A Personal History of the 571st Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) During the Early Years of the Vietnam War 1967 – 1969


This is a chronicle, in verse, of my personal journey to, during and after serving in a Dustoff unit in Vietnam. Dustoff units provided front line medical evacuation of the wounded from the battlefield to the field hospital in unarmed, fragile, flammable UH-1H helicopters. Our ships drew enemy fire at a rate seven times higher than any other aircraft flying in the combat zone and our crews suffered casualties of one in three completing these missions of mercy. The dedication, courage and personal cost of this endeavor on the men of these units has been both grievous and inspiring. I was privileged to have served in country with these men for twenty-two months and twenty days, and blessed with the opportunity to memorialize their actions. I have tried to write with honesty, compassion and unblinking truth about my military experience in a format designed to illustrate feelings over facts as I believe memories of war are stored in the hearts of veterans, not the textbooks of scholars.

David Ferrier is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He served two consecutive tours of duty in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. After seven years with the Vietnam Veterans Outreach Program he was a private investigator in Los Angeles for over thirty years.

5.0 out of 5 Stars In “A Cry For Mercy In The Night” the author David Ferrier uses Verse written in Military Cadence and emotional rhythm, along with vivid pictures depicting his personal history serving in the Army in Vietnam flying up to 4 Dustoff (rescue) missions a day in unarmed helicopter Ambulances rescuing wounded fellow soldiers on the frontlines. This book is a MUST-READ if you serve or ever served in the military, are a history buff, or enjoy war movies like Private Ryan, or even Forest Gump, after reading it you will have a much better understanding of what war is really like, and the bravery and honor of the author and fellow soldiers who served in the 571st medical detachment Helicopter Ambulance.


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