Remembering John T. Updegrove
Served with Rattlers & Firebirds in: 66-67
Died: 7 March 2000
|Comments: I was flying in the number 3 position in the formation the day the tail boom came off John's aircraft as they flared to land. John's ship was number 9 of 10. We were landing on an old deserted airfield bringing troops out of the boonies. I was watching my stinger, trying to catch my aircraft commander that day, WO Conrad Howard, touching the stinger upon landing. While looking back I saw what I thought to be a mid-air. I keyed my mike and told Mr. Howard we had a mid-air behind us. He immdeiately started to break left out of the formation when I told him we were ok. David O'Quinn was flying trail and how he kept out of that wreckage was nothing short of a miracle. John's AC and gunner were both killed along with several grunts. Years later when I located John I told him I had photos of his crashed ship thinking it would be interesting to him. He had no interest whatsoever, so I dropped it. I never talked to him after that.