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Rex Russell Sage
Colonel, United States Army
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RR Sage Vietnam Wall Rubbing

Rex Russell Sage was born on May 16, 1919 and joined the Armed Forces while in Roberta, Georgia.

He served in the United States Army.  In 26 years of service, he attained the rank of Colonel. He began a tour of duty in Vietnam on May 10, 1968.

On September 8, 1968, at the age of 49, Rex Russell Sage perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Quang Duc.


"Colonel Sage, you were the Senior US/MACV Advisor to the ARVN 23rd Division based in Ban Me Thuot City, Darlac Province when we first met on 30 July 1968. Then assigned to the Darlac Sector MACV/RF/PF/CORDS pacification 'side' of the team, I was interviewed by you as was your custom with each newly assigned person. And with rare leadership style, you placed 'things' into perspective and got to know each of us... always leaving a direct line open. During the sometimes long evenings, when in from the field at the Ban Me Thuot base, the "Bungalow"--an old hunting lodge of Bao Dai's, we would usually find you in the 'rec' hall reading and listening to your private stock of classical, jazz and Broadway music ('Camelot' was among your favorites). You urged all, officer and enlisted, to share the time and place to listen, write and reflect -- mortar attacks or not. And then I recall the day the 'slick' carrying you, Master Sergeant Barnard, your Vietnamese counterpart, his aide and crew went down. As we monitored the frequency, heard the "May Day" calls and voice traffic of the follow-up ships, it became apparent that all was lost amidst the fiery tall teak trees... So we secured your base camp quarters. The final image of closing that door never escapes me, nor does the short span of time that our paths crossed, sad yet enriching. Thank you."  Anthony F. Benfatti.
Helicopter 67-17149

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17149 
The Army purchased this helicopter January 1969
Total flight hours at this point: 00000642
Date: 09/08/68 
Incident number: 680908091ACD Accident case number: 680908091 
Total loss or fatality Accident 
Unit: 155th Avn Co
Ban Me Thuot Province, South Vietnam
Number killed in accident: 6 Injured: 2 Passengers: 4
costing: $514,554
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 KOPPEL REDLICK SIMS KIA
P WO1 HARWOOD WILLIAM PHILLIP KIA
CE E5 LECOUNT GW 
G W1 DW HACKER 

Passengers: X1 AN TQ, , PX, KIA; UNK AN DT, , PX, KIA; COL SAGE REX RUSSELL, AR, PX, KIA; MSG BARNARD THOMAS WALTER, AR, PX, KIA; 

Accident Summary:

The aircraft was on a VIP flight from Ban Me Thout to Duc Lap, Vietnam. On a direct route from Ban Me Thuot to destination at 2000 AGL, a loss of power occurred while WO1 Harwood was at the controls. Loud popping and grinding noises from the transmission/engine area were heard by the gunner and crew chief simultaneously with the loss of power. Immediately, the aircraft commander WO Koppel, took control of the aircraft simultaneously initiating a mayday call and an autorotation. At this time the left cargo door was opened but the right cargo door was left closed. MSG Barnard had a PRC-25 fm radio on board and was making a call. With absolutely no forced landing areas to autorotate into, the aircraft commander was forced to land into 200 foot trees and extremely dense foliage. The autorotation was terminated with zero airspeed at tree top level causing the helicopter to fall straight through the trees. Upon nearing the ground the aircraft turned on its left side and hit the ground with the left front first. The tail boom remained intact but was severed from the fuselage. The main rotor and transmission were still in place. Upon contacting the ground, the gunner broke the window out of the right cargo door and pulled himself out. It appeared that all personnel in the cargo compartment were unconscious. The gunner attempted to pull the General out through the window of the cargo door but his attempt failed. He then went forward to the right pilot door and attempted to open it but was unable to get the door open. At this time the helicopter burst into flames and the gunner jumped back from the burning aircraft. The crew chief was able to crawl out of his position just prior to the fire. The flames were observed coming through the tree canopy by a forward air controller aircraft. Within ten minutes the forward air controller aircraft was on the scene and assisted "dust-off" into the area. A medic was lowered down to the crash area and assisted in getting the two survivors into the "dust-off" aircraft.

The following is crew member information for this incident:

Name: WO1 Redlick Sims Koppel
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/08/68 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 21.9
Unit: 155 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-501 
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 44W-003
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17149
Country: South Vietnam
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 05/06/68
Location: Quang Duc Province II Corps.

Name: WO1 William Phillip Harwood 
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/08/68 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 24.0
Unit: 155 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-9 
The Wall location: 44W-003
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17149
Country: South Vietnam
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 08/14/68
Length of service: 04
Location: Quang Duc Province II Corps.

Name: MSG Thomas Walter Barnard 
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/08/68 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 34.3
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: MACV Advisors
Major organization: MACV advisors
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 44W-001
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17149
Country: South Vietnam
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 07/06/68
Length of service: 18
Location: Quang Duc Province II Corps.

Name: COL Rex Russell Sage 
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/08/68 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 49.3
Unit: MACV Advisors
Major organization: MACV advisors
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 44W-006
Country: South Vietnam
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 05/10/68
Length of service: 26
Location: Quang Duc Province II Corps.


Sage, Rex R
Born 16 May 1919
Died  8 September 1968, 
US Army, Colonel
Residence Macon, Georgia
Section:  30, Grave 606 LH, 
Buried. 20 September 1968
Posted: 1 September 2001 Updated: 24 December 2006
Vietnam Campaign Medal
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Purple Heart Medal