Warrant Officer Rominger was targeted through-out his career because he was witness to premeditated school house massacre in Vietnam . Some awards and combat decorations were denied because those awards would have given him credibility.
In September 1997 [Fircrest Washington] _ Defense Intelligence Agency officer questioned me about [Rominger] and asked if we had been part of a special operation in Vietnam, something ordinary soldiers would not be involved in [witness to massacre]. He also asked for details concerning the friendly fire shoot-down of Rominger's helicopter on April 8, 1969.
CW4 Michael Don Rominger - Dustoff 30
Obituary written by his daughter.
My father, passed away suddenly by a heart attack on June 24, 2010, in Sacramento, California.
Though always close to my dad, with his passing I have become even more acutely aware of the incredible man he was--and the impact Vietnam had on him and our family.
Accepted into Warrant Officer Candidacy, my father knew from the onset the Dust Off mission could be his only placement, often saying whenever pressed by people why he didn't even desire the flashy gun ships, "I chose to save lives, wanted to save lives, not take lives."
And, indeed, he lived his entire life in the service of saving lives in many ways.
My father's tour begins in July 1968.
While in Vietnam, my father flew call sign Dustoff 30 for the 45th Medical Company, 44th Medical Brigade, primarily out of Nui Dat, Vung Tau, and Da Nang, in support of ANZAC forces, but also flying in support of American Special Ops.
My dad spoke of Vietnam in what I called, "Vietnam Lite," same flavor but less horrific for the listener. Upon his death, I've found out a tremendous amount of information about my father, his skill as a pilot and his absolute fortitude in combat.
Crew chiefs, commanders, medics, co-pilots--they all tell the same story...that "Mr. Rominger was a natural pilot, couldn't stand to have any soldier suffer for any length of time, had almost a clairvoyance about him concerning missions, and was a straight arrow."
He began "scarfing up" so many missions that they began calling him Scarf.
Whenever I asked my father or anyone did, why he'd volunteer to go into a hot LZ without gunship support, he said the same thing,
"They were there suffering; I could do no less."
'I could do no less" was all he humbly said.
He accrued two Distinguished Flying Crosses while in Vietnam.
One for rescuing an Australian Patrol that was about to be over run and had no gunship or fighter support during this hoist mission. He used three helicopters to rescue the patrol, taking a fresh Huey out to the firefight each time the craft got too beat up to fly back in.
He was shot in two places on this mission but never awarded a Purple Heart.
His attitude was always, "Puh! What the medics did! The men I flew to the hospital! Those were wounds deserving of a Purple Heart, Lynne. Mine were scratches compared to men with limbs missing!"
The Australian Commander nominated him for the Victoria Cross, their medal of honor.
But somehow it died in the bureaucracy of the day.
Daddy flew many missions into Cambodia and Laos when we "weren't there." Possibly the reason for few medals and the "lost" Victoria Cross.
He was also shot down many times, most notably on April 8, 1969, where after POL on the way back to Vung Tau, anti-aircraft blew the Huey out of the sky, and he led his crew to a river 150 feet from the crash, hiding in the water, until rescued by navy patrol boats.
Daddy's medic, Dan Collins wrote a detailed story on the crash of "Auggie" and their escape, noting my father's particular calm and leadership.
On another notable mission, shot down supporting Australians, he had to escape and evade and actually fight hand to hand with his VC pursuer.
In addition to the Distinguished Flying Crosses, he is the recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star and more.
Though I feel derelict not having the list of medals and flight hours at hand as I write.
I know my father's only concern was Kelly's motto, "until I have your wounded."
He loved flying and sought to save lives. His reward was never in the kudos of others.
He instructed at Ft. Rucker soon after returning from Vietnam, leaving active duty in 1971, but flying as a reservist still.
He worked as a firefighter/police officer for the City of Sunnyvale for a few years. But with an itch to fly more, he rejoined the Army as a civilian/reservist instructor for the army reserve command in Minnesota--fine by me as the fire truck was never quite as cool as sitting in the Huey!
California called us back when my father took the position of Lead Pilot for the US Forest Service. "Flying" Magazine actually did an ad campaign with my dad as the poster boy! In 1978 he was hired by CDF (Cal Fire) and was a chief in their air tanker and helicopter program.
He left CDF in 1989, recruited by California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement , to implement an aviation program.
Still a Dustoff pilot at heart, in 1990, his reserve unit, the 343rd Medical Detachment, out of Hamilton Air Force Base, Novato, CA, deployed to Desert Storm, where CW4 Rominger flew as Dustoff 100, leading the first element of medevac into the Kuwait INTL Airport, in support of the ground forces.
They called themselves the "Dustoff Dudes."
In 1993 he was part of a group that developed an aviation surveillance class at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, however, my dad took an early retirement to care for her. She succumbed to breast cancer in July 2004.
I truly believe that the hardest thing for my father to endure was that he couldn't fly a helicopter in to save her. There was nothing he could do this time.
After her death, he hung out with me, my brother, Matthew, and his grandchildren. My father loved kids and was one at heart. He rocked my babies, sang to them, and enjoyed being a grandfather.
When they were really little, he played with them as if they were little helicopters, flying "nap of the earth" over the furniture. Apparently, he liked to fly fast and low in the Huey in Vietnam according to all who flew with him.
Until his passing, Michael Don Rominger also volunteered as a docent at the Aerospace Museum of California. Though he did suffer with PTSD, he was an amazing, humble, and moral man.
I will miss my Dustoff Dad! Rest in Peace, Daddy! I know you're flying your Huey in Heaven.
This Web Site Was Posted On Veteran's Day _ November 11, 2017 Youtube Videos Bottom of Web Site.
At first it was going to be about another subject. I was searching my PC for a document.
Fate stepped in and a photo of CW4 Michael Don Rominger surfaced.
It seems appropriate to dedicate this web site in his memory.
CW4 Michael Don Rominger - Dustoff 30
Vietnam Dustoff Association
"Medic wrote a detailed story on the crash of "Auggie" and their escape, ..."
Vietnam Dustoff Association
Dan L. Collins email@example.com 9-11-2008
"AUGGIE" April 8, 1969