Jeffrie E. Wiant, Jr.

Died 19 April 2002

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Jeff was awarded the Navy Cross for a daring and perilous rescue in North Viet Nam while attached to HC-7.

 

Read Navy Cross citation

 

Read rescue after action report

Here’s a scanned slide the summer of 1973 HS-6 cruise aboard USNS Corpus Christi Bay.  CO John Daly is the smiling guy in the middle of this group of HS-6 pilots on that cruise to the South Pacific, wearing the HS-6 ball cap. The pilot on the far left in this photo is ENS Jack Thompson. The third pilot to the right of Skipper Daly is long ago retired CAPT Jeff Wiant, then a LT.  Standing next to Jack is Mike Baxter, who worked for Sikorsky for many years.  The pilot wearing the combination cover is John Smith. Looks like we were having an abandon ship drill on that old seaplane tender!  /s/ CAPT Steve Arends, USN (Ret.)

 

Obituary from the Montana Standard, 8 May 2002

 
Former Anaconda resident Jeffrie E. Wiant Jr. died April 19 at his Chula Vista , Calif., home from heart problems.
Jeff was born in Sheridan, graduated from Anaconda High School and attended the Merchant Marine Academy and Montana School of Mines.
 
In January 1966, he joined the Naval Aviation Cadet program, trained in Pensacola, Fla., and received his wings in 1967. He married Yvonne Russo, whom he met as a cadet.
Jeff was a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War where he made four dramatic rescues. His decorations include the Navy Cross, Legion of Merit, six Air Medals, Navy Commendation medal and Presidential Unit Citation. He made a career of the Navy and in May 1990 was assigned as chief of staff for the commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines, where he served two years. He retired from active duty in August 1993 at the rank of captain.
 
He was a director of the Naval Helicopter Association and Naval Helicopter Historical Society, San Diego chapter.
In addition to his wife, survivors include his daughter, Melisa Wiant of Chula Vista; son, Jeffrie of San Diego; brothers, Richard of Deer Lodge and Roy of Anaconda.
Burial was in Glen Abbey Memorial Park, Bonita, Calif.

Created: 03/11/2019