BORGER NEWS HERALD
McCarthy died serving his country
BY Melissa Stroud
News-Herald Staff Writer
Loyd V. McCarthy was born and raised Borger. He died in Vietnam while serving his country as a Cobra helicopter pilot. On May 18, McCarthy's mother, Helen McCarthy, was presented with a membership certificate by Charles White, a member of the 8th Battalion 4th Artillery. McCarthy, who served two tours in Vietnam, was assigned to the battalion during his first tour in Vietnam. The certificate contains a map of the DMZ area in Vietnam and reflects some of the operations and names of the units supported by the battalion. It was designed by Fred B. James, an architect from San Antonio who also is a veteran of the battalion.
"This is great," Helen said, looking at the framed certificate. "I'm so proud of it."
During his first tour at Vietnam, Mc McCarthy served as an artilleryman. When he finished that assignment he returned to the United States and trained to become a helicopter pilot, returning to Vietnam as a captain in 1970.
McCarthy was killed March 16, 1971, when the helicopter he was flying crashed when he was returning from an operation near the Laotian border on what was to be his last flight. Helen said she and his family had been expecting him home the first of April. McCarthy was survived by his mother, his wife and daughter, his brother and his grandmother.
McCarthy was Catholic and had a Catholic funeral service in Vietnam, Helen said. During his funeral service here, she was presented with the flag that was draped on his coffin in Vietnam.
For his service in Vietnam with the United States Army, Loyd received many medals including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with V Device and 20 Oak Leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart with Two Oak Leaf Clusters, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Re public of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Unit Citation, Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class Unit Citation, and the Gallantry Cross with Silver Star.
Helen said that her son was a quiet person and wouldn't say much until a person got to know him. Once he did get to know someone, "he'd talk up a storm," she said, laughing. Helen said he showed an interest in the military growing up and liked to explore. Once he found an Indian pot that is now on display at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, she said.
McCarthy, who was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Borger High in 1961 and attended Texas A&M University. Afterward he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve and later enlisted in the United States Army where he was selected to attend Officer's Candidate School at Fort Sill in Lawton, Okla.
After receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant in Field Artillery, McCarthy was assigned to the 8th Battalion 4th Artillery, a 175 mm gun battalion. It was created in the spring of 1967 and departed to Vietnam in the summer of 1967. His battalion was assigned to the DMZ area, which is part of the membership certificate's design that McCarthy's mother received. In 1968, he was transferred to the 1st Battalion 44th Artillery, where he was wounded while protecting the outer approaches to the city of Hue.
It was after finishing that first tour that McCarthy retrained as a helicopter pilot and returned to Vietnam.
Memorial Day is a time to remember those who served and protected our country. It is a day to give honor and tribute to those who died serving this nation; people like Loyd V. McCarthy.
Association honors members
BY Charles White
Beginning in the year 2000, the veterans of the 8th Battalion 4th Artillery formed the "8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery Association,'' and began an extensive search for the former members of the battalion. Because Loyd McCarthy was one of the original officers that went to Vietnam with the battalion, several men had been searching for him for the last several years. Recent searches for veterans of the battalion included searches on the Internet, searches of social security databases, and the records on the "Wall" in Washington, D.C., for men killed in Vietnam. Although McCarthy's name is on the "Wall," it had always been assumed that the name on the wall was not the same Loyd McCarthy who first went to Vietnam with the battalion in 1967. This was because the date of McCarthy's death was reported to be over three years after McCarthy had first gone to Vietnam with the artillery battalion. Also, his Military Occupational Specialty was shown to be a helicopter pilot rather than an artilleryman.
Because the wall information showed that McCarthy was from Borger, Texas, Amarillo attorney Charles G. White, who is a veteran of the battalion, decided to call persons named "McCarthy" in Borger. When White called Helen McCarthy and informed her that he was looking for Loyd V. Mc Carthy, Jr., who had served in Vietnam, he was not surprised when she said "I am his mother."
"It was at that moment that I realized that Loyd must have retrained in helicopters and was later killed while serving, another, tour in Vietnam,'' White said.
The members of the 8th Battalion 4th Field Artillery Association have been searching for the relatives of the battalion members who died in Vietnam so that they can honor their deceased brothers in a special way. While serving in Vietnam the battalion received the Naval Presidential Unit Citation, the Naval Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. The battalion now maintains an Internet web site at:
By the end of 1972, according to Pentagon figures, 4857 helicopters of all types were lost by the United States in Vietnam. Even to this day, for veterans of the Vietnam war, the sound of helicopter rotors beating the air reminds them of their participation in America's longest war. To the artillerymen with whom McCarthy first began his service in Vietnam, the sound of a helicopter will forever remind them of the times when the helicopter provided them with aerial fire support, when the helicopter became the only source of resupply and transportation, and most importantly, mail from home.