Hugh Rufus McKinney, 2nd Bde LRRP, K/75 Ranger, KIA Feb 16, 1969

Hugh Rufus McKinney

Date of Birth December 11, 1947

New York, NY

Dunn, Hancock, McKinney & Rightmyer all perished on the same day in an unfortunate tragic helicopter crash.

McKinney pic 1



We Remember Posted on 7/10/10 – by Robert Sage Hugh is buried at Beaver Creek(SimonTemple) AME Zion Church Cemetery in Fayetteville, NC. BSM PH


  Home of Record: New York, NY
  Date of birth: 12/11/1947
  Service Branch: Army of the United States
  Grade at loss: E3
  Rank: Posthumous Promotion as indicated
Promotion Note: None
  ID No: 52773369
  MOS or Specialty: 11B1P: Infantryman (Airborne Qual)
  Length Service: 00
  Start Tour: 12/10/1968
  Incident Date: 02/16/1969
  Casualty Date: 02/16/1969
  Age at Loss: 21
  Location: Kontum Province, South Vietnam
  Remains: Body recovered
  Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
  Casualty Reason: Helicopter – Noncrew
  Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land







McKinney pic 2

our heros

Posted on 2/16/08 – by Robbie Owens

You sacrificed the same day as my fiance Robert David Rogers. A poem for you:

How often you will have me near you when wood smoke drifts across the wind, or the sky darkens in a summer storm – think of me in the days to come, as I am thinking of you this minute, not gone or alone or dead, but part of the earth beneath you, part of the air around you, part of the heart that must not be lonely.

Team Member Posted on 2/6/07 – by Donald Melanson Hugh,I will always remember you and the other members from my first team who were killed on that terrible day, Feb. 16, 1969. The rubbing of your name along with Ralph, Jack and Gerald hang in my office for me to see and remember every day. Rest in peace my friend.

Never Forgotten Posted on 1/6/06 – by Bill Nelson FOREVER REMEMBERED”If you are able, save for them a place inside of you….and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go…..Be not ashamed to say you loved them….Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own….And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind….

“Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O’DonnellKIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:

Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul … and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers

Thank you Posted on 4/29/05 – by Hugh Henderson Your first name is the same as mine and that really caught my eye. It is saddening to know that no body had written anything about you after your valor. Thank you. –

Remembering An American Hero Posted on 12/8/13 – by Curt Carter Dear CPL Hugh Rufus McKinney, sirAs an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter


Bob Smyers

Lord we thank you for the privilege of having served alongside of men of this caliber. Help us never to forget nor allow others to forget soldiers like Hugh Rufus McKinney. Encourage and embolden each of us to continue maintaining the belief that all men arc created equal and deserve the right to choose. May we never accept injustice as an option but as a threat to freedom, the freedom of all freedom loving people around the world. Thank You Lord for sending so many like our brother that are willing to stand and give their final breath to prevent the threat to freedom from becoming a reality. Hugh has now taken his place in our hearts as being one of America’s best. Joined with like soldiers in a place of love_ peace_ and joy. All Glory belongs to you Lord but you said: “Honor is due where Honor is due”. Today as every day we honor Hugh by remembering him and his sacrifice for Freedom! May you touch and comfort his loved ones this day and every day with the peace, peace that passes all understanding. We humbly ask it, in Jesus Name.

Hugh was adventurous, curious, and very inquisitive about things. He was born to be a risk taker. one who liked challenge. This is what most likely caused him to join one of the most “ELITE units in the Vietnam War. The famed Long Range Patrol Rangers of the 75th Ranger regiment with a lineage back to the Merrill Marauders. Men of this unit were loved arid respected by others outside the unit. but also a little envied. All would like to wear the uniform that depicted one who was either a little crazy or had guts of steel. I would say they had guts of steel. Bravery, courage, and

commitment to duty and their fellow rangers. Only way in was to volunteer. but then you had to meet the standards to stay.

Hugh was well liked and always brought cheer into must situations when off patrol_ but on patrol. he was a most serious ranger and took his job seriously.   He had run several missions and had faced the enemy up close, but on February 16.1969 he would find himself in a different and lethal place 1-is team was on [bier way for insertion into a heavily enemy infested area when they were shot out of the air by enemy ground fire_ none had a chance. The chopper took several hits causing it to crash. Hugh died a brave man along with his team mates and the helicopter crew. They that perished with him were team mates Gerald Handcock, Ralph Dunn, Jack Rightmyer. The pilots were Norman Perron and Arthur Papale with door gunners Richard Oliver and Larry Alcos, This was a dark day,   not only to the loved ones, but to the world. You might say, earth’s loss and heaven’s gain. We can only hope God’s angels were there to swiftly relieve all pain and carry them home to heaven. Gone but not forgotten until we fail to remember. Sim Sponte {of his own accord},   Rangers Lead The Way. Hooah!

To the family that has had to bear the loss of Hugh, we offer our heart-felt thanks for your standing so strong. Many that enjoy real freedom have been affected by the great contribution he gave towards our freedom. He is still dearly loved and missed, even to this day.

Submitted by Bob Smyers Patrolling Magazine 2004