- 87 years old
- Date of birth: Mar 12, 1929
- Place of birth:
Tarrytown, New York, United States
- Date of passing: Aug 27, 2016
- Place of passing:
Panama City, Florida, United States
|Let the memory of Herb be with us forever|
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Col. Herb Kalen, 87, born on March 12, 1929 and passed away on August 27, 2016. We will remember him forever.
"Photo #1 Bob Bunker, Co-Pilot, James Badley Survivor, Herb Kalen Aircraft Commander, William Carroll Flight Engineer, Donald Claudius Pararescue Specialist, in the door
Photo #2 Herb Kalen & Bob Bunker greeted by Lt Col Caughron, Squadron Commander
Photos from Charles Wells Collection. The photo was taken by his father Lt Col Joe Wells at Da Nang RVN 20 November 1968 after pick-p of Lt Badley.
This rescue took place on a beach area in North Viet Nam. The following is from Lt Badley’s web site
“On 20 November 1967 while flying his 25th mission in North Vietnam, Lt. Badley's aircraft (an F-4) was shot down and he was forced to bail out. He remained calm under the pressure of intense small arms fire and vectored the rescue helicopter to his position within seconds of Viet Cong capture. For his heroic actions, he received the Silver Star for Gallantry and the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement.”
Herb and crew were returning from an orbit mission over the Gulf of Tonkin when an F-4 was shot down in North Viet Nam near their position. They proceeded to the area making radio contact with the downed pilot Lt James Badley. He was located inland a few hundred yards from the shore in a sandy area covered with low shrubbery. Lt Badley vectored them to his general location. They asked him to pop smoke, which he did. Herb flew to the smoke and landed. The crew could not see Lt Badley. They finally sighted him some distance away when he jumped out from behind a bush and waved at them. The crew motioned for him to come to them but he jumped back behind the bush. Herb picked up the helicopter and hovered over to Lt Badley’s position where he was taken aboard the helicopter. They safely egressed the area proceeding out to the Gulf of Tonkin and returned to Da Nang RVN. Lt Badley was asked why he left the area of the smoke. He said when he popped smoke, he started receiving small arms fire so he ran away from that area and hid where they finally picked him up.
On his 85th mission, on 27 March 1968, Lt Bradley was shot down and listed as MIA. He was officially declared Killed in Action (KIA) on 8 May 1968.
Lt Badley was a F-4 back seater. The front seater status was unknown. A chute had not been by anyone in the area. I had been on an orbit mission over the Gulf of Tonkin and had arrived in the area just after Herb and crew had completed the pick-up. We found aircraft debris a few hundred yards off shore. We scanned the area and landed in the water near a deflated life raft among the debris. The pilot would have the raft hooked to him during ejection. We were not able to see any sign of a parachute or any other sign that the F-4 front seater had been able to eject. We continued to search and we came under small arms fire from the shore. We departed the area. We were confident that we would have seen the pilot if he had been able to get out of the aircraft.
Additionally, I have written an article for the USAF Museum Friends Journal that will be published later this month. The subject is about my first combat mission. It was one of my checkout missions required before I took over as commander on my own. Often these flights only involved going to Quang Tri to stand alert or go on an orbit mission over the Gulf of Tonkin. Herb was the instructor for this mission. It turned out we would end up in North Viet Nam. We were the” High Bird”, (the cover aircraft for the pick-up helicopter). Initially our team (High & Low Bird (pick-up helicopter) were just to be back-up for another team. Due to battle damage on the other team, we were thrust into the fray. Our Low Bird completed the pick-up without a problem and we went to Quang Tri and spent the rest of the day on alert. I will send you a copy of that article after it is published."
"Major Kalen flew an Air Force "Jolly Green" rescue helicopter that pulled me from the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam on 2 July 1967 after my F8 aircraft had been shot down. I don't believe I ever adequately thanked him for my rescue. For those who read this tribute, know that Major Kalen and those like him who dedicated themselves to saving lives at great risk to themselves are the true heroes of that or any war. God bless him and may he rest in peace.
