Freedom Fighters: Captain John Mustard - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Freedom Fighters: Captain John Mustard

Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw service in the Vietnam War from 1959 until the war ended in 1975. Captain John Mustard spent 18 months flying assault missions, general supply missions and medivac missions in Vietnam. If the sound of helicopters is the most memorable sound from Vietnam, as they say, it also was the sound that alerted the enemy. Mustard says he tried to fly in a way they didn't expect to prevent being hit. This often meant flying so low he was "cropping grass," while other times he flew below the tree line with only his chopper blades above them.

Mustard often wondered why he lived through Vietnam when he faced death so many times. During his later life as an airline pilot and as a volunteer fire chief, Mustard saved a number of lives. He feels now that was the purpose for his being saved.

Joan Hallmark, reporting.
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