Colonel Lawrence L. Rusiewicz claim to fame was he was one of 179 solo pilots to fly in the Korean war. Not to mention his heroic missions in Vietnam to rescue and transport soldiers to MASH units to seek treatment while dodging bombs and bullets. See information below on what a 'solo pilot' is about.
Lawrence Rusiewicz is one of 179 solo pilots that flew in the Korean war. Read 'what is a solo pilot below'. His biography is as follows:
Colonel Lawrence L. Rusiewicz was born in July 1931, in Natrona, Pennsylvania, to George
and Julia (Olszewski) Rusiewicz. He was the oldest of two children; Joanne Voytovich was born in 1936. Colonel Rusiewicz was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in June of 1953. The first assignment was to the Army Medical School Career Course in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, where he met his future wife of 64 years, Lucy Willis. They have four daughters, Laura Wild, Lisa Rosintoski, Linda Fisher, and Lucie Del Re. As a family, we served 30 years in the Army, including two tours in Germany. I graduated high school in 1948, Valley Forge Military Academy prep school in 1949, and in 1953 graduated from Pennsylvania Military College. I graduated in 1954 from the Helicopter Officer’s Course, and in 1960 graduated from Fixed Wing Aviation Course. Completed Command and General Staff College in 1967. The Helicopter Ambulance, APO 358, was in support of the 4007th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit at Uijongbu, South Korea, in 1955. In Vietnam, I was assigned to the 57th Medical Detachment Helicopter ambulance in support of the 1st Airborne Mobile Division. Logged 200 hours of combat support missions. Flew earthquake relief missions in Iran supporting the Iranian government's earthquake relief efforts in 1962. My last assignment was Fort Carson, Colorado and I retired in 1983.
Thank you for your service Colonel Rusiewicz!
The Solopilot, Helicopter Ambulance Pioneer, U.S. Army Medical Services, 1952-1959, recognizing the original US Army helicopter ambulance pilots who were first to fly helicopters totally dedicated to battlefield medical services.
The Army’s first aerial medical evacuation missions took place in January 1951, when four helicopter detachments were assigned to the Eighth U.S. Army surgeon during the Korean War. Dubbed the “Angel of Mercy” by soldiers on the ground, the aviators used the H-13 Sioux, a single-engine, single-rotor light helicopter, to transport about 18,000 of the war’s 23,000 casualties to forward-deployed mobile Army surgical hospitals, according to the Army.
During the Vietnam War, the average time between picking up patients and delivering them to hospitals was about 33 minutes. Crews evacuated American, Vietnamese and allied forces and rescued almost 900,000 sick and wounded by the end of the war. They flew day and night, regardless of weather, terrain and combat conditions—and faced a 1-in-3 chance of being killed or wounded on the job. Col. Lawrence Rusiewicz is listed on the plaque under the More Pictures button above.
In 1948 at the age of 16 Peter joined the Merchant Marine Service, as a seaman. Duties included transport of supplies to military locations, vessel maintenance, and food preparation for seamen on board the ship. Pete left this position to work in a manufacturing plant for two years until he could enlist in the Air Force. In 1951 Pete joined the US Air Force in Boston, Mass and was sent to Sampson AFB in New York for Basic Training and then on to F E Warren AFB in Cheyenne, WY as a Communications Center Specialist. This was the beginning of a 28 year career in the US Air Force supporting communications centers and military personnel throughout the US and overseas. Some of the more interesting assignments follow. Pete was briefly assigned to Korea but was eventually sent to Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, AK to operate the Weather Relay Center. Pete attained the Staff Sgt rank in 1953 while in Alaska. Another assignment was in 1960 where Pete was the NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) of Telephone Operations at the US Base in Evruex Fauville France. There were 7 US military and 13 French operators at this operations center. While in France he performed Honor Guard Duties at Brittany Beach and Normandy over a four year period. In 1964 he returned to the United States to serve in communication operations in Utah and California until he transferred to Vietnam Tan Son Nuit AFB. At this Telephone Operations Center there were 7 Airmen and 12 Vietnamese operators. While in Vietnam Pete encountered multiple combat situations from the Viet Cong and was awarded the Bronze Star. In 1967 he returned to Ent AF Base in Colorado Springs where he maintained all commercial and service radio systems at NORAD and the Air Force Academy. Tech Sgt Tetley’s next assignment in 1969 was in Diyarbakir, Turkey. He was assigned to establish a Communication Center in Turkey for close comms with NORAD and Radar sites. In addition, he taught conversational English to 32 Turkish personnel and created a Station Newsletter of current events and history in the area for US staff to send home to family and friends. He was promoted to the Master Sgt rank while in Turkey. In 1972 MSgt Tetley returned to the Colorado Springs and NORAD at the Mountain Site Communication Center and later that same year returned to Aerospace to complete documentation for the Turkish Radar site. In 1973 Pete transferred to the ADC (Area Defense Counsel) located in the Inspector General Office at the Chidlaw Building. He served as the Communications Superintendent and traveled as an Inspector covering Communication Centers and other areas of base operations. He attained the rank of Chief Master Sgt. Chief MSgt Tetley retired in 1979 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster. Peter Tetley married the love of his life, Mary Mattson, a school teacher from Missoula, MT on September 1, 1955. She traveled to France with Pete and taught school on the Evruex Base for three years. They were married for 48 years. After retiring Chief MSgt did not stop working. He found a variety of civilian positions and volunteered at the DAV as a van driver for the Denver VA Hospital and Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. He is also a member of the following military organizations; American Legion Post 5, VFW, AFSA, TREA, and AFTEA. If this isn’t enough to fill his waking hours he is also active with his church’s Mission Programs.
Thank you for your service CMsgt Tetley!