HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Harold F. Chorney (Class of 1961) oral history and papers relating to the Vietnam War

Biographical/Historical note

Harold "Hal" Chorney grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and graduated from Brown University in 1961. He trained as a pilot with the Air Force in Waco, Texas, and became a transport navigator for the Military Airlift Transport Squadron, often carrying cargo and troops to Vietnam. The hardest parts of his service were losing service friends who were shot down and the horrific sights while he flew air evacuations. He remembers he “flew many soldiers over to Vietnam in one piece and flew them back in body bags or coffins … or as multiple amputees...Some of our passengers from Cam Rahn Bay, with head injuries, died as we would climb to altitude. They would slump over in their wheelchairs as if they were sleeping. Some of the injured wanted to kill themselves because they did not want the people back home to see them the way they were.”

After active duty Hal moved with his young family to Rhode Island, where he taught 9th grade math at Woonsocket Junior High School from 1967 to 1976. He also joined the reserves and flew with them in summers and on school vacations. Because he had flown 6,000 hours, he became a flight examiner in the reserves. The war never left him. “It took me years to find out that I felt guilty for bringing troops over in one piece and back in body bags. My teaching of young guys who were entering the service only exacerbated the guilt.” He talks about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Over time, Hal became an expert in financial services. For over 50 years he has assisted banks, insurance companies, attorneys and other financial professionals in the appraisal and disposition of gold and silver, rare coins, rare postage stamps, jewelry and other collectibles. He has also assisted individuals and financial professionals by drawing up portfolios to include tangible assets and at times in acting as their agent in the acquisition of these tangible assets.

His articles have been published in Life Insurance Selling, Fiduciary Legal Report, Success Plans, Financial Profiles, Financial Services Advisor, The Inspirator International, The Register, and The Financial Planning Encyclopedia. He is the author of the book What Happened to the Golden Frogs?