Retired New York Army National Guard CWO 4 Herbert Dargue was called backed to his former unit, the 3rd Battalion, 142nd Aviation, in Ronkonkoma, Suffolk County, last month.
Dargue, who began service as combat helicopter pilot beginning with the Vietnam War and retired 43 years later in 2010, received a belated Meritorious Service Medal and a special souvenir, a customized pilot helmet with illustrations that commemorate his Vietnam War and Iraq combat service.
The helmet was signed by his former fellow aviators.
Lt. Col. Mark Slusar of East Chatham, commander of the aviation battalion that has a unit in Latham, presented the helmet.
Maj. Gen. Steve Wickstrom, commander of the Troy-based 42nd Infantry Division, presented the medal to Dargue.
Dargue flew more than 21,000 hours in helicopters, including more than 5,300 on military missions.
He served in the active Army, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard.
Dargue, of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, was the last New York Army National Guard pilot to have flown Army helicopters in the Vietnam War, where he carried combat troops in Hueys on combat assaults and other missions in the Mekong Delta area. he was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 17th Air Cavalry.
He deployed to Iraq with the New York Army National Guard’s 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade. he served as an aviation liaison officer in the 42nd Infantry Division’s Tactical Operations Center in Tarik.
While in the Army Reserve, he piloted observation and Ch-47 Chinook helicopters before he transferred to the New York Army National Guard.
As a civilian, Dargue flew traffic report and corporate helicopters for 40 years before retirement. he trained Iranian army helicopter pilots for several years before the Islamic revolution in 1979.
His family tree includes other military aviators.
Herbert’s father, Donald Dargue, flew a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber in World War II. he was shot down and spent time as a prisoner of war in Germany.
His grandfather, Maj. Gen. Herbert a. Dargue, was a pioneer military aviator. he flew biplanes in support of Gen. John J. Pershing’s effort to bring Mexican rebel Pancho Villa to justice in 1916.
Just before World War II, he commanded the Army’s first Air Force. after the Pearl Harbor attack, Dargue was assigned to lead the investigation into why the United States was unprepared for the attack. while en route to Hawaii to lead the investigation and assume command of Army units in Hawaii, he was killed when his airplane crashed in the Nevada mountains. he was the first Army general to be killed on duty during World War II and one of the first 10 aviators to earn a Distinguished Flying Cross.
Guard soldiers advance
Jeffrey Baker of Schenectady, Joint Force Headquarters; Kevin Ferreira of Schenectady, Headquarters and Headquarters Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division; and Jude Mulvey of East Greenbush, Headquarters and Support Company, 42nd Infantry Division, advanced to lieutenant colonel in the New York Army National Guard.
Brian Rockwell of Schenectady was promoted to major while serving with the 466th Medical Company Area Support.
John Harder of Nassau, Joint Force Headquarters; Brandon Reynolds of Catskill, Headquarters and Headquarters 42nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division; and Julie Valenza of Queensberry, Company C (Medical), 427th Brigade Support Battalion, were promoted to captain.
John Scott of Clifton Park, 827th Engineer Company; and Eric Shupp of Corinth, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry, advanced to first lieutenant.
William Accuosti of Valatie, Company a, 1st Battalion, 224th Aviation Security and Support Battalion; Todd Dreaney of Altamont, Joint Force Headquarters; Sean Fredericks of East Greenbush, Joint Force Headquarters; and Michael Johnson of Ballston Lake, Headquarters and Headquarters, Combat Aviation Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division, were promoted to chief warrant officer.
Kenneth Secor of South Glens Falls, advanced to sergeant major while on duty with Joint Force Headquarters.
Michael Rosen of Watervliet, was promoted to master sergeant while assigned to Joint Force Headquarters.
Marine Corps Pfc. James Denue, son of Marilee Sweet of Colonie, has completed the Marine Aviation Maintenance Administration course, Marine Aviation Training Support Squadron one, Marine Aviation Support Training Support Group 21, Meridian, miss.
Denue received training on security of classified information, aeronautic technical publications and the Navy airlift maintenance program. he is a 2011 graduate of Colonie Central High School.
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