Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Tom Seybold | 582nd Aviation Company, 57th Medical Detachment - Army

4:20   |   Tom Seybold is originally from Stony Brook on Long Island, New York. Although his father died when he was five, his mother took on the role of single parent. He never actually graduated from high school, and instead went straight to basic training when he was old enough. He had orders to go to Fort Bragg to be in the 82nd Airborne, but quickly transferred to Fort Wolters. After that he had orders to join the 582nd Aviation Company in France, and was then sent near Soc Trang Vietnam for the war.

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Videos ( 5 )
Vietnam
  • Tom Seybold  |  Vietnam  |  582nd Aviation Company, 57th Medical Detachment  |  6:10

    Once he arrived in Vietnam, Seybold was ordered to go down to Can Tho. There his job mainly consisted of flying support missions for advisers from the ARVN. As he spent more time there, he noticed how much he disliked being in the Army and wanted to transfer somewhere else. Later on, it was discovered that he had never graduated high school and so he was forced to get his GED through the University of Maryland.

  • Tom Seybold  |  Vietnam  |  Air America  |  7:24

    After his time in Vietnam, Seybold went back to the US to Hunter Army Airfield to help teach ground school. At one point he was prompted by a man named Harry Dawson to get his commercial pilot license to join Air America. Through Air America, he mainly flew UH-34 Helicopters and had really good civilian interaction when on his missions in Southeast Asia.

  • Tom Seybold  |  Vietnam  |  Air America  |  5:27

    While he was with Air America, Tom Seybold worked both directly and indirectly with a man named Anthony Poshepny, better known for his nickname 'Tony Poe.' He talks about how he helped engage the Vietnamese during the war by providing what they called "hard rice", or refueling ammo. He also talks about the types of uniforms he was instructed to wear.

  • Tom Seybold  |  Vietnam  |  Air America  |  6:07

    Seybold talks about Vang Pao, a major general in the Royal Lao Army. There were a few uncommon missions he flew for non-political reasons, such as flying a soccer team over from one place to another. After some time working for Air America, he decided to come back home, and he describes the process he went through to do that.

  • Tom Seybold  |  Vietnam  |  Air America  |  5:57

    Tom Seybold talks about how it felt to return to the United States as a civilian pilot. When he got back home to Stony Brook, there was already a local war hero named Chuck Rice that everyone was talking about, so he didn't get much attention. He tried to join the American Legion but at the time they disagreed with the politics in favor of the Vietnam War and so he was denied. He talks disclaimers regarding Air America and gives his final thoughts.

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