Colonel David (Dave) A. Measels, United States Army (Retired) made his final flight into the clouds on July 26, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida.
A memorial service will be held at the Interdenominational Worship Center (6470 W County Rd. 476, Bushnell, FL, 33513) on August 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. A prior viewing and visitation will be conducted at 12:00 p.m. Burial will be at the Florida National Cemetery (6502 SW 102nd Ave., Bushnell, FL 33513) at 2:30 p.m..
He was preceded in death by his father, Louis David Measels, and two of his sons, David Arlen Measels, Jr. and Robert Louis Measels. Surviving Dave are his loving and devoted wife of over 46 years, Kim Phung Measels; his eldest son, Drew Thanh Measels and his wife Kristi, both residents of South Jordan, Utah; and his sister, Mary Diane Vesty of Orange, Texas. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Elizabeth Joyce Fleming of Louisville, Kentucky, Haley Morgan Measels and Max Andrew Measels who reside with their parents, Drew and Kristi Measels, all of South Jordan, Utah. In addition to his immediate family, Dave has a very wonderful extended family in Mo Cay, Vietnam and many great friends located throughout the United States.
Dave was born in Beaumont, Texas on October 6, 1941. He graduated from South Park High School in 1959, attended Lamar University, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1961. He was commissioned as an Infantry officer through the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1963. Dave married the former Kim Phung Nguyen, from Mo Cay, Vietnam, on December 31, 1967, while he was serving as a helicopter pilot with the 120th Aviation Company, having the radio call sign of “Deans”, and based at Tan Son Nhat Air Base located in Saigon, Vietnam. While serving in the Army, Dave received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tampa in 1972 and a Master of Science degree from the Florida Institute of Technology in 1980.
Dave commanded three Army companies, two battalions, and the brigade level 2d Infantry Division Support Command in Korea. As an Army helicopter pilot, he accumulated almost 2500 hours of helicopter flight time of which 1600 were combat hours in Vietnam and 600 hours were as an instructor pilot in Vietnam and at Fort Wolters, Texas.
His military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal (with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Air Medal for Valor (with 35 Oak Leaf Clusters for Service), Army Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Senior Army Aviator Badge, Parachutist Badge, Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge. His military service took him to Korea twice, Germany, Vietnam twice, and eight states in the United States. After serving as the Deputy Director and then as the Director of Plans and Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Headquarters, Department of the Army during his second tour at the Pentagon, Dave ended his Army career as an Ordnance Corps officer with the rank of colonel in 1992.
In the civil sector, Dave worked as a senior logistics analyst for three different defense contractors located in the National Capital Region until he retired from Science Applications International Corporation in 2001.
Dave was a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces Association, the Ordnance Corps Association, and the Military Officers Association of America.
Dave and Kim relocated from Springfield, Virginia to Port Neches, Texas in 2001 and in 2002 they completed their dream home in Waterwood Estates on Cow Bayou in Orange County just east of Bridge City, Texas. They spent their retirement years traveling the United States and making frequent visits to Vietnam. Dave recalls his 20 months of Vietnam War service with the 120th Aviation Company from 1966 to 1968 with the myriad of great officer and warrant officer pilots, and the crew chiefs, door gunners, and maintenance folks who pulled it all together in the “Best of Times in the Worst of Times.”
Dave will be remembered for his selfless military service to our Nation for over 31 years, as a loving and devoted husband and father, and a loyal and true friend to all.