Photos of Don Brenner submitted by his son,
Fellow Veteran, Gerry Brenner
This Page is dedicated to Don Brenner, a Mad Dog Gunship Aircraft Commander
that served in the 240th in 1967-68 and fought in the 68 Tet Offensive.
Unfortunately, Don Brenner passed away on active duty from cancer from Agent
Orange and during this same time Don's son, Gerry Brenner, was on active duty
with the 101st Airborne. Gerry was looking forward to having a man-to-man
talk with his dad about his tours of duty while in Vietnam because Don
Brenner just wouldn't talk to his son when Gerry was younger. Gerry said his
father was a good man and a true Mad Dog that was damn proud of his comrades
that he served with in Vietnam. We wish to thank Gerry for sharing his
precious memories of his dad with us, Mad Dog Aircraft Commander, Don
Brenner, and we also want to thank Gerry for his service to our country.
Here is CWO Don Brenner, on the right with his pistol belt on and to his left
is Don's cousin, Michael Ryan, who was in a tanker outfit in Vietnam at the
same time. This picture was taken at Xuan Loc around May or June of 1967. At
this time, Michael Ryan was serving with the 11th Armored Cav Regiment. Mad
Dog Pilot Don Brenner was flying his Mad Dog Gunship in support of the 173rd
Airborne Brigade and the 11th Armored Cav. Flying in combat with the Mad
Dogs, CWO Brenner had lost two doorgunners to enemy fire. He asked his
cousin, Michael, if he wanted to be a doorgunner with the Dogs and with
Michael being short, he gave his pilot cousin a two word reply. Lets just say
the second word of his reply was the word "you." Michael Ryan has said that
during this operation about 55% of the 173rd were KIA and had been placed in
body bags. Michael and others were "poked" to provide blood transfusions for
the wounded. Michael Ryan would like to know from any 240th aviator if this
battle was in the Iron Triangle or the Parrot's Beak. What a place and time
to hold a mini family reunion.
Here's CWO Don Brenner, Mad Dog Aircraft Commander and is co-pilot
sitting inside, giving the one finger peace symbol!
Here's another shot of CWO Don Brenner shaking hands with some
Vietnamese children. Don's son, Gerry Brenner, believes the color photos are
from his dad's second tour in Vietnam, 70-71, when he flew with the Golden
Eagles. Does anyone remember that unit and if so what was their numerical
Here's a group of 240th Aviators, looks like they are having a
refreshing drink of Pepsi. Check out the old Pepsi cans and I can guarantee
you need a "church key" to open them, no pop tops back in those days. That's
CWO Don Brenner, Mad Dog Aircraft Commander holding the bottle of "medicine."
I believe the name of the elixir is called JIM BEAM!
CWO Don Brenner and his crew had a close call this day. Such was
life for the Mad Dog and Greyhound crews that flew the friendly skies of
South Vietnam. The young man sitting on the floor and pointing to the hole in the door area is Frank Gilbert, Don Brenner's copilot at the time. Frank went on to become Mad Dog 39er in the 240th AHC. Frank was flying with Don Brenner when the 240th AHC arrived at Bearcat in May of 1967. Thanks, Frank, for bringing this information to our attention and we are proud to have you on the 240th AHC Flightline website!
Mad Dog Pilot Don Brenner and his crew weren't having a good as one
can see by the photo. One thing for sure, the Huey could take a lot of
punishment and battle damage and still bring her crew home to Bearcat.
Even during the violence, death and destruction of war, CWO Don
Brenner, Mad Dog Aircraft Commander, takes the time to show gentleness and
kindness to some South Vietnamese children. You have to be in Heaven, Mr.
Brenner, because you have spent your time in hell. Rest in peace, brother.