RU-8D Dedication at Ft. Meade

Dennis Buley -- Special Electronic Mission Aircraft 12 May 1998

The only word that describes what happened today is: OUTSTANDING. NSA and INSCOM did a fantastic job in conducting the ceremony this morning.

A chaplain from the 704th MI Bde gave a convocation. LTG Minihan, USAF, DIRNSA/CSS spoke and mentioned ASA several times. He was followed by LTG Claudia Kennedy, USA DCSINT, who was followed by MG Thomas, CG INSCOM. All spoke very highly of "The Silent Warriors" who flew alone, unarmed and unafraid to accomplish missions that were important to US national interests. Many family members of the thirteen KIA were there including Mike Marker's widow and son, the sister of Harold Algaard and the brother of Ron Hentz, all KIA/BNR from Left Jab. Relatives from the families of the two Left Bank crashes were also there.

Plaques were unveiled that describe the RU-8D and name the thirteen KIA. The ceremony ended with a flyby of an RC-12G CRAZYHORSE aircraft belonging to the 138th MI Co (AE) USAR, the lineal descendant of the 138th RR Co of Vietnam. The particular RU-8D aircraft dedicated today served with the 138th both in Vietnam and in the Reserves at Orlando, FL (still the home of the 138th).

The RC-12G was flown by a Richard Anderson who served with the 138th in Vietnam (where he knew Mike Marker and Harold Algaard) as well as in Florida, later. Mr. Anderson also flew the RU-8D to Ft Eustis in 1980 where it sat until it was moved to Ft. Meade.

An honor guard from the 704th fired a salute to honor the deceased and a band played Taps to conclude the ceremony.

The event was taped and photographed professionally by NSA technicians. I suspect that we will be able to purchase tapes in the future at a nominal cost.

There was a brief reception afterwards where COL Michael Blythe, CO of the 704th thanked all that helped in the project. MG Thomas present the family members with a personally dedicated copy of a MI History Fact Book.

Sakk Frankenfield, Don Lewis and Steve Weinstein (among many others) were there. Personnel representing 17 different ASA units from Vietnam showed up in spite of the truly lousy weather.