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Smither, James (Interviewer)

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Barrowcliff, Robert

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Robert Barrowcliff was born in Silverton, Oregon, in 1947. He grew up in Oregon, finished high school, and then got an electrical engineering degree from a two-year school and learned took flying lessons. Once he was out of school, he was drafted into the Army and trained as a helicopter pilot. He went to Vietnam in early 1970 and was assigned to A Company, 159 Assault Helicopter Support Battalion, based at Phu Bai. From there, he flew Chinook helicopters that transported men and supplies across the northern part of South Vietnam. He flew many missions in support of the 101st Airborne Division, notably to Fire Support Base Ripcord, where his Chinook crashed on July 18, 1970, setting off a series of explosions that ultimately led to the evacuation of the base. After this incident, he continued to fly helicopters during his year in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, he had thirty days to report to Fort Rucker with his wife, where he served as a flight instructor. He was then transferred to Karen's Army Air Base, where he was a test pilot for new engines. He left the military in March of 1971.

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Veterans History Project collection, (RHC-27)

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