Lt. Tom Curran of Milton, a retired Massachusetts State Trooper, was recently the guest speaker at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham and Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury.
Curran has been married to his wife Mary for 42 years. They live in Milton and have three sons and four grandchildren.
Curran spoke about his service as an army soldier with the 1st Air Cavalry Division and the Army Security Agency (ASA) in Vietnam.
Curran flew with Project Leftbank, which was a highly classified joint effort between the 1st Cavalry Division and ASA.
To be a member of ASA, a top-secret security clearance was required.
Early on in his deployment to Vietnam, Curran learned that an ASA helicopter had been shot down along the Cambodian border. The pilot, copilot, and two ASA crew members were killed in battle.
The Army sought volunteers to take the place of the lost crew members. However, it could not force its soldiers to take this mission as it was deemed too dangerous. Despite the known dangers, Curran volunteered to continue the mission. He was 19 years old at the time.
The 1st Air Cavalry Division provided three uh-1d “Huey” helicopters and pilots and its ASA direct support unit, the 405th Radio Research Unit, provided intelligence gathering systems.
The Hueys were tasked with looking for evidence of enemy installations or troop movements. In doing so, the pilot hovered the aircraft over the area at canopy level.
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