US Army Vietnam MOH recipient passes

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Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA
Family, Heroes, Knights Bid MoH Recipient Farewell
American Forces Press Service | Marie Schult | April 14, 2006
Arlington, VA. - Six Medal of Honor recipients and the Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, were among those gathered at Arlington National Cemetery here yesterday to pay their last respects to retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. "Mike" Novosel, a Medal of Honor recipient and former Golden Knight.

"It was an honor and a privilege to pay homage to an American hero who served in this unit," said Army Sgt. Maj. Mike Eitniear, Golden Knights sergeant major. Novosel was a pilot for the team following his return from Vietnam in 1970.

He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and tenacity during the Vietnam War. On Oct. 21, 1969, Novosel received word of wounded South Vietnamese soldiers pinned down by a large enemy force. Flying without air cover, he encountered ground fire so intense it forced him away six times.

Despite the ground fire, he completed 15 hazardous extractions. On the last, just as a wounded soldier was pulled into the aircraft, the enemy unleashed a hail if fire directly at Novosel. Wounded, he momentarily lost control of the aircraft, but recovered and flew to safety. In all, he saved 29 men, according to the Medal of Honor Web site.

He took the pilot position on the Army parachute team at Fort Bragg N.C., in April 1970, according to his book, "Dustoff, the Memoir of an Army Aviator." In June 1971, while he was on the team, he received a call informing him that he and his family were to travel to the White House to meet President Richard M. Nixon for him to receive the Medal of Honor. Novosel served with the Knights until 1972, flying them all over the country to perform parachute demonstrations.

"Thank you so much for coming," his son, Mike Novosel Jr., told members of the Knights in attendance at the funeral. "Dad loved the team and loved his time at Fort Bragg. I'm honored that the team would travel here today to pay their respects to my dad."

Following his retirement from the Army, Novosel spent a lot of time on the lecture circuit, talking about the book and Army aviation. In all that time, he never wavered in his support of the Army or its troops - not even when he became ill with cancer.

"Even when he was in bad health, he would constantly honor those calls for appearances and speaking engagements," said Skippy Cassel, a former Golden Knight skydiver and Army pilot. "You'd never know anything was wrong. He was really an ambassador for Army aviation. He just loved Army aviation."

Throughout his long fight, he continued to be an ambassador for the Army, and in his last days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, he was an inspiration to the wounded troops recuperating there.

"He took time during his own battle to serve others," Cody noted. "He is the reason we wrote the Warrior Ethos."

The Warrior Ethos is a set of four statements every soldier is expected to live by:

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I found more information about him...... its incredible......

Born September 3, 1922 and raised in Etna, Pa., Novosel became an
aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Forces when he was 19 years old.
After earning his commission and pilot wings on December 15, 1942, he instructed in the North American AT-6 Texan at Laredo Army Air Field, Texas. By December 1944, Novosel had logged more than 800 hours in the Consolidated B-24 Liberator supporting aerial gunner training. Then, he went to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to qualify in the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

In July 1945, following crew training in New Mexico, Novosel left for
Tinian Island in the Pacific where he flew four combat missions with
the 58th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy). After the end of World War II, he flew two missions to drop food to Allied prisoners of war in Japan. During the Japanese surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri, Novosel commanded a B-29 in a 462-ship fly-over. He then took command of the 99th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) and remained in the Pacific until the fall of 1947.

Following his service in World War II he was assigned to Eglin AFB,
Florida, where he was a B-29 test pilot. In 1949, Novosel left active
duty and joined the Air Force Reserve. He was recalled to active duty
during the Korean War, at the grade of Major and attended the Air
Command and Staff School.Novosel was promoted to Lt. Col. with the Air Force Reserve in 1964 and requested active duty for service during the Vietnam War. When informed that the Air Force was over-strength in its senior grades, he vacated his position with the Air Force Reserves and accepted an appointment as a Warrant Officer Aviator with the U.S. Army.

Returning to combat as a "DUSTOFF" (medevac) helicopter pilot, he
served two tours in South Vietnam, flying 2,543 missions in the Bell
UH-1 Huey while airlifting nearly 5,600 medical evacuees.

At the time of his retirement on February 28, 1985, Novosel was the
last active duty military aviator on flight status who had flown combat missions in World War II. Known as the "Dean of the Dustoff Pilots" Novosel was an aviator on flight status for more than 42 years. He accumulated 12,400 hours of military flying time of which 2,038 were flown in combat.

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