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Info Sheet/Obituary - Gaylen Neil Randall


CW2 Gaylen Randall 1966 - 67 (written 17 Jan 2009)

I was assigned to D Troop 3/4 Cav in February of 1966 with the 25th Inf Div and deployed to Vietnam from Hawaii on the USS Gordon. I was part of a large group of officers levied from Ft. Benning. About 14 of us were classmates in flight school along with a large number of majors. Captain Delvy was the troop commander when we arrived but lost his command to the senior major. He asked to stay in the troop to deploy to Vietnam which is another story. My first platoon leader was Major Prosser, the second was Major Squires. We arrived in Vung Tau on April fools Day and were moved by air to Cu Chi. Some of my fellow WO1's in that troop were (Lorraine F. "Patrick") Armstrong, Iler , Dismer, Spears and Sipple. We were assigned to an aircraft and crew as copilots. My AC was Captain Rodgers in the Aerorifles. He was killed when he was assigned to a unit in Saigon. The infantry platoon leader was 2LT John Alto. He was a very good man. The aircraft I flew was a UH-1D model slick with the last two tail numbers of 59. CPT Rodgers and I named it R&R. Our call sign was Centaur 32. The troop commander asked to be reassigned and we received Major Peterson as a new Troop Commander. Our tour was extended by a month because the division was slow in infusing and reassigning personnel; so it was May before I got home. It was a very long and difficult tour in many ways for me.


Gaylen Neil Randall, 78, husband, father, grandpa and Vietnam Vet Army pilot, passed away on October 21, 2022 with his family surrounding him. June 5, 1944 - October 21, 2022

He was born and raised in Saint Joseph, Missouri, to Martha and John Randall and loved by his Aunt Mary and Uncle Virgil (Pete) Highlander. This is the same town where he met his soulmate and wife of 57 years, Bernadee (Felling) Randall, a marriage that their children stated should have been the definition of love in the dictionary.

He found his passion for flying through the United States Army when he enlisted in 1965 and attended flight school. The dedication to his country and his love of being a pilot sent him, as well as his family, on many adventures for the next 29 years. His two tours of Vietnam found him flying both Hueys and Chinooks, but in the end, it would be Chinooks that took his career places. One of his greatest honors was flying Army One for President Nixon from 1970-1974. Of course, the Army would also take him and his family from station to station: Fort Belvoir, VA; Fort Campbell, KY; Ft. Leavenworth, KS; Wiesbaden, Germany; Fort Rucker, AL (too many times), and Hunter Army Airfield, GA. He retired from the Army in 1993 and made his home in Savannah, GA. Even though he retired from the Army and made a new life outside of it, Gaylen’s heart never left the love he had for his country, flying, and friends behind. This could be found in his active participation in attending reunions and keeping in touch with those he flew with throughout his years.

During their travels, Gaylen and Bernadee Randall had 3 daughters and 1 son. Gay Lynn Ann (Randall) Schlosser, Joell Leigh (Randall) Greco, and Nicole Marta (Randall) Chamberlain are the three daughters he leaves behind while he joins his son Colin Blaine Randall. He is also grandpa (Opa) to three grandchildren: Caitlin Ann Westover, Gavin Randall Westover, and Francis (Frank) Gaylen Greco.

If you knew Gaylen, you knew sometimes patience was not his friend, that chaos was never the answer, and the word stubborn sometimes replaced his middle name, but you also knew he would do anything for family and friends, make you laugh even when you wanted to cry, and when he gave his word, he would keep that word to the best of his ability. No one would question Gaylen fulfilled his mission on Earth even though there are many still left on Earth that wish it would have taken him a little bit longer to do so; however, Gaylen never wasted any time when it came to missions.