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Ron Botz - Vietnam War

Ron Botz grew up the son of a WW II combat pilot and career officer. He knew from an early age he wanted to fly, and he got his opportunity by flying helicopters for the U.S. Army. He arrived in South Vietnam in February of 1968, and flew scores of combat missions in UH-1 Hueys with the 4th Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division. Botz also discusses his career following his tour in Vietnam, first as a civilian, followed by service in the IL Army National Guard beginning in 1973, and ending as a Brigadier General in 2005.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Flying Coke Can

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Army Aviator flight training & arrival in Vietnam

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Combat as an aviator in Vietnam in 1968-1969

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Life after Vietnam, & career in the IL Army National Guard


Photos

Caption

Warrant Officer 1 Ron Botz while he attended flight school in Fort Worth Texas, circa 1967.

Where:

Fort Worth Texas

When:

Circa 1967

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron Botz holding Dogus, one of the B Company pets, at their base at Cap Enari, located in the II Corps sector of South Vietnam in 1968.

Where:

Cap Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Circa,1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron is standing by the “Gambler Guns” of B Company, 4th Aviation Battalion, 4th Infantry Division at during his combat tour in 1968.

Where:

Dak To, South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Botz and his fellow aviators lived on the edge when on missions, and played hard at the end of the day. Time for some relaxation with his buddies back at the base camp.

Where:

base camp

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Playtime! Botz is posing with some of the Vietnamese children at a village near Dak To, South Vietnam.

Where:

a village near Dak To, South Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Botz relaxing between flights. He stayed ready to go at a moments notice.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Warrant Officer 1 Botz preparing for a flight while at Camp Enari, near Pleiku, South Vietnam in 1968.

Where:

Camp Enari, near Pleiku, South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu visiting with the troops at the Phi Truong Phuong Duc Airport in South Vietnam in 1968.

Where:

Phi Truong Phuong Duc Airport in South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron checks the door gun on a UH-1 Huey, the type of aircraft he flew. He’s standing in the door gunners’ position.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron takes some time to himself in the company area at Camp Enari, South Vietnam.

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Three of Botz’s crew chiefs standing by one of the unit’s command and control aircraft.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A little R&R to improve the hooch at Camp Enari!

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron recovers at Camp Enari after returning from a night gun mission sometime in 1968.

Where:

Camp Enari

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The remains of a crashed UH-1 Huey in which the entire crew survived.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The view from the Huey’s cockpit during a flight in the monsoon season in central South Vietnam, in 1968.

Where:

central South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Soldiers at Camp Enari, South Vietnam are watching a burning gunship that was caused by an accidental rocket discharge.

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Botz and a crew member ‘putting the bird to bed’ at Camp Enari at the end of a days’ missions, sometime in 1968.

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Major General Charles P. Stone, 4th Infantry Division commander, and Brigadier General Albert R. Brownfield, the Assistant Division Commander, visit with the troops at Camp Enari in 1968.

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

Unknown

Caption

The crew of ‘Lizard 7’ and BG Brownfield pose before one of the unit’s gunships. Botz is third from the left.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Ron Botz being promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 2 by Brigadier General Albyn Irzyk in February, 1969.

Where:

Unknown

When:

February, 1969

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Brigadier General Albert Brownfield congratulating CW2 Botz at an award ceremony, where Botz received an Air Medal-V (valor) in 1968.

Where:

award ceremony

When:

Circa 1968

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

CWO Botz relaxes outside at Camp Enari after the awards presentation.

Where:

Camp Enari, South Vietnam

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Colonel W.G Botz, Ron’s father, visited Ron while he served with the Illinois Army National Guard sometime in the 1980s. Colonel Botz wore his son’s uniform for the helicopter flight.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1980s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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