Search through millions of records to find out more.
Terry McDowell registered for the draft after his birthday in Sep 1964. He had to be 18 to get into flight school. The agreement with the Army was to go directly from basic training to flight school within 48 hours of notification.
He was called in Apr of 1965 and sworn in on 5 Apr 1965. He left for basic training in Ft Jackson in Colombia SC. May 1965 Terry finished basic training. He received the outstanding trainee award for that cycle.
From Basic Training he went to Ft Wolters TX for Primary Helicopter School (Dee Gabriel was his roommate).
Dec 1965 Terry left Ft Wolters and went to Ft Rucker AL for Advanced Helicopter School
26 Apr 1966 Terry graduated from Flight School as a Warrant Officer (WORWAC 66-3 - Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviation Course). He graduated with about 210 hours of flight time. He was 19 years old and the second youngest in his class. Other class members were Gary Johnson, Terry Holley, Gerry Curtis, Art Darling, Denny Pfaltzgraff, Al Brown.
A month before graduation, Terry got orders to Vietnam. May of 1966 he arrived in Saigon. He went to the 90th Replacement Battalion in Saigon and stayed there a few days until he got orders to 13th Aviation Battalion at Can Tho about an hour’s flight from Saigon. The 13th Aviation Battalion controlled all Army Aviation in the 4th Corp of the Army. It was commanded by Col William ‘Wild Bill’ Maddox.
Terry was assigned to Vinh Long A Company 502nd Aviation Company , the Outlaws(A/502) by Col Maddox. His roommate was Jon Myhre. Jon and Terry became good friends and have continued their friendship throughout their lives after Viet Nam.
Terry was assigned to the 1st Platoon flying UH1 B model (Slicks) Slicks carried cargo and troops. He was in this position for five months starting in May 1966. June 1966 – He was in the 1st Platoon and while in the 1st Platoon he flew OH-23, OH-13, A & D models of Hueys. He had to learn gunnery and tactics; he became a fire team leader as a WO 1.
In Oct 1966 he asked to move to gunships (Mavericks) Maverick 31. Pappy Martin who was on his second tour gave Terry his check ride in a UH-1B Gunship.
Jan 1967, Terry received a direct battle field commission as a 2nd Lt in the Transportation Corps.
May 1967, Terry left Vinh Long, Vietnam with circuitous travel. He went to Clark AFB then to Kadena AFT on Okinawa to see his father who was TDY at Clark. From there he went to Elmendorf AFB in Alaska in hopes of getting an assignment there. He went to Ft Richardson where there was a position available but the Army wanted him as a flight instructor. At the time he was given a choice for a flight instructor at Ft Rucker, Ft Wolters, or Ft Stewart, all flight training facilities. He chose to go back to AL and instruct at Ft Rucker. He was released in Jan 1969 from his assignment at Ft Rucker.
Terry joined the Alabama Nationa Guard and later the Army Reserves. He retired from military service after 29 years in 1994.