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CAPT. HARVEY EIKEL

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CAPT. HARVEY EIKEL Obituary
CAPT. HARVEY EIKEL U.S. Navy, Retired Harvey Andrew Eikel, 77, beloved husband, father, grandfather (Opa), uncle and friend passed from this Earth June 16, 2013, after a long, hard-fought battle with heart disease. Harvey was born Aug. 1, 1935, in New Braunfels, Texas, which was founded in 1840 by a group of German immigrants that included his great-great-great-grandfather, Andreas Eikel. He is survived by his loving wife, of almost 50 years, Pauline; their two sons, David of San Ramon, Calif., and Robert of Seattle; daughter-in-law, Amber of Seattle; granddaughters, Alexandra and Kaitlyn; grandsons, Andrew and Matthew; his brother, Bernie of Portland, Texas; brother-in-law, Vincent Kunk and his wife, Shirley of Palm Desert, Calif.; three nieces; and five nephews. A 1958 graduate of University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering, a member of Naval ROTC, he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as an ensign upon graduation. He received a master's degree in physics at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif. in 1966 and was assigned to Lemoore Naval Air Station (NAS), Calif. Later in his career, he graduated from the National War College in Washington, D.C., and spent several years working at the Pentagon. A retired U.S. Navy captain, he was a gifted and highly decorated Naval aviator, flying 298 missions in Vietnam including several Iron Hand missions, a literal head-to-head shootout with surface-to-air missiles (SAM). He was shot down and rescued twice in North Vietnam, the first at Vinh, North Vietnam Aug. 30, 1968 and his rescue was one of the first of an aviator shot down and actually rescued from the ground in North Vietnam. He was chased, shot at by Vietnamese on the ground, evaded capture while members of his squadron, VA-93 from Lemoore NAS returned to the scene of his rescue. They were low on fuel and had almost no ammunition. With great courage and dedication they flew cover, attracting fire from the ground so that the helicopter could spend precious extra moments to rescue a brother pilot. There were many heroes that day among the members of Attack Squadron VA-93 and the helicopter crew. Harvey was shot down a second time May 24, 1972 at Haiphong Harbor and was again rescued; ironically, the Navy used his plan for the mining of Haiphong Harbor. He was commanding officer of Attack Squadron VA-94, Lemoore NAS (1975-76) and later commanding officer of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Harvey had a long and distinguished Navy career, beginning in May 1958 as an ensign and ending in June 1986 as a Navy captain. He was a quiet, extremely intelligent man, never seeking the limelight and yet it found him from time to time. Among his most distinguished honors were Legion of Merit with Gold Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with Gold Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Gold Star and Number 27, Navy Commendation Medal with 2 Gold Stars, Navy Achievement Medal and many others. Upon retirement from the Navy after 28 years, he worked for Information Spectrum in the Washington, D.C. area. Harvey was also a talented artist in his spare time to the delight of his family and friends. He spent his later years with his wife, Pauline, and sister and brother-in-law, Charlotte and Tom Mancine, at Thunderbird, Rancho Mirage, Calif., and Spanish Trail, Las Vegas. Visitation was held Friday, June 28, with Mass following, both at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 1000 Bishop Manogue Drive, Reno, NV 89511. Funeral services were previously held, with full military honors, at Fernley Veterans Cemetery. We all miss him terribly, but we know that he is in a better place, where there is no pain and no suffering and he will be waiting for us.
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