Behne, Edward Lee, MAJ

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1981-Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1970, 1981, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
Service Years
1959 - 1979



Three Service Stripes

Six Overseas Service Bars

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by MAJ Mark E Cooper to remember Behne, Edward Lee (Ed), MAJ.

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Home Town
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Sep 09, 2006
Location of Interment
Not Specified
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 Official Badges 

25th Infantry Division

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

After a decorated military career, Edward Behne founded a flourishing helicopter company here

Vietnam War pilot 'fearless' in combat

By ROSANNA RUIZ Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Sept. 16, 2006, 7:32PM



Huey helicopter pilots Edward Lee Behne, left, later promoted to major, served with Capt. Ken Mulholland during the Vietnam War from 1967-68.

Retired Maj. Edward Lee Behne, a highly decorated Huey pilot during the Vietnam War who later started a lucrative helicopter company in Houston, has died of a heart attack. He was 65.

Behne, born in Abilene, enlisted in the Army in 1959.

During his three tours of Vietnam, he logged about 2,000 combat hours as a helicopter pilot in the 25th Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. As pilot in a company known as "Little Bears," Behne transported supplies and troops, often during fierce battles.

Capt. Ken Mulholland, who served with Behne during his first tour from 1967-68, said Behne was "fearless" in combat. For his valor, Behne was awarded numerous medals, including two Silver Stars and two Distinguished Flying Crosses.

"He was not a dangerous pilot — he never put a dent in a helicopter," Mulholland said. "When I say he was fearless, I don't mean he took unnecessary chances. ... He was a tremendous pilot."

The pair flew missions during the Tet offensive, which began Jan. 30, 1968. "Tet was a very busy time," Mulholland said. "It was fighting the war the way a guy would like to fight the war. ... We really clobbered them."

After the war, Behne flew crews and supplies to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1988, he founded Tex-Air Helicopters with just one helicopter. The Hobby Airport-based company flourished, growing to a fleet of more than 40 helicopters with multimillion-dollar annual earnings.

Steve Cowan, one of Tex-Air's early employees, said Behne insisted that his helicopters remain in mint condition. Even after a long day, Behne never failed to clean and polish his aircraft, he said.

"He used to say, 'Tex-Air, we fly with a flair,' " said Cowan, now a mechanic for the Houston Police Department's helicopter patrol. "He treated everybody with dignity — he was hard and fair at the same time. He was a major. He expected the job to get done."

Mulholland said he has spoken to some of Behne's business associates who described Behne as almost "too honest." "He was just the epitome of integrity. As a trustworthy friend, you could completely trust Ed," he said.

In 2004, Behne retired from the company and enjoyed hunting and spending time at his home in the Texas Hill Country, Cowan said.

Behne died Sept. 8. A memorial service was held Friday at Forest Park East Funeral Home. Behne's survivors include his wife, Mary Lynne Behne; two sons; and four stepchildren.

Other Comments:

MAJOR EDWARD LEE BEHNE passed away on Sept. 8, 2006 in Houston,TX. Major Behne flew UH-1 Hueys in Vietnam from 1967 to 1970. He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses, one Legion of Merit, VN Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and Palm, two Silver Stars, six Bronse Stars, VN Service Medal (9 campaigns), two Meritorious Unit Citations and 80 Air Medals. He is the second most highly decorated pilot having served in the US Army in Vietnam. He retired as Major from the Army in 1979 and founded Tex-Air Helicopters, Inc. in 1988. In 2003, he retired to his passion, his most loved Hill Country ranch, where worked, hunted, and entertained his best friends and family members. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lynne, his two sons, Mark Behne and Mike Behne, four step children, Jimmy Gonzalez, Mark Gonzalez, Tanya Roland and Robert Hughey, brother, Richard Behne, sister, Gwen Pascal, one grandchild, Josephine Behne and 14 step grandchildren. Visitation will be held Friday, Sept. 15, 2006 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Forest Park East Funeral Home. Services will follow at 3:00 p.m. in the chapel of Forest Park Funeral Home. Military honors to follow after service.

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   1967-1970, 1981, A Company (Little Bears), 25th Aviation Battalion

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A Company (Little Bears) Unit Page
1981-Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Commander
Not Specified
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
 A Company (Little Bears), 25th Aviation Battalion Details

A Company (Little Bears), 25th Aviation Battalion
Air Unit
Parent Unit
25th Aviation Battalion
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010
My Photos For This Unit
No Available Photos
71 Members Also There at Same Time
A Company (Little Bears)

