I would make myself scarce for the rest of the mission. Every time we landed and shut down I was either cleaning the windshield, wiping down the tailboom, greasing the head or wiping excess grease off the head, checking fluid levels or anything just to avoid Capt. Kirby. About a week later, Sgt. Lackey came up to me and told me he had a compliment on me. He said Capt. Kirby told him I was the best crew chief he had ever flown with. Little did he see of the "real" crew chief Ron Seabolt! Rest in Peace Rattler 31!

Posted by:Erika Kirby
Date:Wednesday, June 29, 2005 6:39 PM UTC
Relationship:daughter-in-law
From:Jacksonville, Alabama
Comments:My husband, Carey, only has one memory of his father. It is of his father pushing him on a swing while on R&R in Hawaii, not long before he was killed. We have one precious picture of the two of them standing on the balcony of the hotel where they stayed. Carey's grandmother recently gave me a box with all the cards and letters she received after Rance's funeral. Reading through all of them, I am proud to say that even though Rance wasn't able to be here to raise him, somehow Carey became the same kind of man that I believe Rance must have been: honest, brave, and loyal. I am saddened that I never got to meet him, but I'm sure I will someday. I know that he watches over us and helped bring us back together. Carey and I were high school sweethearts, but went our separate ways. Twenty plus years later, we have now been married for almost two years. The day before our wedding Rance's widow (Virginia) called Carey and said that out of the blue one of Rance's old friends who lives in another state had called her and said that he and his wife were in town and would like to visit. She hadn't heard from them in years. She told them about the wedding and they attended. We all agreed that it was Rance's way of letting us know that he was aware of what was going on and that he approved!

Rest in Peace, Rattler31

Erika

Posted by:John D. Sennett- Rattler 25
Date:Monday, December 18, 2006 5:23 PM UTC
Relationship:Roommate/Friend 8-66 to 11-66
From:Raleigh, NC 27603
Comments:Rance,Bill Frye, Bob Mangum and I were sitting around one night discussing the plight of our wives and children. Long before 24/7 the wives were committed to that lifestyle. We collectively came to the conclusion that they not us were the ones having it hard.Rance deeply loved and thought about his family-before going to sleep he frequently looked at their picture. He was that kind of man.Rattler 25

 

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