Document Type

Oral History

Interviewee name

Warren S. Smith


Stephen D. Rees, Jr.

Interview date


Interview location

Norridgewock, Maine





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Warren S. Smith, interviewed by Stephen D. Rees, Jr., Norridgewock, Maine, June 26, 1999. Smith briefly reviews his background as the son of an American World War II Veteran and English war bride, growing up in Skowhegan, Maine, knowing around age 13 that he would be entering the military after high school graduation, and enlisting in October 1962. Smith explains he attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama and had to go to the library too look up where Vietnam was located when he received his orders. He talks about being assigned to the 611th Transport Company in Vung Tao, flying helicopters for special forces and troop transports, flying into combat and coming under fire, ARVN soldiers living their entire lives at war, and being assigned to UTT Helicopter Company. He discusses his “John Wayne” attitude going in before watching friends killed and being shot himself and describes his experiences in combat. Smith tells of leaving the service in 1965 but feeling restless and unsettled and returning to Vietnam as a civilian chopper pilot in 1968, one day after the start of the TET offensive. He describes getting in trouble for not writing home after his mother sought Red Cross to find out if he was alive. He speaks about his perspective on protestors, the war, and American policy. Text: 36 pp. transcript, 3 pp. administrative. Audio: mfc_na4497_01A & mfc_na4497_01B, mfc_na4497_02A. Time: 01:50:03. Restrictions: No restrictions


Part 1. mfc_na4497_01A
Part 2. mfc_na4497_01B
Part 3. mfc_na4497_02A


Military History | Oral History | United States History

Birth date

December 18, 1944


Taunton, England

Home state/Territory






Ethnic group



Police Officer, Snowplow driver

Branch of service

U.S. Army

Service Unit

611th Transport Company (Vũng Tàu); 11th Air Assault Division (Fort Benning, GA); 119th Assault Helicopter Company (Pleiku), 155th Assault Helicopter Company (Ban Me Thuot)

Dates of service

October 1962 – December 1965, Vietnam, June 1963-December 1965

Date of entry

October 1, 1962

Service entry


Location of Service

Vũng Tàu, Pleiku, Ban Me Thuot

Awards & Ribbons

Purple Heart, February 1964; Purple Heart, April 1964

Wars & Conflicts

Vietnam War

Entry Rank

E-1 Private


Specialist 5 / Sergeant


Specialist 5 / Sergeant


Fort Rucker, Alabama; San Francisco; Saigon; Vũng Tàu; Fort Benning, Georgia; Pleiku; Ban Me Thuot; An Khê, Plei Djereng; Plei Me; Sacramento


Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Military helicopters; Bell H-13 Sioux (Helicopter); OH-23 Raven (Helicopter); Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw (Helicopter); Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw (Helicopter); Bell UH-1B Iroquois (Helicopter); Sikorsky H-37B Mojave (Helicopter); Piasecki H-21 Workhorse (Helicopter); Operational rations (Military supplies); Race relations; Recreational drug use; Anti-war demonstrations; Discrimination; Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD)

Collection name

Maine Vietnam Veterans Oral History

Collection number


Item number


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Warren S. Smith, interviewed by Stephen D. Rees, Jr., Part 1



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