DI AN, RVN, (1st INF DIV IO) Nov. 16, 1966- It was a short ride from Soui Da to the battle area, but the fighting was so intense on November 8th that the Dust Off chopper was forced to circle the "clearing" for more than an hour. "When we finally went in," the pilot remembered, "we were being fired at from three sides. I don't know how we ever got out. But Father jumped out and helped load on the first wounded. I never saw him again."
Commissioned a First Lieutenant, Father Quealy underwent training at the U. S. Army Chaplain School, then was assigned to Fort Ord, California. In January, 1966, he was promoted to Captain. In June, he was assigned to Vietnam, to the 1st Infantry Division.
Serving with the 2nd and, more recently, the 3rd Brigades, Father Quealy gradually formulated a solution to the question he was forever asking: How can I be sure to be in the right place at the right time? He rode the Dust Off medical evacuation helicopters into the battle area, then, when there was more than one wounded, would jump off into the action, there to help treat and evacuate the wounded, to pray with the injured, give Extreme Unction to the dying, and to console the shaken survivors.
He had seen battle in Operation El Paso, Operation Shenandoah, and, finally, in Operation Attleboro. For him, the battle of November 8 differed only in the way it ended.
"He was talking to the wounded who were laying on litters around the Command Post. Bullets were coming from everywhere, but he kept going from one man to another, doing his job," said one lieutenant.
"He asked me where the most action was," a sergeant recalled. "Then I saw him run right down there and start pulling the wounded out. I know at least five of those guys owe their lives to him."
"The bravest man I have ever seen, said Jack Whitted, the commander of the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry.
A soldier who was near him when he died explained how it was: "there were three machine guns firing at us down in this corner. One of them got Father Mike and he fell, right on the edge of the battle area." And so, trying to save a soldier's life and soul, Father Michael Quealy was killed.
"Greater love that this no man has, that a man lay down his life of his friends." "As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for Me."
CAPT - O3 - Army - Reserve37 year old Single, Caucasian, MaleBorn on Sep 11, 1929From NEW YORK, NEW YORKLength of service 1 year.His tour of duty began on Jun 13, 1966Casualty was on Nov 08, 1966SOUTH VIETNAMHOSTILE, GROUND CASUALTYGUN, SMALL ARMS FIRE Body was recovered Religion: ROMAN CATHOLIC
------------------------Upon the death of battlefield chaplain Fr. Michael Quealy, the above article was issued as a Press Release (Rel No. 1484-11-66) by the US Army's 1st Infantry Division . His name appears on the Vietnam Wall, panel 12E, line 43.
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