Carlos Alberto Pedrosa
First Lieutenant, United States Army
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 10/26/1972 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 24.8
Date of Birth: 12/21/1947
Home City: New York, NY
Service: AR branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: H/17 CAV
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 72-16
Service: AR branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 01W-084
Short Summary: Killed during a rocket attack standing near his Huey while Troop was staging at Kontum Airfield.
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Rocket Attack
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: artillery or mortar
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 08/14/1972
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: AR788501
Additional information about this casualty:
This is the same story two years later from Vic. I can't begin the events of today October 26 1972 without first telling you about Lieutenant Carlos Pedrosa. This was the kind of man if he said"how are you doing?"he waited around to get the answer.He always took an interest in everyone. One day that comes to mind with the Lieutenant was a day a bunch of us gunners and crewchiefs were bored.We were sitting around pulling the tracers apart and lighting them along the flightline to watch them flip through the air.It wasn't long before someone in operations noticed and sent someone to tell us to stop.Who was sitting there with us, no other than the Lieutenant.
We were told to stop, he got chewed out. I was in a routine at the end of everyday I would first clean the slick,put the ammo away then sit on the floorboard and clean the guns.The Lieutenant would come by and sometimes read his letters from home to me or just talk.Usually he'd tell me to slow down,that I didn't need to be flying everyday,every mission. I'd just grin and tell him I couldn't help myself.I loved flying too much and was afraid I'd miss out on something.He was like that with everyone.He for sure had to be the most liked guy on base.
On October 26,I was the gunner on one of the chase ships.We had two teams out this day,one on the ground along the flightline at Kontum airfield the other out in the AO. The Lieutenant's team was down, ours was on are way out.As always the Lieutenant stood along the flightline giving everyone the thumbs up. As our ship was going by,he had his thumb up and with his other hand he was telling me to slow down. It was right then the sound of rockets could be heard,everyone was running for cover. The Lieutenant turned to the nose of his slick to grab his Cav hat, he reached it the same time the rocket did. Right there in front of me I saw the rocket blow this gentle,beautiful man apart.
Captain Gerrisher was flying C&C that day yelling over the mike for everyone to get out of there.He wanted everyone to try and find out where the the rockets were coming from.Of course you never could find out,they were always gone by the time you got there. The Lieutenant was killed, Larry Neal the crewchief had his whole side full of shrapnel.To this day his arm just hangs there,the gunner received some wounds and the interpreter had a piece of shrapnel hit him right between the eyes.The docs pulled it out and he was OK. All missions came to an end that day.We went back to Holloway,it was the first time I didn't clean the ship.I put the ammo away,had the guns locked up without cleaning them.I went to my hooch laid on my bunk and I know didn't talk to anyone for several days.I don't remember anyone ever talking about the Lieutenant after that.
Sergeant Ohs was on the team to secure the
area,Mike lynch has a picture of the slick sitting on its side right after
it happened. It's under Kontum on his website. His crew went in and got
the guns and stuff off it after the area was secure. Captain Gerrischer
on the C&C bird had picked up the wounded and the Lieutenant right
after it happened. A few years back I recieved a call from the president
of the VVA in NY.They were dedicating a plaque to the Lieutenant at his
old high school in Queens New York. It seems they couldn't find any family
or friends that knew him.They went to the wall in Washington and I had
signed the book saying I knew him.They needed to know something about him
for the dedication,so I told him all I knew. He told me the Lieutenant
came from the poorest area of Queens and as a spanish man it was cosidered
quite an accomplishment to become an officer and a pilot.That's why the
dedication.It was a privilege to know him and a tragedy to see him lost.
Victor Htrp 17th July 2003.
Incident Date 721026
"Don't worry of me, I know where I am, where I'm going and where I've been and I'm not afraid."
Posted: 12 May 2004
Photo By M. R. Patterson, 23 April 2004