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SP5 MARTIN L. RODGERS
US ARMY

Martin LeRoy Rodgers was born October 2, 1951, grew up in Prosper lived in McKinney for a short while. In 1969 at the age of eighteen, he joined the US Army.  His tour in Vietnam began on Friday, April 3, 1970. Marty’s MOS was 67N20, UH-1 helicopter repair specialist, and he was the crew chief on US Army helicopter UH-1H, commonly called a Huey. Marty was stationed at Vinh Long on the banks of the Mekong River in the southern Delta region, with the 1st Aviation Brigade with D Troop, 3rd Squadron, 5th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which carried the nicknamed ‘Lighthorse.’ On   Sunday, July 26, 1970, Marty's chopper was on a mission supporting the Army of South Vietnam in a combat situation. After picking up troops  on the ground, and flying low over the Mekong River, an engine malfunction caused his aircraft to 'flame out.' Unable to make a landing the chopper hit the water,  rolled instantly to the right, and sank below the surface. The co-pilot was able to escape and swim away safely, along with the door gunner. The door beside the pilot was jammed, and he had to crawl into the rear of the submerged helicopter and escape through the cargo door. When he surfaced, the first thing he saw was Sp4 Martin Rodgers sitting on the skid which was still above water on the sinking aircraft. They spoke to one another, and Martin assured the pilot that he was okay. While they waited for the Navy patrol boat that was racing to the rescue, Clark struggled to stay afloat and keep from drowning. The ARVN soldiers who had been on board were clinging to the skids and trying to stay above water. After all of the survivors had been loaded into the boat, it was then discovered that Sp4 Rodgers and two ARVN soldiers were missing. Exactly what had happened to Martin Rodgers is unknown. Martin is buried at Ridgeview Memorial Park, in McKinney, and his name is listed at Panel 8W, Row 56 on the Wall in Washington, DC.

 

Medals Awarded:
GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
VIETNAM CAMPAIGN RIBBON

 photo MartinRodgers.jpg 

I Remember Marty!
I was flying Scouts and was down near Marty when he was with the downed Huey in the water. We were going to try and get him and he signaled us away. The Navy boats were right there picking up people. I did not see what happened to Marty. We rode to lunch on his Helicopter with him that day. Marty was fun to be around.
Rick Waite (War Wagon 19)
 

If you would like to leave a memorial message in the memory of Martin Rodgers, Go Here.

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