Posted by: Col. Bruce Martin USMC (Ret). - York, ME - military Oct 10, 2016"
"I was stationed with Herb at Da Nang AB, RVN in 1967. I flew my first combat mission with him. I wrote an article for USAF Museum: Jolly Green Rescue Near Quang Khe Ferry. The article is to be published in an upcoming edition of the USAF Museum Friends Journal, a quarterly publication.
Herb was the 37th ARRS Standardization Officer. He was an outstanding pilot and officer. He was steady in his job and on his missions. I enjoyed my time with him and his quiet, but authoritative manor.
I have two photos of Herb from Da Nang that I was unable to attach. One is a photo of him and his crew with the survivor they picked up in North Viet Nam. I was also on that mission in another HH-3E Jolly: I was searching for the second pilot who we found that he was unable to eject from the F-4 aircraft.
One photo includes the following people.
Bob Bunker Co-Pilot, Survivor James Badley, Herb Kalen Aircraft Commander, William Carroll Flight Engineer, in door Donald Claudius Pararescue Specialist, (PJ), Photo from Charles Wells Collection, taken by his father Lt Col Joe Wells, 20 Nov 1967
Herb was a very special man and I know you must still miss him very much, but I know the opportunity to place him with other war heroes will be very meaningful for you and your family.
Right after I received news of Herb's passing I was volunteering up at the DAV Memorial. One of my duties that day was to dust the display cases.....and I had the chance to re-read the articles about Herb. He was indeed a very special man.
Love to you from us both,
Valerie & Jim"
"I hope this note finds you well and that you are recovering from your loss. It is so difficult losing a loved one..
Last week when I was skiing with Debby, we were exchanging stories about Herb. He was such a good skier, and on one occasion he was teaching me to Ski in powder and I fell and it was Herb that picked me up. Herb had the capability of picking up everybody's spirits around him. Take care.
Cheers and Blessings, Gordon."
"I was most surprised in that I wasn’t aware he had any health issues. You guys have always been so active, guess I thought you’d be ‘going’ forever.
What I enjoyed the most about Herb was that warm smile he always greeted me with. Added with it he always seemed to come up with a compliment that made me feel better. You guys were always together, with both of you having that glow that lighten up my day. One of my fondest memories is our evening out at the Italian restaurant there in Edgewater. It was such a treat!
Please take care of yourself and know Barbara and I miss you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
"It was a shock to hear of Herb's death. Somehow (despite his health problems) one felt he would go on forever. We remember first meeting Herb as an "old ski patroller on the ski mountain. We look back with pleasure at all the camping, trekking and skiing we have enjoyed with him and you over the years. Herb will be greatly missed. Love, Bernie and Paul"
"Kathy you and Herb were a part of our many memories in Angel Fire. Our first neighbors and many experiences with the Trekkers. He leaves with a very distinct trail. With sympathy and love, Anne"
"Kathy, I was saddened to hear about Herb. I have wonderful childhood memories of how you opened your home and cabin to me. Kristi and I had great times together.Thank you for the memories.
Kristi, It was wonderful to reconnect with you I was so sorry that you have lost your father and mentor. He as quite an extraordinary man. Love, Holly"
"It was with great sadness we received the news of Herb's death. We were so forturnate to see you a couple of years ago and enjoyed your visit. I am sure he is busy skiing in Heaven. Our thoughts are with you both. Fondly, Terry and Maureen"
"Words can't say how I feel about the loss of two fine men. This photo says it all and I hope they meet again somewhere in Heaven! So sorry, Kris Young"
"Tom and I are so sorry to hear about Herb's death. He was always so alive and active. He certainly met life head-on and enjoyed every bit that life could offer.
So many memories of you and Herb!
-hiking/camping trip to Gold Hill when you found Benje for Bill and Cheryl.
-hiking Hermit's Peak, with your reminescing about camping on top, watching the lights of Las Vegas with martiinis in hand (and mouth!}
-remember all the ladybugs lighting up the area?
-suppers with the Servant Event kids who worked on trails with the Trekkers.
-clearing stash from the greenbelt behind your house
-and so may other hikes and camping trips.
