1976 — Phoenix, AZ
Airman 3rd Class Louis Otto's Vietnam Service is the 2nd Story.... Aircraft Engine Mechanic, Pacific US Air Forces. (2nd Story below)
Louie Otto was born "Louis James (Jimmy) Ottaviani/Otto" to Joseph and Mary Tomotchko ( 1916 – 1943 ) and both his mother/Mary and his twin sister Patricia Ann died during childbirth. Louis survived and with the help of family was cared for. Joseph and Mary Tomotchko ( 1916 – 1943 ) Ottaviani's first son was born about 1940 ...John Joseph "Jack" Otto. FATHER/ Joe Otto re-married to Albina Joan Opolinsky (1921-1993) and THEY had 5 children.... the 1/2 siblings were; Angela (Cheech), Carol Ann, Joey, Tony and Andrea. As of March, 2013... after Jimmie (Louie),; Joey, Carol and Andrea are deceased.
*** OTTO/Ottaviani Family; Joseph ( 1911 – 1966 ) and Mary Tomotchko ( 1916 – 1943 )
(John Joseph) "Jack"; About 1940; /Class of 19__ .
(Louis J.) "Jimmie"; (38) 18 Dec. 1943- 10 April, 1981 *** /Class of 1960/61
~~~ Jimmie's twin- Patricia Ann Ottaviani /Otto (1943-1943) and their mother Mary (27) (1916-1943) died in child birth.
*** (Joseph (died at 59) and Alby (died at 72) - (Albina Joan Opolinsky 1921 – 1993)
Cheech (Angela) Born; About 1948- /Class of 19__ .
Carol Ann (Otto) Dadisman; (1951- __ ) *** /Class of '68
Joseph T. "Joey"; (58) 1952- 2010 *** /Class of 1970
(Carl A.) "Tony"; 1958- /Class of 19__ .
Andrea; (49) 24 July, 1961- 22 March, 2011 *** /Class of (about) 1978
Louie did not USE his middle name, I imagine his parents decided on both girl and boy names before the birth but with the tragedy of the mother/Mary ( Mary Tomotchko 1916 – 1943 ) and girl child Patricia ( Patricia Ann Ottaviani/Otto1943 – 1943 ) BOTH dying at birth and baby boy Louis surviving .... in 1943, it is nearly unimaginable how one would cope with a loss like that. The names were recorded .... Louis James was called JIMMIE by his Family. Louie's dad/Joseph then had Jack and Jimmie and he remarried and had 5 more children. Louis James Otto was then called LOUIE by all of the Military Personel and he never mentioned his middle name again. (?)
Louie graduated from Redstone Township High School, PA in 1961 and entered the Service in Dec. 1961. In the USAF, Airman Third Class Louis Otto graduated from Shepperd AFB, the Technical Training for Aircraft Engine Mechanics and was assigned to Otis AFB Mass. ( Daily Courier, The | Connellsville, Pennsylvania | Wednesday, June 27, 1962 | Page 2; LOUIS OTTO )
Aircraft Mechanic Louis Otto served in Viet Nam, in Combat Service at Bien Hoa. Pacific US Air Forces Mechanics maintained the airplanes that flew Combat against the Viet Cong. ( Daily Courier, The | Connellsville, Pennsylvania | Wednesday, December 16, 1964 | Page 19 LOUIS OTTO )
Louie only ever told one story, that being of a surprise incoming fire-power attack where he with his best friend (and the Command Pilot) ran out on the tarmac to try to get their A1-E Skyraider out of the line of incoming fire but a mortar/missile bomb hit his friend and his plane and they were gone ...... Louie was an AP Mechanic, he only ever told me that single story. I knew that it was "his" plane.... STORY BELOW. . . Louie was with US Army Major Thomas Whitlock (KIA) ... the Pilot of the A1-E Skyraider (VNAF aircraft that Louis worked on) trying to get it off the ground when it was hit by an 81 mm shell and burned on the runway.
*** 1 Nov.1964 Surprise mortar attack on Bien Hoa Airbase took place about 12:26 a.m. on 1 Nov 1964. Those killed were Richard P Bubar, Thomas Joseph Hanley, Ronald Thomas O'Keefe, Harry Joseph Sickler and LTC Thomas Daniel Whitlock.
