Bixler, Martin Edward, WO1

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Last Rank
Warrant Officer 1
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
062B-Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Officer)
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 062B, 117th Assault Helicopter Company
Service Years
1967 - 1968

Transportation Corps

Warrant Officer 1

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by 1LT Denny Eister to remember Bixler, Martin Edward, WO1.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Glen Rock
Last Address
Glen Rock

Casualty Date
Oct 03, 1968
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Tay Ninh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Bethlehem Cemetery - Steltz, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
42W 065

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2018, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
52nd Aviation BattalionU.S. Army Primary Helicopter Center (Cadre) Fort Wolters1st Aviation Brigade117th Assault Helicopter Company
  1967-1967, 52nd Aviation Battalion
  1967-1967, U.S. Army Primary Helicopter Center (Cadre) Fort Wolters
  1968-1968, 062B, 52nd Aviation Battalion/117th Aviation Company (AH)
  1968-1968, 062B, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1968-1968, 062B, 117th Assault Helicopter Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On October 3, 1968, SP4 Roger L. Smith was the crew chief aboard a UH1H helicopter (serial #67-17595) on a command and control mission in Phuoc Long Province in the general vicinity of Phuoc Binh. There were a total of six individuals aboard the aircraft. When Smith's helicopter was flying over an operations area, the aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire, crashed and burned. Of the six aboard, five were recovered, although public record does not indicate whether they survived or were dead. Information allegedly obtained from witnesses indicates that Smith's remains are probably still at the crash site and under the aircraft's transmission. The site was not revisited. A great deal of information relating to this case was still classified as late as May, 1988.

Short Summary: Shot down in Stove Pipe LZ. Bixler and gunner were captured and killed. The AC CPT Tom Frame survived. Bixler was pilot.

War Story:
On October 3, 1968, a battalion of Special Forces had come into heavy contact about twenty miles northwest of Tay Ninh along the Cambodian border. An emergency lift of ammunition was requested and CPT Arthur (Tom) Frame the Air Mission commander at Tay Ninh volunteered to take it into the midst of the battle. As he came to a hover over the trees on the ammunition drop his hydraulics and tail rotor were shot out and he crashed into the trees. The crew chief, Specialist Roger Smith was killed instantly in the crash as the aircraft rolled on the left side. CPT Frame was trapped in the wreckage and his pilot Warrant Officer Martin Bixler and gunner SP5 Michael McCafferty came around to pull him out. They pulled him from the wreckage but before they could be picked up, Warrant Officer Bixler and Specialist McCafferty were killed by the enemy raging fire. CPT Frame was dragged away from the contact area by one of the Special Forces personnel and was picked up some hours later when the action subsided. Captain Frame was awarded the Silver Star for refusing to leave his aircraft before he got the passengers out of the cabin area. For their heroic actions, Specialist McCafferty and Warrant Officer Bixler were awarded the Silver Star posthumously. from Annual Supplement History of the 117th Aviation Company (AMBL LT) 222nd Combat Aviation Battalion 12th Combat Aviation Group, First Aviation Brigade, 1 January 1968 - 31 December 1968, Prepared by 1LT David A. Coon, Unit Historical Officer, Approved by: MAJ Lynn B. Knisely, Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam, APO 96279.



Silver Star


The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918 (amended by an act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Warrant Officer Martin Edward Bixler (ASN: W-3159584), United States Army, for gallantry in action in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force while serving with the 117th Assault Helicopter Company 214th Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade, in the Republic of Vietnam on 3 October 1968. Warrant Officer Bixler distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions while piloting a UH-1H helicopter on an urgent re-supply mission northwest of Tay Ninh. Due to the thick jungle growth, the desperately needed ammunition had to be thrown out of the aircraft while it hovered over a bomb crater. The aircraft was hit by enemy fire, crashed and burst into flames, pinning the aircraft commander underneath the wreckage. Upon freeing himself, Warrant Officer Bixler attempted to dislodge the aircraft commander, despite the intense enemy fire. He gradually freed the aircraft commander from the burning ship, but was fatally wounded minutes later. Through his exceptional courage and devotion to duty, he saved the life of his aircraft commander. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 1st Aviation Brigade, General Orders No. 7456 (November 8, 1968)
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