Golden Gate Wing Guest Speaker Archive

Presentation Date: August 27, 2015

Gil Ferrey, Captain, United States Army

Gil Ferrey’s presentation will be “The Berlin Wall and I” about his European experience before completing college and entering the US Army. The East German Government imprisoned him and a friend for having tried to help a student escape from East Berlin to West Berlin only three weeks after the Wall's construction began.

Gil was born in Orange, CA in July 1941 into a family with five sisters -- three younger and two older. He attended:
-- public schools from K-12 in Tustin, CA
-- three semesters at UC School of Engineering where he participated in Air Force ROTC
-- Santa Ana College for the spring semester of 1961
-- East Berlin for a semester about which he will speak
-- Claremont Mens' College from January 1962 to graduation in June 1964.

His active duty Army experience began as a newly commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in Armor. He then attended:
-- Primary Flight School at Ft. Wolters, TX as a rotary wing pilot
-- Fort Rucker, AL for Advanced and Instrument training.
Gil was awarded his wings in December 1964 as a member of Officer Rotary Wing Aviators Course (ORWAC) 65-18.

Ordered to Korea to join the 7th Aviation Battalion, he eventually served as its S-2 Intelligence Officer. Gil was sent back together with all other members of the battalion who had aviation Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to either Fort Lewis, WA or Fort George G. Meade, MD. Actually given a choice, he selected Fort Meade where he joined the 11th Armored Cavalry "Blackhorse" Regiment that currently serves as the Opposing Force (OPFOR) at the Fort Irwin, CA National Training Center.

In Vietnam, he flew the:
-- Bell UH-1C (540 rotor system) gunship
-- UH-1D "2.5 Ton flying Truck" for transporting everything (mostly troops)
-- Hiller 23G "Raven" scout Command and Control and observation helicopter which he had also flown in Korea.

Gil amassed 900 hours of combat flying time. His military awards and decorations include:
-- Sixteen Air Medals
-- Two Army Commendation Medals, one with a "V" device
-- Various other "been there done that" medals.

Gil separated from the Active Army as a Captain in September 1967.