30May69VietnamDear Mon and Dad,Well here I am in a different place for my birthday again. I was just thinking of the places I’ve been the last 3 or 4 years on my birthday.I’m at LZ Baldy in the FIREBIRD READY hooch. We are on alert here in case a strike is needed or if some unit needs coverage while a medivac goes in.By the way I am in the FIREBIRDS now. I’m flying the “FROG” ship today. This has the 40mm grenade launcher on the nose that fires 250 R.P.M. I’ve fired it a few times already on night strikes. The FROG also has 2 rocket pods with a total of 19 rockets each side. We also have 2 door gunners firing free-hand, M-60 machine guns.I don’t suppose we’ll get any missions today because of the 24-hour truce. It’s my birthday so they called the war off for a day. Really it’s Budda’s birthday also and that’s the big thing. Nobody even said anything about it being Memorial Day. I guess that doesn’t count. All the men that have died over here you’d think somebody would say something about them. It kinda looks like people are ashamed because they died in this war that nobody wants. I don’t see it like that though. We’re fighting and they died for our country and the flag.If something happened to me over here, I sure hate to think that people thought I died for no reason. You know what I mean.I’ve got 267 days left today.Your Son, Herb
The above is excerpts from a letter Capt. Crosby (Herby) wrote home on his birthday, his last birthday alive. Herby would be 66 years old today. On a return flight from a combat mission in Vietnam his helicopter was enveloped in clouds never to be seen again, nor him and his Firebird crew. That was 10 Jan 1970. His remains were finally identified in 2006 with burial at Arlington National Cemetery 25 May 2007, with full military honors. The call name of Firebird Nine One was retired after that in honor and respect.
His Grandma Crosby gave him a full sized American flag for his birth on May 30, 1947 [Memorial Day]. He grew up loving the flag as a symbol not only for our country but for his birthday. He was a Boy Scout, becoming an Eagle Scout serving God, country and flag, and of course, served the country in the Army. He left this world with the flag he so loved draped over his coffin. So he came into this world with the American flag, served that flag, fought for that flag, and was buried with the American flag.
Rest in peace my dear brother and know you did “a job well done my faithful servant.” We miss you, and remember you always.