James Andrew "Andy" Garner (1929 - 2014)

Obituary
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Garner, James Andrew "Andy" U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 died January 30, 2014 at Baylor Carrollton Hospital, of congestive heart failure. Andy was born in Jacksboro, TX, May 20, 1929 to the late Daniel David Garner and Esther Cleo Holt. He graduated from Jacksboro high school in 1947, earning a bachelor's degree in general education from University of Nebraska, in 1965. He joined the Army in November 1947, retiring in December 1967. Garner was part of "C" Company - 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division, completing tours of duty in Korea and Vietnam. He graduated helicopter flight training school in November 1955, becoming a flight instructor. Sponsored by the Provost Marshall of Ft. Knox, Kentucky, Garner was flying food, clothing, and toys to an orphanage in the mountains. The crew chief saw fuel coming through the floorboard, so Garner landed on a dirt road, sleeping in the H34 Sikorsky until mechanics arrived the next day. Local bootleggers thought they were being raided. Garner was awarded the Commendation Ribbon with Pendant for meritorious achievement, Far East Command (Korean Operation), in 1950-1951. He flew the first "manned" helicopter to the top of Pikes Peak, prior to deploying to Vietnam. He earned the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding meritorious service in ground operations against a hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. In Operation Silver Bayonet, his HU1A Bell helicopter was shot down in the Battle of la Drang, An Lao Valley, Vietnam. The battle and Air Offensive took place November 14-18, 1965, making the cover of Life Magazine in February 1966. The battle is the subject of the book, We Were Soldiers Onceand Young as well as the film 'We Were Soldiers'. Garner enjoyed a 40-year career in Investment Counseling. The day before he died he called for the market report, giving a thumbs-up that he approved of the Dow Jones. He was perpetually positive, always smiling, and liked everyone he met. James Andrew Garner is survived by his wife of 64 years, Aileen Garner, of Carrollton; daughter Carol Mata of Austin (and Eric); grandchildren, Angela Mata and Ryan Mata. He is also survived by sister Joyce Garner Wendt of Bay City; brother Albert Garner, of Liberty City, and wife Ann; and uncles Arthur Garner (Angeline) and Keith Garner (Bobbie); cousins Nancy Garner, Tom Carpenter, and Betty Faye Cherry; and by many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by seven siblings: Eloise McFarland, Anne Hodge, Dorothy Wallace, Margaret Van Wormer, Dan Garner, Jack Garner, and Billy Garner. A gathering and Interment was held on Saturday, February 1st at Restland Memorial Park, in Dallas. The family wishes to thank Dr. Rodney Sosa, Dr. Vidyasagar Chodimella, Dr. Christian Moncrief, Dr. John Lawson and Dr. James Lee. We also thank the incredible nurses at Baylor Carrollton, notably the tireless ICU nurses, along with the therapists and technicians who made dad's stay as pleasant as possible. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any .

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 5, 2014
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