Ron Brodeur served as a gunner/crew chief in the Green Hornets in Vietnam, but was just recently honored for his bravery.
BY BETTY ADAMS STAFF WRITER
December 28, 2015
CHELSEA — The helicopter mission to extract or “exfil” an Army Green Beret Special Forces unit on a clandestine mission in Cambodia took place on Feb. 20, 1969.
Vietnam veteran Ron Brodeur, 70, of Chelsea was recently awarded the Silver Star during a ceremony at the Pentagon for his actions on Feb. 20, 1969 as a member the Air Force’s 20th Special Operations Squadron, known as the Green Hornets. Photo by Jeff PoulandBut Ron Brodeur, now 70, recites every detail as if it were yesterday.
Less than two weeks ago, Brodeur and his fellow gunner/crew chief aboard that mission received long delayed Silver Stars for their valor under fire on that day 46 years ago.
Brodeur and Eric Roberts II, who lives near Houston, Texas, were at the Pentagon to receive the military award Dec. 17. There the two Green Hornets, members of the 20th Special Operations Squadron, reminisced about that particular mission and hundreds of others during their time in the Air Force in Vietnam.
“Our job was reconnaissance,” Brodeur said on Saturday as he sat in the sun room of his Chelsea home. “We put Army Green Berets into the jungle in Cambodia, and when they got into trouble, they were exfilled or taken out.”
The Air Force crews flew UH-1 F/P helicopters, which Brodeur frequently referred to as airplanes. Eight helicopters were kept at the forward operations base.
“We lost quite a few airplanes and crew members while we were there,” Brodeur said.
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