This is the story of two young Grand Junction men who had a dream. Tom Doody and Marshall Davis. They met when they were Freshmen at Central High School in 1963. There they became best of friends. They joined the Civil Air Patrol. At Walker Field they learned to parachute and fly fixed wing aircraft. They both reached the rank of Captain. Upon graduating in 1967 they started formulating a plan to service the Aspen and Vail Ski Resorts. A very innovative idea for two 18 year old boys. They decided to attend Rangley College (now know as Colorado Northwestern Community College) where they could earn their commercial license by the end of their sophomore year. After they had obtained their licenses they decided that their business would be better served if they also could fly helicopters. Joining the U.S. Army they could also take advantage of the G.I. Bill. This would put all the pieces together and make their dream come true. Tommy is sent to Ft. Wolters for Primary Helicopter School. Marshall joins the Engineering Corp.
In 1970 both men are sent to Vietnam. After flying over 225 combat missions Tom is ordered to ferry troops into Laos. The invasion was called Operation Lam Son 719. On Feb. 8th 1971 his helicopter is shot down and explodes on impact. Several days later a rescue team arrives and finds the remains of 3 American crew members. One man is missing. So our family waited and prayed that he had made it out alive. Tom received the Purple Heart, Air Medal w/ 10 oak leaf clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and several others. Upon request from my Mother, Marshall escorted my brothers remains back to Grand Jct. for a military burial. On March 25th 1971 he was laid to rest. While the 21 Gun Salute was taking place, the first Civil Air Patrol plane (a Piper Cub) that Tom had flown passed over our heads. Marshall returned to the war. The last time I saw him was a year later on Feb. 8th 1972. He brought my Mom flowers and visited with her for an hour. Marshall married and had 3 children. He flew helicopters for several companies in the Southwest. Later he moved his family to Pendleton, Oregon where he flew Ambulance. On Dec. 3rd 1986 Marshall died in a helicopter accident when he encountered severe weather.