Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Ollie Maier | 604th Air Commando Squadron - Air Force

7:26   |   After his tour in Vietnam was over, Maier got a flight back to the United States and landed in San Francisco. He sadly had a falling out with his wife at the time, and went back to being a flight instructor. He gives his reflections about the Vietnam War, talks about his good friend who got shot down and taken prisoner named Tom Curtis, and his final thoughts about everything that had happened during his time in combat.

More From Ollie Maier

Keywords   :     Ollie Maier    returning home    end of war    postwar    divorce    wife    flight instructor    ATC(Air Transport Command)    POW camp (Prisoner of War camp)    Tom Curtis    casualty    family    San Antonio TX    Acapulco Mexico    T-37    T-38    students    teacher    headquarters (HQ)    politics    Christmas    San Francisco CA

Videos ( 7 )
Vietnam
  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  4:44

    Originally from Minnesota, Ollie Maier grew up on a farm and quickly learned how to drive a tractor at the age of 9. His uncle was right in the middle of Pearl Harbor when it was attacked, and his cousin was a pilot long before him. Seeing the planes soar over his head while he was in the fields inspired him to become a pilot as well. While in college, he took flying lessons, and was the only one of his group of five friends to pass his flying test for the US Air Force.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  5:06

    The level of accuracy Maier and his Squadron had during their bomb dropping missions was astounding. During one run, they were able to hit the same target over and over again without fail. When the Tet Offensive broke out, Maier was tasked with flying more missions.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  6:35

    Maier graduated from his aviation cadet program in 1957 and was sent to gunnery school. He was assigned to a missile wing in Germany and eventually went on to become a T-37 instructor. After that he was sent to Vietnam, and despite most of his missions being focused on dropping bombs from the air, his favorite missions were the ones where he got to help the soldiers out of the firefights down on the ground.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  7:56

    While up in the air, most of Maier's missions included dropping bombs on the enemy. While on one mission, he distinctly remembers his plane getting shot up and how he got away from the area to preserve the aircraft. After receiving word from the forward air controller that there were no other planes he could use, he chose to continue flying the damaged plane for the rest of the mission and received a Distinguished Flying Cross for it.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  7:03

    After he got back from the mission where his plane was damaged, Maier was promised a Silver Star in addition to his Distinguished Flying Cross for the act of bravery he had up in the air. Unfortunately, the forward air controller who was supposed to follow through with awarding him the Silver Star, codenamed David 26, had gotten shot down and evacuated back to the US shortly after. He did, however, receive yet another Distinguished Flying Cross despite technically disobeying direct orders from his flight lead.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  6:54

    Sadly, at one point Maier lost his flight lead from another mission, named Ron Bond. He talks about how this happened even though he wasn't there to witness it, as well as another mission he flew with Ron when he was still on active duty that was also during the heat of the Tet Offensive.

  • Ollie Maier  |  Vietnam  |  604th Air Commando Squadron  |  4:59

    During the Tet Offensive, Maier remembers the deadly rocket attacks that were used against him and his fellow men. When he got airborne, he could see where the NVA was shooting the rockets from but he hadn't been cleared to hit it. At the time, one base had called for backup but all other divisions were busy, so Maier took it upon himself to drop the flares that he had on the wings of his plane, even without permission from radar.

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