Kettles, Charles Seymour



Kettles, Charles Seymour


Charles Seymour Kettles


William Vollano


While enrolled as an undergraduate at the Michigan State Normal School (now Eastern Michigan University) in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Mr. Kettles was drafted into the United States Army in October of 1951. Commissioned as a Lieutenant after completing Army Flight School in 1953, Mr. Kettles was sent to Korea, but only after the conflict had ended. After returning to the United States, Kettles served in the Army Reserve until he volunteered for active duty service in Vietnam in 1963. In May of 1967, Kettles was directly responsible for saving the lives of 44 American soldiers who were ambushed by North Vietnamese forces. Serving a second tour of duty in 1969, Mr. Kettles returned to United States in 1970 to work with combat readiness for Army Reserve and National Guard units in Texas. Mr. Kettles was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1978, and went on to finish his degree at what was then Eastern Michigan University. Completing a master's degree at Eastern Michigan University a short time later, Kettles would come to teach at Eastern Michigan University himself and was the force behind the schools Aviation Management program. In 2016, Charles Seymour Kettles was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama for his heroism in saving the lives of those 44 service members in May of 1967.

Exact Date

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Date Span

Service Dates: 1951-1953; 1961-1975
Dates of Service


Drafted; United States Army; 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division; 176th Aviation Company, 14th Combat Aviation Battalion, American Division; 121st Aviation Company; Task Force Oregon; Korean War, 1950-1953; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; United States; Korea; Japan; France; Vietnam; Thailand; Lieutenant Colonel; Veterans; Oral History


Veterans History Project, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Original Object Type

MiniDV Tape

Collection Location

018.VHP 2/36

Digital Object File Type


Date Digital File Created

October 2021

Run Time


Transcript Available


Digital File ID



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Spatial Coverage

United States; Korea; Vietnam

Item sets