Dave Loomis, 71, of Bellingham served with the U.S. Army in Panama before serving at Bien Hoa, Vietnam, as a senor combat medic with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. During that time he received an Army Commendation Medal for Heroism.
On Sept. 16, 1966, U.S. troops were on a search near an airfield when a company came under heavy enemy fire and two soldiers in a clearing were wounded and needed medical help. Loomis volunteered to go; no one else with went him because of the intense Viet Cong fire.
Loomis reached the two men, about 100 yards away, and placed battle dressings to the stomach of one man and a tourniquet to the leg of the other. Then, using his body as a shield to protect one of the soldiers, he moved the man to a low depression to protect him from ongoing enemy fire.
The other soldier couldn't be moved with a litter, so Loomis moved another 100 yards to cut limbs from a tree for a litter, then crawled back, still under heavy fire, used his jacket to create a litter with the limbs, and dragged the second soldier to the depression.
After the situation was safe, Loomis helped evacuate the two men to a loading zone.
"Although he was not hurt, SP5 Loomis had 11 holes in his uniform and his shirt pocket was shot off," noted the Army's commendation order.
After the service, Loomis served in law enforcement, including about eight years with the Whatcom County Sheriff's Office.
- Excerpted from Army materials submitted by Dave Loomis
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