Cpl Scrimshaw inadvertantly walked into a rotor blade on ramp at Qu8ang Tri Airfield.
CPL Wayne Gregory Scrimshaw was working for me and the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Division Forward when he walked into the tail rotor of a helicopter.
Each morning the Generals Helicopters would bring the weather information from Quan Tri to Vandergrift SB where Cpl Scrimshaw picked them up and delivered them to me in the briefing bunker. I would use the information to brief the General.
He was going on R&R and that was the only thing he could think about. He was so much in love with his wife Ruby and excited to be going to see her.
The morning it happened, the General was getting ready to start a big push and every thing was in a rush. I believe that, plus Cpl. Scrimshaw's thinking about his R&R, he just was not watching where he was going. He had done this delivery many times so it was not any different, except all of us were in a hurry to get the briefing going. Since I was one of the first to brief we waited until he brought the weather map and the forecast information before starting.
When told what had happened I tried to go to him but the rest of the officers would not let me out of the bunker.
He was first treated by the doctor and corpsman from Charlie Med. The helicopter landing pad was on top of their bunker. Then he was flown back to Dong Ha and the hospital there.
He was killed instantly and never knew what happened. We were all in shock and the briefing was delayed. I'm sorry that I could not have gone to him but I was physicaly held.
He was the only weather person that died in Viet Nam.
It was a great pleasure to have the opportunity to serve with Cpl Scrimshaw and become a friend.