Orr, Merlin George, 1LT, (1967-1970) AV 1981 First Lieutenant
Grant, Melvin Lee, WO1, (1968-1969) AV 062B Warrant Officer 1
Yetter, John, CW5, (1967-1998) TC 671C Chief Warrant Officer 2
Apodaca, Jack Michael, SGT, (1967-1969) TC 67A Sergeant
Hiemenz, James Borland, SGT, (1967-1969) AG 71B10 Sergeant
Kilwine, Richard James, SGT, (1968-1969) AV 67N10 Sergeant
Vassaur, Frankie Carl, CPL, (1969-1970) TC 67A Corporal
Wilfong, Gil Stevens, CPL, (1968-1969) AV 67A Corporal
Carr, Andrew, SP 5, (1965-1968) AV 67N20 Specialist 5
Humphrey, George, SP 5, (1966-1969) AV 67N20 Specialist 5
Hansen, Skip, SP 4, (1967-1970) TC 67N20 Specialist 4
Hunter, William Kenneth, SP 4, (1967-1970) TC 67A Specialist 4
Landers, Jacky Eugene, SP 4, (1968-1969) TC 67A Specialist 4
Barbaretta, David, SP 4, (1969-1972) AV Specialist 4
Barbaretta, David, SP 4, (1969-1972) AV Specialist 4
25th Aviation Battalion

Valouche, Leslie, MAJ, (1960-1980) AV 2518 First Lieutenant
Spitler, Bob, CW2, (1966-1972) AV 100E Chief Warrant Officer 2
Drake, Michael Joseph, WO1, (1967-1969) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Simeonoff, Frederick Michael, WO1, (1970-1970) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Staggs, Robert Dale, WO1, (1969-1969) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Stahlstrom, Allan Emile, WO1, (1968-1969) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Sugimoto, Leonard James, WO1, (1968-1969) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Jackson, Maxies, MAJ, (1964-1990) IN 1542 First Lieutenant
Frye, Bobby Sam, MSG, (1950-1968) AV 71P Sergeant First Class
Kupchinskas, Paul Norman, SGT, (1968-1969) TC 67N10 Sergeant
Belkin, Michael, CPL, (1967-1969) IN 111.1 Corporal
Devine, Thomas Edward, CPL, (1967-1969) AV 67N10 Corporal
Pinao, Rance, SSG, (1965-1981) AV 67W Specialist 6
Byous, Marcus Randolph, SSG, (1968-1969) TC 67N20 Specialist 5
Coleman, Tim, SP 5, (1966-1970) AV 67N20 Specialist 5
Hornback, Thomas, SP 5, (1966-1969) EN 62B20 Specialist 5
Mathers, Thomas, SP 5, (1968-1971) AV 67N20 Specialist 5
Hunt, Michael, SP 4, (1968-1973) AV 71P Specialist 4
Julio, David, SP 4, (1966-1969) AV 67M10 Specialist 4
Lafond, Robert E., SP 4, (1966-1969) AV 67N20 Specialist 4
Matthews, Seth Hayden, SP 4, (1968-1969) AV 67N10 Specialist 4
Reinhardt, David, SP 4, (1966-1969) QM 76W Private First Class
Stock, David, MAJ, (1966-1995) AV Chief Warrant Officer 2
Melvin, William, LTC, (1965-1987) IN Captain
Owen, Frank, CPT, (1966-1969) IN Captain
Gonzales, Melchoir, SGT, (1959-1967) AV Sergeant
Phillips, Troy, SGT, (1969-1972) AV Sergeant
Turk, Curtis, SP 4, (1969-1970) IN Specialist 4
Houser, Charles Milton, MAJ, (1959-1967) Major
Frasher, Gary Dean, 1LT, (1967-1970) First Lieutenant
Chambers, Lou, CW2, (1969-1971) Warrant Officer 1
Kalter, James Michael, PFC, (1966-1969) Private First Class
B Company

Arrants, Michael Lorrell, 2LT, (1969-1970) AV 1981 Second Lieutenant
Elson, Jeffrey Charles, 1LT, (1966-1969) TC 1981 First Lieutenant
Moore, Chuck, CW2, (1966-1970) AV 100E Chief Warrant Officer 2
Rector, Bob, CW5, (1968-1994) AV 100E Warrant Officer 1
Thomas, Roy Stephen, WO1, (1968-1969) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Wolfe, Edward, CW4, (1968-1996) AV 100B Warrant Officer 1
Leach, Kenneth Raymond, WO1, (1960-1969) TC 100B Warrant Officer 1
Worthington, Richard Charles, CW2, (1968-1970) TC 100B Warrant Officer 1
Williams, Gayle Edward, SSG, (1968-1969) AV 67H Staff Sergeant
Rodgers, John Thomas, SGT, (1969-1970) IN 11B20 Sergeant
West, Jerald Dale, SGT, (1965-1970) AV 67N10 Sergeant
Kirksey, James Walter, SP 5, (1967-1969) AV 67N10 Specialist 5

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