McCabe, Jack, SP 5

Signal Corps (Enlisted)
 TWS Ribbon Bar
Life Member
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USA Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Specialist 5
Current/Last Service Branch
Signal Corps
Current/Last Primary MOS
35L-Avionic Communications Equipment Repairer
Current/Last MOS Group
Signal Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1972, 1st Aviation Brigade
Service Years
1970 - 1973
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate

Specialist 5

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Official Badges 

1st Aviation Brigade U.S. Army Vietnam

 Unofficial Badges 

Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran

 Military Association Memberships
American LegionVeterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW)Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members AssociationHeli-Vets
Thailand-Laos-Cambodia BrotherhoodATWS Unit HistorianVietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
  1981, American Legion [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1981, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) [Verified]1 - Assoc. Page
  1998, Vietnam Helicopter Crew Members Association [Verified]
  2010, Heli-Vets
  2011, Thailand-Laos-Cambodia Brotherhood [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2013, ATWS Unit Historian [Verified]
  2013, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
Retired and doing volunteer work with veterans in the Charlotte, NC area.
Other Comments:
After graduating from High School in 1969 I worked in a factory and then I traveled to Boulder Creek , California where I stayed with my friend Hutch Collier until shortly before my 18th Birthday. I came back to Chicago for my Birthday and two days later I joined the Army. I saw Hutch in Vietnam in 1971. I flew into Long Binh and we had a 2 hour break until we took off again. I had a letter from Hutch telling me he was now stationed at Long Binh. So, I hitched a ride and found his unit. I don't know who was more surprised, him or me. We had a great time for an hour and I had to get back to my ship. That was the last time I saw him until we reconnected in 2009.

Basic in Ft. Campbell, KY and then off to Signal School in Ft. Gordon, GA. I was called into the CO's office in June 1970 and he slid a piece of paper across his desk and said "Sign this and you don't have to go to Vietnam". I asked why and he said "Do you have a brother in Vietnam?" I said "Yes Sir, my brother is in the Marines". He told me that if I signed it I wouldn't have to go. I told him I would take my chances. I was sent to Vietnam in October 1970 and remained until May 1972.

When I arrived in Vietnam I was assigned to AVEL Central, part of the 165th Transportation Company at Phu Loi, Vietnam. I worked on the bench on the night shift repairing helicopter radios. I only worked on the bench for a few months.

The 128th Assault Helicopter Company needed fill-in door gunners so I volunteered despite my father drilling into my head "never volunteer". So, I flew as a gunner and alternated doing odd jobs with AVEL until August 1971.

I started flying with the 128th in February 1971. I flew with several crew chiefs and pilots. My missions included combat assaults, ash and trash, insertions, extractions and bringing out the dead. 

My last mission with the 128th was in August 1971 into Cambodia. We were prepared for a big fight but as we flew into the LZ in the Parrots Beak the locals were all out in the open waving white flags. I guess they knew we were coming. That was it, anticlimactic. I flew a few more times later in 1972 with the 388th Trans. Co.

In August I worked in supply with Manny Coronel and when he rotated I took over the job of Supply Sergeant and was also placed in charge of our sector of the bunker line. I really enjoyed this job. I was a great scrounger and proceeded to scrounge everything I could find for the benefit of our company. Of course, it wasn't really stealing, it was called midnight requisition. I just re-allocated a few things from the government. 

I remained supply sergeant until Phu Loi closed and I was sent to the 388th Transportation Company, 765th Trans. Bn. in Vung Tau. When Phu Loi closed in March (I think it was March) 1972 we who were left were scattered all over the country. I was assigned to the 388th Transportation Co. at Vung Tau. I had flown into Vung Tau a number of times and knew guys who had taken an in-country R & R there. It seemed like a better place to go than most. I was right!

I had a dispute shortly after arriving with my platoon sergeant who didn't like my very worn jungle fatigues and jungle boots. I didn't draw new clothes fast enough for him and he brought before the CO who saw fit to put me on bunker guard almost every night and ride shotgun on convoys to Long Binh every day. This went on until I left country. 

Upon my return, I was assigned to Ft. Huachuca, AZ. Where I remained (with the exception of a 3 month TDY to Pentagon and Aberdeen Proving Grounds) until my discharge in January 1973.

I attended DeVry during the day and worked at a psychiatric hospital as an aide (bouncer) in the locked unit at night. Great job to have after Vietnam. I worked there 9 months and finally had enough. I joined the reserve- 12th Special Forces Group in Arlington Hts., IL. All we did was run, play softball and move furniture. I had orders for jump school then the typical Army BS started and I said screw it and quit. I received my Associate Degree in Electronics Engineering then went to work in the engineering department at Motorola.

I met Pat Stelcher and we were married and settled in to raise a family. I continued my education at night and graduated from Northeastern Illinois University in 1981 at the age of 30 with a major in Business and Marketing. I worked at Pat's family business and eventually bought it. After 20 years I sold the business and joined Pat selling real estate. We worked together every day and most people wondered how we could do that without killing each other! But, we are best friends so it worked out just fine.

I retired in October 2016 and we moved to North Carolina. I became a Certified Peer Support Specialist with Veteran Designation and am now a volunteer working with veterans in the Charlotte area.

 Remembrance Profiles -  30 Soldiers Remembered
  • McCabe, Grant I., WOJG, (1941-1946)
  • McCabe, Grant, WO1, (1941-1946)
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviation Badge (Basic)
Auto Rifle

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
Click here to see Training
  1970, 6th Battalion, 2nd Training Brigade (Fort Campbell, KY), B/36
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army Vietnam (USARV)1st Aviation Brigade520th Transportation BattalionAVEL Central (Provisional), 520th Transportation Battalion
128th Aviation Company765th Transportation Battalion388th Transportation Company
  1970-1970, 5th Signal School Brigade (Cadre) Fort Gordon, GA
  1970-1971, US Army Vietnam (USARV)
  1970-1972, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1970-1972, 520th Transportation Battalion
  1970-1972, AVEL Central (Provisional), 520th Transportation Battalion
  1971-1971, 128th Aviation Company
  1972-1972, 765th Transportation Battalion
  1972-1972, 388th Transportation Company
  1972-1973, HHC, Army Garrison, Fort Huachuca, AZ
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (1971-72)
  1972-1972 Vietnam War/Cease-Fire Campaign (1972-73)
 Colleges Attended 
DeVry UniversityNortheastern Illinois University
  1973-1975, DeVry University1
  1976-1981, Northeastern Illinois University1
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  My Brother Tom2
  Oct 09, 1976, My Marriage To Pat Stelcher5
  Feb 25, 1978, My Daughter Beth1
  Oct 08, 1979, My Son Neil2
  Oct 17, 1980, The Death Of My Mom1
  Feb 14, 2002, The Death Of My Sister1
  Mar 22, 2008, The Death Of My Father3
  May 21, 2009, Dinner with Hutch2
  Mar 08, 2012, Forum Photos2
  Oct 04, 2012, General Photos
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