November 1, 1964; Two days before the U.S. presidential election, Vietcong mortars shell Bien Hoa Air Base near Saigon. Four Americans are killed, 76 wounded. Five B-57 bombers are destroyed, and 15 are damaged. Please see links AND the Story below.....
(If you are reading this and know even more to the story below, please email WWII Historical Researcher PRINCESSBARBI_B25@msn.com Barbara Ennis (Otto) Connolly. Please also see the LINKS to the other men KIA and injured *under the Map* ... )
I met Louie in late '74 to early 1975 through mutual friends, my co-worker and best friend Sandy Knytych introduced me to her husband/Jim's best freind from the Phone Company.... Back in the 1970's, I believe it was "Mountain Bell". . . later Louie would take a position with Northern Telecom because they had the 1st Computer. . . I well remember his amazement and excitement because this large-freezer sized "Computer" managed (at first) TWO sets of conversations on a single-set line and then later, 64 on a single-set line!!! Ah! Those were the days of discovery ;~)
We were married in 1976 and built a home in Tempe, AZ and started our "Cabin in the Woods" (above Prescott, AZ) imm. after. . . a nearly every-weekend adventure, even through most of the winter SNOWS. There were tons of old mines to explore, "Fools Gold" to bring home and picnic's in the Park. Prescott was just over 100 miles North and Potato Patch was at almost 8000'. (In the Bradshaw Mountains of Central Arizona).
Louie died shortly after we were divorced in a tragic one car accident, a man with exemplary driving skills, (I believe he had his mind on the 1/2 work-day/Friday being over because he was going to sign papers on his new home). 10 April, 1981 ..... Louie drove straight into the back of a parked city bus and died instantly. This amazing and intelligent man was loved by many, including myself, Barbi Ennis (Otto) Connolly and "his" daughters Donna and Bambi. I nearly died the day HE did, we talked all the time. I love him as much today as the day we wed, as the day we divorced. . . he was the "life of the party", he was the most intelligent and FUN man and oddly, when not playing the clown, he was always thoughtful and thinking of others. The divorce was not a lack of love, LIFE just somehow got in the way...... We continued to communicate (Both by phone and meeting) nearly every day.....
He had the patience of a saint and could and DID spend countless hours teaching the girls to "build" something to keep them occupied while he and I built our "CABIN" in the woods, surrounded by Prescott National Forest and in a small community called "Potato Patch" at just under 8000' in the Bradshaw Mountains of Central Arizona..... "Thar's GOLD in them-thar' hills!". . . Lots of it if you are willing to work hard :) In fact, earlier in the Century, the level place (our PARK) was where the Gold Miners grew their staple; Potatoes!
In addition to teaching the girls to "hammer" things, he was a Math-Wiz, and being so patient, would spend hours again teaching them a math concept... or re-teaching that concept until they got IT ....AND the "A".... Well, Donna got the A+ ... Bambi got a B or C. What a guy! The Life of the Party, always fun and funny, thoughtful and his surprising year-round "April Fools" type-pranks had everyone laughing !!!! (and watching for the next one to happen ;)
To be SOooooooooo in LOVE. . . Before Ottaviani, it was way back from royalty (we used to laugh about that one!) and it was Y'Ottaviani (Kind-of like Yacht- ah-Ve-aH-neee) Louie was the most wonderul but damaged man I ever knew.... I loved him dearly..... He did not know how to love ...... which is a completely untrue statement... he loved with all his heart but did not know how to show it. He DID finish the cabin and then sold it to me. He wanted to "start over", and somehow just finishing the cabin helped him do that. The new home was the next step, he was the best driver I ever knew and never had as much as a fender bender and must have been lost in thought to drive straight into the back of a parked city bus. They said there were no more than a few feet of braking, he died instantly.
I alway think the Lord takes some sooner to save them from something worse later. . . . He was the life of the party and overwhelmingle shy too. "Loved and Missed" .......May the Lord keep him safe in His arms forever.
Barbara Ennis (Otto) Connolly, 57th Bomb Wing History Team Member and Historian for the 319th abnd 321st Bomb Groups, WWII B-25's in the MTO.