We certainly were blessed to have lived in Angel Fire, and you two were a big part of that. Blessings ,
Tom and Lydia Berrong"
"Bill and I are saddened by your loss. We have reminesced on times together, hiking, parties various and sundries visits. Did visit with Herb when he was here in January and he called Bill some months back. It is difficult to accept he has passed, but how much more difficult for you. Love and God bless, Ella and Bill"
"You lovingly included us in your home so many, many times. You also have brought so much to so many and you are truly loved by us and all who know you so well in Angel Fire. You've shared your love of hiking with your book, your love of gardening with your inspirational gardens, your love of country with your service, and most of all you have opened your heart to all of us in so many ways. We love you❤️️
It was such a beautiful tribute to Herb to have his memorial on Veteran's Day. He will be forever missed!
We watched the respectful service at Arlington Cemetery for the unknown soldier and thought so much about Herb and his honorable service to our country. It is so perfect for Herb that he will rest in peace in Arlington, surrounded by the multitude of soldiers who shared his love of country.
We truly would have loved to have been with you for the memorial. We looked again at the gallery on his website. Herb was always so much bigger than life. Looking at all the pictures in the online gallery today reminds us of his constant love for family, country, and friends.
His energy and enthusiasm for adventure, skiing, sailing, hiking, camping and whatever else he set his goals on. He was an inspiration
to us all.
We have great memories of us all sitting around your dinner table and hearing about your adventures and fun together. We have the same warm feelings and memories of you. You lovingly included us in your home so many, many times. You also have brought so much to so many and you are truly loved by us and all who know you so well in Angel Fire. You've shared your love of hiking with your book, your love of gardening with your inspirational gardens, your love of country with your service, and most of all you have ope ned your heart to all of us in so many ways. Our lives and yours have been so entertwined over the years with so many precious memories of Herb, you, and Kristi. Herb was an amazing person--he was Herb Superb! And he loved his Kathy and Kristi more than words can tell. He was so proud of you both! He had a zeal for life, his family, his country and his friends. He has contributed so much to us and to all of your friends in Angel Fire. He was also honest and pure in his thoughts. We will miss him. He set goals, attained them and along his way, shared himself with others. And we who knew him well, know how much he had passion for life, skiing, hiking, traveling, sailing and the list goes on....There will never be a Herb. We love you, Lynne and Charlie"
"I've lost my skiing idol. I could never beat Herb down Nice Day, but I always loved our conversations on the chair ride back up!
Herb and Kathy will always be with us on the Angel Fire area hiking trails (and so will Kathy's hiking book).
We won't forget Herb's early (7 a.m.) Sunday phone call when we had the Chronicle: he urged us to get right over to photograph Kathy's blooming tulips and daffodils bravely poking through an overnight spring snowstorm. It was a beautiful photo.
What great folks. Herb was what living in the Sangres is all about. Hugs to Kathy and Kristi. - Guy and Marcia Wood"
"After several years of traveling to our home in Florida, we were so delighted to meet Herb, Kathy, and Kristi at a social get together that Kathy had enthusiastically initiated and held every Friday afternoon in the Community Room at Hibiscus! It was at one of these socials that we met Herb who we affectionately and respectfully, referred to as "Colonel". Herb was an absolute pleasure to meet, as he shared his love for skiing with us. Since we also love skiing, we spent a considerable time discussing places we, all, had skied, ski equipment, and the joys of a sport we love! During this conversation, Colonel mentioned that he was planning to travel to their home in New Mexico to celebrate his 85th birthday, and that he planned to ski every day he was there! Chris and I looked at each other, and we both remarked to Herb--"You are our hero!" We were soooo impressed that he was so very active and celebrating his 85th birthday on the slopes!
Little did we know at the time, that Colonel Herb Kalen was a true Vietnam War hero! In getting to know him, Kathy, and Kristi, we talked about his involvement in the Son Tay POW mission and he shared his copy of the book “The Raid: The Son Tay Prison Mission." After reading this book and learning that the Colonel had flown a helicopter into the prison camp in an effort to rescue POWs, we gained an even greater respect for this courageous man. Chris, who also served in the Navy during the raid, remembered learning of this effort and how it played a significant role in boosting the morale of the POWs. Herb—YOU are OUR HERO!
In February of 2015, Herb invited Chris and Pat Broderick, who also had an admirable career in the Navy, to go skiing with him in Angel Fire and to attend a military function. Chris has very fond memories of that trip, as they had a fun-filled week of “hitting the slopes!” Both Chris and Pat admitted that the Colonel was certainly an amazing skier and they remarked, “It was tough to keep up with the Colonel!"
This past spring Chris and I were fortunate to go to the Wolf Preserve in Chipley with Herb, and Angie and Terry Brace. I will always have fond memories of that day, visiting the preserve, the quaint winery on the way, and then sharing pizza with all and the “love of his life,” Kathy, who joined us later that day.
Colonel, we will forever miss your enthusiasm and vigor for life's adventures, your smile that lit up every corner of the room, the love you exuded for Kathy, Kristi, and your beloved puppies, and the dedication and service that you so generously gave to our country. We are so very privileged to have known you and so very blessed to be your friends.
You will be forever in our hearts~May your spirit soar~
With our heartfelt sympathy, prayers, and love,
Chris and Deb Pein"
"The first time I met Herb Kalen was in the elevator. He had a big Happy Grin on his face and we introduced ourselves. I said Herb may I call you "George Burns" You just have that big George Burns smile. From then on.... he was my "George Burns". Always a smile and always ready to discuss Real Estate and many other subjects. There was never a boring moment when you were in this dear friend's presence. The last moments we spent together was beside his bed and his only day of consciousness thru his hospital stay. He had a thousand questions after being in a coma for several days. I am so glad I was led to that hospital day. Herb, please know we will take care of Kathy and Kristi and that "You" are missed everyday."
"Hiking with Herb will be so missed. All the many years we visited Eagle Nest and explored many of the surrounding area with Herb was so much FUN. He made the hikes so much more interesting. Looking forward to hiking again with him in heaven. Kathy will be in our prayers."
"I am so sad to hear of Herb's passing. Even though we haven't seen each other in a very long time, he remained very special to me. His parents were some of my favorite people while I was growing up and even though I only saw Herb a few times I have always adored him. I will always remember the time he was stationed at Westboro in Massachusetts and he flew one of his planes over our house really low then when straight up into the air and broke the sound barrier. It scared the whole town to pieces but my dad was thrilled and so were we. It is a special memory! Cyber Hugs, Gretchen Meuller Glaub"
"Herb, I work in the office where we manage his rental units. I will Miss his phone calls "Hey Sky its Herb" and him coming in and pulling up a chair just to chat, just his sincerity. I will miss you dearly herb, my thoughts and prayers are with your family."
"Linda Gimbel Hughes
September 7 at 10:16pm
For those Trekkers who weren't at the August Social we wanted to let you know that Herb Kalen, one of the Founders of MV Trekkers, passed away August 27.
To honor Herb, it was decided that the Trekkers would make a donation to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A collection was started & the Trekker treasury will supplement that collection in order to round out the donation dollar figure. If you're interested in contributing, please send a check written out to Moreno Valley Trekkers: P.O. Box 1234, Angel Fire, NM 87710."
"Boo and I were surprised and sorry to hear of Herb's passing. Speaking for all of us who skied with him, he was the embodiment of the Energizer Bunny - after spending the day, trying to keep up with him, and having just about enough energy left to get off the mountain - it was Herb who always said "just one more run - I know where there's still some untracked powder". I'll miss our talk of politics while on the Chili Express or on our way to TSV. Most of all, I'll miss seeing that faded red ski jacket on the slopes at AF."
"We met Herb (and Kathy) when we moved to Chino Terrace in Angel Fire. Herb, Kathy and a bottle of wine came over to greet us! It didn't take us long to realize how fortunate we were to have such a dynamic couple as friends and neighbors. Herb LIVED every day of his 87 years. He was a force to be reckoned with--but what a joyful force. We will miss him terribly."
"Kat Pennington 4:10pm Aug 31
Kathy, Lee and I were so sorry to hear about Herb, he was a true hero not only to you, but to many, many others. Lee often includes Herb's example of heroism, integrity and leadership in the military classes he instructs. We both loved and held the greatest respect for him. He was many things to many people; if I was asked to describe him, Herb was a humble warrior. We love you Kathy, and if there is anything at all we can do for you, at anytime, please do not hesitate to contact us."
"I met Herb when we first moved to Angel Fire 7 years ago. Since then he has always served as a role model for me. I hope I can still ski when I am 86 years old. Our first encounter occurred on a Trekker snow shoe kike that he was leading one day after returning from Florida. The altitude was affecting him a little but I still could not keep up with him on the hike and I am more than 20 years his junior. And I certainly could not keep up with him when we skied together. He loved to ski the edges of the trails where there was still some fluffy powder snow. He would start at the top of the mountain and not stop till he reached the bottom - Incredible! After Don died he was kind enough to think of me and he invited me to ski with him once so I would not have to ski alone. Indeed a true hero! Don and I also enjoyed a dinner at your lovely home in Angel Fire that Herb cooked so he even knew his way around the kitchen. A remarkable man! I will miss him."
Col Kalen, I honor you for your selfless service to our country. I hold your family in my thoughts and prayers as they suffer through your loss. Indeed the nation is lesser today and one hero short. Your story told to me by your daughter and my dear friend Kristi should serve as an inspiration to the American generations to come. We will risk everything to bring our fellow service members home. Now that the Lord has called you home, you can finally rest easy. You have finished the race. No greater love has a man than he lay down his life for his brother. May God welcome you with open arms and comfort your family and friends. Mike Bleacher St. Augustine"
"What a great life Herb and Kathy shared! Herb enjoyed life to the utmost and his adventures reflect that. It was scary following him down a ski trail but there was no one I'd rather follow. Here's to your next adventure, Herb!"
"Herb was our neighbor and a good friend! We enjoyed his company and friendship. We are honored to have had the opportunity to get to know him. You will be tremendously missed! Our thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and Kristi!"
"Herb Kalen was my neighbor for many years. He was a good friend and a true gentleman. I'm sure going to miss seeing him around Hibiscus on his daily walks carrying the wooden stick and stopping to say hello always with a smile and of course to discuss anything and everything ,our social gatherings, the economy etc. etc and of course the military. ..He truly will be missed. My prayers and support to Kathy and Kristie on the loss of a wonderful man. ...."
"We miss our friend. He was a delight to be with either skiing, hiking or camping. We had great respect for his military stories and thank him for his many years of service!"
"Herb was my hiking partner, my comrade in arms and my friend. I was terribly saddened to hear of his passing, but take some solace in knowing I will see him again at Arlington. Vaya con Dios my friend!"
"Dear Kathy and Kristi,
Sending our prayers. Herb will be missed. What an amazing, yet humble man. Kathy you were the wind beneath his wings. We will always cherish the memories of you both and how our lives were enriched by knowing you. His warm smile, his sense of adventure and his optimism will be forever etched in our memories.
Our love, Alan and Lynette Friedemann, Angel Fire friends."
"He was a Hero of heroes, one who reaches out to others only a hero without trying to be one America will miss you, God Bless you and the USA that you loved!"
"Kathy, Herb was certainly one of a kind. Enjoyed sking and hiking with you both in Angl Fire. It is sad to know he is gone. Jack died last September so you have my sympathy. Love, Dotty"
"IN 1970, I shared the Son Tay Prison (attempt to rescue POWs from North Vietnam) raid with Herb, a splendid HH-3 pilot who landed his heli inside the prison camp knowing a tree would surely contact the rotor blades -- all went well for him and his crew -- sure sorry re his demise as I will too soon follow -- my condolences to his family -- Jay M Strayer, Colonel, USAF (Ret), Xenia, Ohio"
"Over the years when Herb & Kathy came to visit us in Port Orange, Florida, we had many wonderful adventures thanks to Herb's love of the outdoors & boundless energy. He arranged for us land lubbers to go on our first canoe trip which he guaranteed was a "piece of cake"! We almost landed in the river a couple times but managed to make it to the end still dry but shaky!!! Our next canoe trip was on a much calmer river in North Florida. We even took our dog Snoopy & son Brian who joined us in a kayak. Herb & Kathy had a time share in Naples, FL years ago & decided we should try to find out where Kathy & Marvin's parents lived for a while on Marco Island. We were joined by Kristi, cousin Scott & Brian & had a great adventure in a pontoon boat going through the archipelago searching the many islands for what we thought might be the place where they lived for a while. It was such fun & quite the adventure Then some years later Herb rented another pontoon boat near DeLand, FL which took us on the beautiful St. John's River. At one point our dog Snoopy ended up alone on one end of the boat with the rest of us at the other end nearly sinking it. We blamed him for the near disaster & have laughed many times over the years at our close call! Marvin & I are so grateful to our adventurous brother-in-law for taking us out of our comfort zone so that we will always have wonderful, happy memories of our times together. You will be missed, Herb Kalen. We pray you will continue to find great hiking trails & snowy mountains to ski. To Kathy & Kristi we send our love & prayers."
"Herb, I SO wanted to visit with you one more time. You out-foxed me just as you out skied me down the moguls. I will never forget how you led the four of us, you, Kathy, Isabella and I, along with that young kid with us, across that ridge in the Truchas and then down the snow filled chimney to the bottom of the mountain. One mile in 9 hours, we took.
Just another day in Trekkers world. Rest Well, Dear Herb. And confound you for making me cry ! Thank you Kathy. It is tough, but God Bless you."
"We have such great memories of hiking with Herb and hearing his great stories. He was so passionate about life. We always remember the first hike with Herb -- there he was -- the first one at the end of the trek, sipping on a beer, enjoying the moment. What a great individual. He will be missed."
"To Kathy and Kristi - Len and I send you our love and deepest condolences. We met Herb and Kathy 16 years ago when they became our landlords at Long Beach in Panama City Beach. They both became so much more to us. They became family! We were always amazed at Herb's tenacity and zest for life! He had such a full life with so many wonderful experiences in so many places. Kathy, this is a beautiful tribute to Herb and to the wonderful life that you two shared together!
We always loved to hear Herb's many stories. He accomplished so much in his full and adventurous life! He was such a military hero and yet was so humble about it all.
We will miss him so much but I will always think of him racing down the ski hills! Kathy,he was so fortunate to have you as his life partner as you shared his love for adventure! Please try to remember all of those wonderful experiences!
Herb,we will miss you dear friend! Happy hiking in Heaven!!!!"
"I was planning a long backpack through the mountains above Angel Fire and Herb and Kathy invited this total stranger into their lovely home and shared their extensive knowledge and love of the country with me. I will never forget their kindness and enthusiasm - true Trail Angels. Herb and Kathy - I backpacked over incredible Jicarita Peak last weekend and you were in my thoughts. Thanks again, and Herb, mark those new trails you are now following for us all."
"We'll miss Herb! We shared a lot of good times: Houseboating in the Everglades and Utah; Canoeing and hiking in North Florida, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and New Mexico; Traveling, hiking, backpacking all over; and plenty of good eating, drinking, and talking. Thanks for the good times Herb and Kathy!"
"My dad, Alex Lupenski, always spoke so highly of Herb. He admired him greatly. He told of many skiing adventures and fun times.
He will be very sad to hear of his passing.
Our prayers for you, his family.
"I just wanted to offer my condolences and well wishes. Herb was an inspiration for me both on the trail and on the ski slopes. Even though he was moving more slowly during his latest visits to Angel Fire, it was always a pleasure to meet and chat with him. We will miss him.
Cheers and Blessings, Gordon."
"Herb is one of the "original" Angel Fire people my husband and I were privileged to meet on Trekker events. His big grin was infectious."
"My Memories of Herb, My husband and I met Herb and Kathy in 1997 and house sat for them for a month while they went to Alaska in their RV. We fell in love with Koki, the little black poodle.
I remember that their were maps and more maps in their house--National Forest Maps -- that was right down my husband's alley as he had a Forestry Degree but this was the start of his dream of finally get to us it at age of 54ish. Lynn loved looking at maps w Herb and Kathy. For many years Herb and Kathy lead hikes--oh so much fun!!!! Herb could scamper up and down those mountains so fast!!!!
Herb and Kathy were very instrumental in getting several nice groups started in the village of Angel Fire, Trekkers for one--they planned and built trails--and look at all of the trails that Angel Fire has now as other folks have continued using Herb and Kathy's knowledge, skills and talents. Their fervor for the outdoors and nature was caught by others to continue their initial endeavors. It's still happening today!!
Herb always seemed happy and brightened ones day when seeing and talking to him. So glad that he got to experience life to the fullest, and that we were fortunate enough to meet him. Treva Baker"
"We met only a few years ago at The Dunes of Panama and visited each other a few times. We always had a fun time to hear Herb's fascinating war stories. We remember him as a true hero and a good hearted man. We will miss him!
Melinda and Les Berke"
"Suzy and I met Herb when he was trying to get his truck out of a snowy ditch in Angel Fire, in the mid 80's. He was cheery even in a unpleasant situation. We helped him get out and he noticed the Air Force sticker on my car. We became instant friends. Herb led us on a memorable hike to Wheeler Peak one summer. He would ski us into the ground, even with an eye patch and suffering with shingles. We had plans to ski Utah in February or March of this year, but it did not work out. Herb was a true powder hound, who will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Kathy"
"Herb invited me to ski with him the winter before last at his real home in Angel Fire. I'm not sure if he was the former mayor but he was indeed the king of the mountain. His vision was waning and he had to wear a patch over one eye but he out-skied us all.
Of course, we had to tell war stories, and drink a little wine. There is no way I can't compete with Herb's stories. Every Special Operator of my generation knows about the Son Tay raid, but Herb brought it alive.
He asked me once if I ever had a good luck moment. Yeah, I did. My best good luck moment was to have known Herb.
Pat Broderick, CWO4 (SEAL) USN (ret)"
"Beard Clear Sir?
Shared by Royce Terrell on 09/02/2016
Herb, had a reputation for being somewhat of a hard ass stand eval pilot that would cause lesser H- 3 pilots to quake in their boots, especially students. One day I was on the ramp at Hill AFB with a student pilot for his check ride and Herb was on a stand eval visit to the 1550th. Herb was scheduled to check another crew so my student and I were somewhat relieved and were going about our checklist when we heard via the radio the other H-3 was having maintainence problems. I told my student not to worry Col. Kalen would stick with the other crew until they were good to go. WRONG!!! Before you could blink an eye Herb lept off the broken bird and ran lickety split right over to our bird and hopped in. Seeing that big grin on his face all I could think of to say was "Beard clear sir?" Everyone on the crew got a chuckle out of it but I had to explain to my student that the expression was in reference to Santa Claus. I still don't think he got it but he did well on his check ride. Herb was the best! This is from Royce Terrell I thought it would be missed in stories."
"I've known Herb for about 45 years since I was 16, when he took my dad and I for our first trip to Alta. He was the strongest skier we ever knew and it was always just so free and pure fun. Been skiing of and on ever since. Never got tired of those stories and adventures of the fixes they managed to get themselves into.
I was truly honored to have him as a friend. Not many young people are privileged to have heroes of consequence in their lives. I was so fortunate to have my dad and Herb, and so many others, with such bravery and selflessness to go right into the teeth of the danger to save others. To this day, men are alive because of men like Herb and all those others. But man, wasn't there something special about Herb!
I was so proud to introduce him to my wife and friends, and co workers and anybody who was around when he'd pop through Price. And then when he'd left I'd explain what a big deal that was about who they just got to meet and they are always amazed upon hearing about Son Tay.
It was so meaningful to me to know Herb and my dad were such good friends. That USAF pilot fraternity - the strongest and best I've seen.
When mom and dad called with the news, dad and I cried like little girls. We miss him. It was a rare moment of intimacy that dad shared a story about how they'd reciprocate visiting and looking after one another when they'd done something our other or had a health issue. Two old warriors in bathrobes cooking breakfast for each other and Herb just started crying followed by my dad. That's some rare friendship and love, forged in the crucible of shared careers, dangers, and life experiences embodied in the sheer freedom and fun they experienced with each other.
