Rattler/Firebird Association

Donald Frederick Cornell

Name Donald Frederick Cornell
Rank/Grade SP5 - E5 - Army - Regular
Age 22
Marital Status Married
Race Caucasian
Gender Male
Date of Birth Nov 7, 1946
From Akron, Ohio
Length of Service 4 years
Tour Began Feb 21, 1968
Casualty Date Nov 23, 1968
Hostile/Non-Hostile   NON-HOSTILE
Body Recovered Yes
Religion Protestant

Vietnam Memorial


Panel 38W - - Line 41
Donald Frederick Cornell

Visitor Comments

Posted by:Phil Wood
Date:Monday, August 19, 2002 4:05 AM UTC
Relationship:Crew Cheif in 1st. plt., FRIEND
From:Lancaster, Ohio
Comments:One of the things I remember most about my friendship with Don is all the friendly argueing we used to do about my
first ship an old D model with a real sick engine. I used to constantly try to RED-X the engine in the hopes that I'd get a new one for the old bird. And as soon as Don heard that I'd done it again He'd be out on the flight line. Don would grab the aircrafts log book, give it a quick glance, walk back and look in the exaust cone at the two inch deep puddle of oil in there and sign off my RED-X! Smiling at me the whole time! He'd laugh and say "It's good for a couple thousand more hours!" Then we'd get into it! I'd yell"the damn thing bleeds at 30 pounds and leaks like a seive, the tail booms black!" And again Don would laugh and again tell me"I can't get you a new engine, the airframes too old! The only way it'll get an engine is back in the states when the whole things rebuilt!"
And we'd go at it again for another five minuites! Both laughing at the sorry situation we where stuck with. I had to keep it flying and Don had to keep signing off my RED-X's. I was really upset the night He went down on that test flight. A few nights later the CQ and I drove the platoon 3/4 ton truck up the beach after the CQ received a phone call that the wreck had washed ashore. We got there and found most of the fusalage about 50 yards out in about 4 feet of water with the waves crashing over it. The nose ,seats, roof, tail boom, engine, and most of the transmission, rotors where gone. We waded out into the surf dragging the trucks winch cable, wrapping the cable around the bulk of the fusalage and then pulled it in as far as we could. We hoped our efforts might help in finding out what happened that terrible night. I still think about Don and remember his smile.

Posted by:Bruce LaBombard
Date:Wednesday, November 6, 2002 12:11 AM UTC
From:North Brookfield, MA
Comments:I was the one going on the test hop that night. Don came to me and said that I had to go into the maintenance office for a meeting just as we were ready to go. Don said that he would go for me. He did and I live with it all the time. I liked Don and his sense of humor.

Posted by:Robert Fretz
Date:Tuesday, September 21, 2004 1:44 AM UTC
Comments:we grew up together , he was my older brothers buddy, and a wonderfull mentor to me, can anyone explain to me about what happened? he died when I was 15, we were kids who fished and talked and fished,he was a young man who loved his wife, family, his god and country. Please email me if you were touched by him in your sacrifice/service, may god bless you and all that served.

Posted by:Tammy Gordon
Date:Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:02 PM UTC
From:Ellsworth, ME
Comments:I don't remember Freddie, but when I think about him I think of Lillian Hellman's words:

That was then, and there is now, and the years between then and now, and the then and now are one.

I love you, Freddie


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