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Monday, January 23, 2017

How's this for a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

 Remembering Martha Raye

Most of the old time entertainers were made of a lot sterner stuff than today's crop. An honorary member of the Green Beret Special Forces, Raye was considered a "hawk" for going to Vietnam. Hollywood called her names and cruelly blacklisted her for more then ten years.

The following information is from an Army Aviator who takes a trip down memory lane: "It was just before Thanksgiving '67 and we were ferrying dead and wounded from a large GRF west of Pleiku.


We had run out of body bags by noon, so the Hook (CH-47 CHINOOK) was pretty rough in the back.

All of a sudden, we heard a 'take-charge' woman's voice in the rear.


There was singer and actress, Martha Raye, with a Special Forces beret and jungle fatigues, with subdued markings, helping the wounded into the Chinook, and carrying the dead aboard.  Maggie' had been visiting her Special Forces (SF) 'heroes' out 'west'.

We took off, short of fuel, and headed to the USAF hospital pad at Pleiku.

As we all started unloading our sad pax's, a USAF Captain said to Martha.... "Ms Raye, with all these dead and wounded to process, there would not be time for your show!"

To all of our surprise, she pulled on her right collar and said "Captain, see this eagle? I am a full 'Bird' in the US Army Reserve, and this is a 'Caduceus' which means I am a Nurse, with a surgical specialty.... now, take me to your wounded!"

He said, "Yes ma'am.... follow me."

Several times at the Army Field Hospital in Pleiku, she would 'cover' a surgical shift, giving a nurse a well-deserved break.
Wounded twice while visiting Green Beret's, Martha is the only woman buried in the SF (Special Forces) cemetery at Ft Bragg.




2 comments:

  1. Another quick stop in history. Interesting post, Gini.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had not heard of her before. Fascinating thank you.

    ReplyDelete