The following is from an Army Aviator
friend who takes another trip down memory lane:
It was just before Thanksgiving '67
and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku.
We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook ( CH-47 CHINOOK) was
pretty rough in the back. All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge'
woman's voice in the rear.
There was the singer and actress,
Martha Raye, with a SF ( Special Forces) beret and jungle fatigues, with
subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the
dead aboard. 'Maggie' had been visiting her SF 'heroes' out 'west'.
We took off, short of fuel, and headed
to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku. As we all started unloading our sad
pax's, a 'Smart-Ass' USAF Captain said to Martha.... Ms Ray, with all
these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your
To all of our surprise, she pulled on
her right collar and said....Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird'
in the US Army Reserve, and on this is a 'Caduse' which means I am a
Nurse, with a surgical speciality....now, take me to your wounded. He
said, yes mam'... Follow me.
Several times at the Army Field
Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a
Martha is the only woman buried in the
SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft. Bragg .