Major General Patrick Brady served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War and received the United States military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor. Born in Philip, South Dakota, he graduated from Seattle University and entered the Army Medical Service Corp in 1959. He graduated from the US Army Aviation School in 1963. During his first tour in Vietnam, then-Captain Brady trained and served with the 57th Medical Detachment, where his commanding officer was the legendary Major Charles Kelly. Following Kelly’s death on July 1, 1964, Brady took command of the 57th Medical Detachment in Soc Trang. His aggressive flying onto the battlefields of Vietnam continued, despite safety warnings from his superiors, Brady saying, “we are going to keep flying exactly the way Kelly taught us to fly, without hesitation, anytime, anywhere.” On his second tour, his courageous air evacuations awarded Major Brady the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Brady flew over 2,000 combat missions and evacuated more than 5000 wounded. Statistics showed that one third of all air ambulance crew members became casualties themselves. Overall, Dust Off rescued some one million casualties in Viet Nam, men, women, and children, enemy as well as friendly. After the war, Brady continued serving in the U.S. Army and achieved the rank of Major General after 34 years of service. He received decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Air Medal, and the Purple Heart. Brady and his wife, Nancy, have 6 children and reside in Texas.
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