This site created as a surprise with love and pride for our father -- Father's Day 2001
Then Major Bruce P. Crandall was assigned as Commanding Officer of "A" Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in the Republic of Vietnam in 1965-66. In this position, he had command of 20 UH- I (Huey) helicopters and flew the lead helicopter on over 750 combat missions, leading as many as 60 lift helicopters plus their gunship and aerial rocket artillery support helicopters on air assaults in the central highlands of RVN. In addition to these flights, he volunteered and flew a number of medical evacuation rescue flights which he undertook after the Medical Evacuation Unit responsible for these missions refused to fly due to the, intense enemy fire in the pick-up zones. Two of these volunteer missions, 14 November 1965 and 31 January 1966 received special recognition. The November 1965 missions into LZ X-Ray in the IaDrang Valley was recognized in a number of books written on the battle including "We Were Soldiers Once and Young" written by Lt General Harold G. Moore, Commanding Officer of the Infantry units in X-Ray; and, Joseph Galloway, a combat reporter who was in the LZ during the battle. (There is currently a movie in production based upon this book.) Crandall led the helicopter operations during this fierce battle which was the first meeting between a major force of North Vietnamese Regulars and a battalion-sized U.S. military unit. The January 1966 rescue was recognized by the Aviation and Space Writers Association for their first "Helicopter Heroism Award". This rescue was selected from an international field of nominees, both military and civilian, as the outstanding act of heroism involving a helicopter. At the twentieth anniversary of this award, the organization ranked Crandall's rescue as the most outstanding in the 20 years of the award. Crandall was also inducted into the elite "Gathering of Eagles" by the United States Air Force in 1996. He is one of only seven Army aviators so honored. The Gathering of Eagles is the only international organization dedicated to recognizing outstanding achievements relating to both civilian and military aviation throughout the world.