This is Tim McMahon HMM-262 65-67 RVN 66-67. I read the letter to you titled ?Longest Day? in reference to the HMM-364 (Purple Foxes) CH-46 crash. It?s really something how so many are affected by any incident in Iraq. I was with HMM-262 in Nam flying gunner and fixing hydraulic problems on the old CH-46?s which were pretty new then. The guys in Iraq are still flying and fixing the same aircraft somewhat modified now but basically the same birds. Our squadron HMM-262 hadn?t been to war since Vietnam, but are now fighting the good fight. We as ?Old Tigers? have been in touch with our younger ?Brothers? in the current squadron for years now. We?ve set up a support system to send care packages over to them, and one of our guys Larry Zok thought it would be a good idea to have a squadron coin made up and have them presented to the guys in country. The day before the HMM-364 accident the squadron CO had a formation and he and the SgtMaj presented the coin to every squadron member. The Marines cherished the coins and made a slit to form a pocket in their squadron patch to carry the coin for good luck. Since the squadron just arrived in country they were riding on missions with other squadrons to get the lay of the land (fam flights). It was on one of these fam flights with HMM-364 that one of our Crew Chiefs Cpl Tom Saba was flying when the aircraft was shot down, the day after the coins were presented.
We try to send a representative of HMM-262 Vietnam Veterans Association to all funerals where an HMM-262 Marine has passed. Cpl Saba was from Toms River, NJ and I?m from Trenton. Tom grew up in Staten Island and that?s where his funeral was. As a representative of HMM-262 VVA I attended Tom?s funeral and it was as if I had known him all the time. He was a ?Brother? just like the ?Brothers? I lost in Nam and I felt the loss that his family and friends felt. I presented Tom?s Father with another coin to replace the coin lost in the accident and it was an honor for me to attend the services. Taps to my ?Brother?.