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Family of Capt. Chock to attend ceremony at Army Museum


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POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A 1954 Maryknoll School graduate, Capt. Linus Chock, wasn't supposed to be flying when he was killed in an Army aircraft trying to save a South Vietnamese convoy 43 years ago.

Alfred Chock said his younger brother, a forward air observer, “;volunteered to take that flight to fill in for some else”; on Nov. 29, 1966.

Capt. Chock had decided against making the Army a career and was contemplating flying commercially. “;I guess the war was too much at the time,”; said his brother, retired Air Force Master Chief Alfred Chock, during a phone interview from his home in Austin, Texas, recently.

Chock will be one of seven Hawaii soldiers to be inducted into the U.S. Army Museum's Gallery of Heroes at Fort DeRussy at 1 p.m. Thursday . The other inductees are: from World War II, Staff Sgt. George Iida; from the Vietnam War, Staff Sgt. Edward Kaneshiro, 1st Lt. John Kauhaihao, Sgt. Douglas Factora, Capt. Robert Caliboso; and from the Korean War, Pvt. Paulini Hernaez.

Attending this week's ceremony will be Chock's son—Patrick Minyard; another brother, Rodney Chock, also a Vietnam War veteran; a cousin Charlene Gomes; and a 96-year-old aunt, Alice Crawford.

“;I think it's a big honor,”; said Alfred Chock who saw his brother for the last time in 1962 before he attended an Army school. “;My kid brother was a very quiet kid. ... He never made trouble.”;

Linus Chock, whose main job as an O-1 L-19 Bird dog reconnaissance pilot was just to support ground trips by calling in artillery fire and air strikes. However, on his last reconnaissance mission Chock decided to go on the offensive and aid a convoy that was being attacked by a Viet Cong battalion.

Armed with only four rockets, normally used to just mark an enemy position, Chock attacked the Viet Cong, drawing fire away from the South Vietnamese convoy.

On his third pass, his small, single-engine aircraft was raked by gunfire, killing Chock.

He was the 61st islander killed fighting in Vietnam.

Chock, a member of 183rd Reconnaissance Airplane Company, known as the Seahorses, assigned to the 223rd Support Battalion, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The Gallery of Heroes exhibit was conceived by the late Maj. Gen. Herbert Wolff, who died April 17, to honor people who were born in Hawaii or entered service from Hawaii or lived here for at least 10 years. The inductees had to be recipients of the country's two highest medals of valor—Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross, or its equivalents—Navy Cross and the Air Force Cross.

The gallery includes 21 Medal of Honor recipients and 58 recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross. Of the 58 Distinguished Service Cross awardees, 30 were from World War II, 18 from the Korean War; and 10 from the Vietnam War.

The Gallery of Heroes is on the upper deck of the U.S. Army Museum at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki.