30 September 1966 – LtCol Walter “Mel” Fowler’s F-100 #553502 is hit in the engine by gunfire over SVN. He came close to capture or death by closely advancing Viet Cong before his wingman suppressed the advancing VC and he was picked up from the rice paddy by an Army Helo. Fowler was serving with
Rezk M. Mohammed, II
Known by friends and relatives as “Col Mo” or just simply “Mo,” he received numerous citations and awards while serving over 23 years in the U.S. Air Force. He flew over 100 missions as F-105 “Thud Driver” over North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He also had four combat jumps in Vietnam with the U.S. Army Special Forces and Vietnamese Rangers. In 2001 he was inducted into the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame for his work with Civil Air Patrol.
After his 3rd ejection, Mo was transferred to the Instrument School at Bitburg, Germany where he taught fellow pilots to fly instruments in the T-33 under Red Beall another super troop in the 36th Fighter Wing. Some months later while Mo was flying in poor weather, there was a distress call by a Dutch pilot who needed to be rescued. The panicked Dutch Pilot (with the help of Mo and a great GCI) were brought together and they landed in formation at Bitburg. Some weeks following the incident, Mo was cited by the Queen of Holland for his role in saving a Dutch Pilot’s life and his aircraft.
Mo’s flying career did not end with the Air Force. He was a 47-year member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Eventually, he acquired his own Cessna 182 airplane and flew numerous flights with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary-Civil Air Patrol, where he became commander, Nellis senior Squadron, Las Vegas. He was also the Nevada Wing chief Check Pilot. From the Civil Air Patrol, he again received a multitude of awards, decorations, and letters of commendations. He flew numerous search and rescue missions which were credited with nine finds and saving two lives. He also flew counterdrug and border patrol missions along the Arizona/Mexico border.
His accumulated flying time with the USAF and CAP as of May 1, 2004 numbered 10,732 hours. Col Mohamed flew too many different types of fighter jets and conventional airplanes to specify. His love of flying, patriotic duty and helping others were always unsurpassed.
After military service, he also worked for Lockheed and EG&G. He was very active with the Boy Scouts of America receiving the Silver Beaver award. He raised over one million dollars for the Salvation Army in the Las Vegas Fund Drive. He attained a bachelor of (military) science from the University of Maryland. Every person loved to be around “Mo.” He had the knack of making us all feel in good spirits. Although he lived his last 48 years in Las Vegas and loved it, he always remained a true New Yorker, he loved his Empire State and of course his New York Yankees. We will sorely miss him.
Many will always see and remember him when they look up to an airplane flying overhead.