I promise you Kathy and Kristi, we will always remember Herb. He is everything a man ought to be."
"Herb always prepared when reaching the top of a MV Trekker hike with his cold beer wrapped in foil and a twinkle in his eye!"
"Herb Kalen was a name that every young HH-3E pilot learned and knew among the helicopter pilots of my generation. Though we did not know him personally, each of us learned the limitations of the HH-3E and marveled at his skill to draft on the HC-130 to Son Tay and then to safely put that machine into a spot where everybody knew it was going to stay...and that he would instantly turn into a ground combatant. He represented a generation of skilled, courageous, and dedicated men who built the reputation of the Jolly Green Giant and it's enduring legacy of combat rescue.
Nearly all of the HH-3E pilots have left active duty. One recent retiree who grew up in the HH-3E was Maj Gen Mike Kingsley. Another HH-3E pilot who is currently serving as the vice commander of Air University is Maj Gen Tim Leahy. Thank you to Herb and the other respected and valorous pilots, crews, and maintainers of the HH-3E...you set the bar high. Those who followed you in the mission of rescue and special operations hope you have found our service to be worthy of your example. Fair skies Herb Kalen, and thank you.
Lt Gen Donny Wurster, USAF, ret
Former AFSOC commander, and HH-3E pilot"
""My heart goes to Mrs Kathy and Kristin..this man who was loved by so many had the heart of gold and always there with helping hand. He would always take my cart back and always eager to help any way he could. Heaven truly gained an angel. He will be missed. He would always be walking or going swimming, always exercising. He would always smile and say how you doing. He would at times say jokes and laugh so hard. Mr Herb I am going to miss you and your smiles and helping hand. I will check on Mrs Kathy and Kristin every now and then to make sure they are okay. " Lots of love!!"
"Herb was the best example of living the fullest as long as possible. A good hearted man with many talents. We meant Herb at a dumpster in Angel Fire, NM when he seen our canoe on our truck and he wanted to know where we going to canoe, became a good friend afterwards.
Herb will be greatly missed. Love and prayers to Kathy and Kristi."
"What beautiful memories we have of Herb and we'll miss him every day. All our wonderful hiking trips, our Hawaii trip, and so many other special times with such a happy person who lived every day to it's fullest and lighted up the room whenever he came in. He's our hero! Prayers for Kathy and Kristi."
"I am blessed to be able to call Herb my friend, I think of him as a hero and will miss him and his stories and being able to shake his hand every day and see that smile. God Bless Kathy and Kristi"
"I was 8yrs old playing chinese checkers with Herb and our Gr-Grandmother. I remember Herb flying over Long Island Sound dipping his wing and breaking the sound barrier just to say hello. His and Kathies surprise visit to our home in Florida in 2009. I will miss Herb. My great Hero cousin."
"How many times have I been greeted with Herbs awesome open and welcoming grin! (image #75). So grateful to have known this warm and wonderful man. He will be missed by many! Love and prayers to Kathy and Kristi"
"I've only known Herb since last November. My favorite memory of him is every time he started to talk he would say, "I'm going to tell you some stories, and most of them are true. " It made me laugh every time!
I've only been in Florida for a little over a year, and Herb, Kathy, and Kristi have "adopted " me and been so warm and inviting. May happy memories heal your hearts!"
"Kathy & Kristi, our thoughts and prayers are with you, as you well
know Herb was a speciial friend and person. He certainly lived life his way, as the song goes. I cherish our ski memories and will truly miss Herb Superb. A & W"
"I love this man like a father. As the flower girl in his wedding over 50 years ago, he is still a Prince in my eyes. Love and prayers to Kathy and Kristi"
"Herb. my friend Rest In Peace. You absolutely" DID ITYout Way" You will be missed, We had so much fun when we were there and got you a toe ring You actually wore it with us, Just shows what a sport you were. My thoughts and prayers will be with Kathy and Kristi
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