LTC John R Finch (US Army, Ret.)
The saga of MACV Team 33's friend "Lobo"
Thanks to the efforts of Jack Heslin and others... MACV Team 33 survivors finally have an answer to what happened to one of our favorite UH-1H pilots who supported us before and during the 1972 Kontum campaign. As Jack Heslin wrote me today, Lobo was a pilot with the 191'st Assault Helicopter Company in 1971-72 with a nick name of "Lobo" -- the 191st used the Maltese Cross on their aircraft. The 191st was at Holloway in early 72 and stood down, I think in April. I found this brief story about Lobo on the 191st web site. I hope this puts a little closure on Lobo for you... be safe
(1LT) Robert J. "Lobo" Lobodzinski (1942-2008) 191st AHC
"I was in Dallas for a meeting last week and was able to meet for lunch with Mark Lobodzinski and Sarah Jane Lobodzinski. The instant that Mark walked in the restaurant I knew it was him because of the resemblance to Lobo. We had a great visit and I learned that Lobo had been riffed after the war and then applied to stay in at his old rank before he became an officer. So he ended up being an E-6 and eventually became a warrant officer before he retired.
Lobo and Sarah Jane had been married about four years prior to Lobo’s death, although she said they had been together about 12 years. He lived in Keller, TX, but used to have a ranch in Red Oak. He always regretted moving away from his land and neighbors out there. Lobo died of a staph infection from a cortisone shot and Sarah Jane is still struggling with his death and the causes of it.
Mark is a very quiet and courteous young man and I wish we could have had more time to spend with him. He has two children, a boy and a girl, and I believe that he mentioned that he is a software engineer.
Lobo is buried at the DFW National Military Cemetery. Maureen and I visited the site and it is a very beautiful place and very well-maintained." by Scott Petty
As I have written previously in this memory book, Lobo's response to a warning from Mr. Vann about bombs already falling from an Arc Light into a divert target we were entering, saved our lives. I am able to write this and have lived for another 41 years, due to his actions at that critical moment. To say I owed him my life is clear. I have searched for him since the war and especially since the Kontum reunion of 2008. Thanks to Jack, we now know, like with our learning of the death of Team 33 member MAJ "Bear" Burch, that another member of the Kontum band of 1972 has passed into history...
I'll close with the admission that my nearly 40 year interest in all things Huey helicopter date from my informal and unauthorized ground / brief in-flight "lessons" from Lobo...as he said then: "Just in case we get wounded and need a little help getting to the ground without bending the skids too much." Yeah, I remember that Lobo, and that's why I periodically "fly" UH-1 computer simulations even today where I usually now can land without "bending the skids"... Hope you approve my friend... I miss you, your crew and that beautiful Huey with the Maltese Cross on the nose... I treasure my aging photograph of you and your Huey...:-)
LTC John R Finch (US Army, Ret.) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rye, CO USA - Monday, July 08, 2013 at 21:08:01 (EDT)