A war correspondent and the Medal of Honor recipient who took him to one of the first major battles of the Vietnam War will reunite for a series of interviews on KCPQ FOX news next week.
Joe Galloway, co-author of the book “ We Were Soldiers Once … And Young,” visited Seattle last month to film 14 interviews with Vietnam veterans that will be archived in the Library of Congress.
One of his subjects was Bruce Crandall of Port Orchard, who received the Medal of Honor for repeatedly risking his life to take soldiers in and out of the battle of La Drang Valley in November 1965.
“They were my sons,” Crandall told Galloway in one of the interviews, remembering his flights to support the outnumbered 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment at Ia Drang. “I don’t care if they were not in my unit, they were mine. Every mission we flew, we flew with the idea that we do whatever they need, always.”
Never miss a local story.
Galloway’s book is centered on that battle. Crandall ferried Galloway, then a young reporter for United Press International, into the fight and lifted him out of it in UH-1 Huey helicopter.
Galloway later reported for Knight Ridder and The News Tribune’s parent company, McClatchy, as a senior military correspondent.
In 2008, Galloway marked the passing of one of Crandall’s fellow pilots and wrote about his own love/hate relationship with Army helicopters.
“Hated them for flying us into Hell and dumping us off; loved them for coming back to get us when it was time to leave.”
Crandall grew up in Olympia. He’s a fixture in the Puget Sound region’s military community. He attends many events in his Army cavalry Stetson and connects with young troops who know him Mel Gibson movie based on Galloway’s book.
Some of Galloway’s interviews are scheduled to air on KCPQ’s 10 p.m. newscasts from Sunday through Thursday. They’ll also air throughout the week on “Q13 Fox News This Morning.”