Skip to main content

...Not much to talk about here. I was fired upon, three to four times, in the entire year I Flew Helicopters in Vietnam, as Doorgunner, both on Hueys and Chinooks. I don't think I ever 'Killed' anybody. I never saw my 'Tracers' penetrate a Human Body. I didn't even see so much as a 'Muzzle Flash' from the 'Tree-Line'. What I will tell You is, a Number of Times, we would return Back to Base with our share of Bullet Holes through the Ship. When the Pilots called 'Receiving Fire', from My 'Fire Lane'...My '60' and I, Lit-Up the Jungle-Line like the '4th of July'!! The Gunner and I would 'Keep everybodys' HEAD DOWN!! The last I can say...when I returned Fire, the Incoming Fire, Stopped!

Now the Viet Cong had a Little 'Entrapment' they would pull. They would occupy an area around a village of 'Innocents', open up on a Gunship and then retreat back through the village and disappear, while the crew opens up, firing on the Village. We never allowed THAT to Happen, not once! We were Responsible, we were SURE of our unseen Targets. Read-on.

...Back flying gunner with the 'Four Horsemen' Huey Lift Platoon. Another Extraction Mission. NOT the One in the Previous Photograph, where I was at the Right Door.

This particular flight, I was behind the Guns in the Left door. We come in Quick, Yes, all four of the Hueys, I'am in the Last, Fourth Ship. We fly in Fast, Close together, Tight! So we can Leave Fast. We don't like 'Sitting Like Ducks' for Longer than needed.

The four ships set down beside a 'Platoon' of Vietnamese Soldiers, standing in a formation, to our Left Side. A Platoon of four squads. At a Distance of 30 Feet in Front of Me and just forward , standing Out in the Open!!? Opposite the second and third ships. They are NOT Boarding on our ships! We are waiting! It's Getting Long, a Dangerously Long waiting time.

...I am thinking to Myself, 'What are They Waiting For??' No sooner did I have that thought, than, from a Pilot over the Intercom, he Screams!!...

"Receiving FIRE--9 O'Clock!!!" That's MY Que!

My Gun Has Been UP and Ready, and I Open up on the Jungle, Full Blast with All a 'High-Speed' M-60 Can Deliver. (Shimming the Bolt Return Spring with pennies, increases the tension and the 'Rate of Firing'. from 700 RPM to 8 or 900)

NO Problem...I see their Platoon is Right There!! I give the Last Man, Farthest Back, Left Corner...Just One Foot of Clearance!! And then Strafe Away to My Left! I have 1000's of Rounds at My Disposal!

THAT Got everybody RUNNING for the Our Ships! Running for there Lives!! They Loaded us Up, all four ships, in about 30 Seconds, all of the Soldiers, No One left behind! The Four Horsemen take-off as we came in, only Faster. Banking Left, I see the Left Doorgunner in the Ship just ahead of Me , Fire a Burst into the Ground, as we Pass Over. It's a Rifle Appearing Out of a 'Spider Hole'. Our ship Flying Over, It's My turn, I put a 5 Round burst into the Hole, "just to Make sure, You Dig!".

We are all Four...Up and GONE!

We get the Platoon Dropped-Off, Wherever? Job Done. We are back at base and survey for any damage. It turns out My ship Did Take a few Rounds. On the 3 O'Clock side, a Nice Tight 6" 'Grouping' of 3 Bullet holes, into the Right side of the Ship, One Foot from the Head of the Right Gunner. Penetrated the Rubber Fuel Bladder Higher up, just above the Level of fuel on Board. Was the Pilot Confused, in a panic as to which direction, the Fire was coming from, The Right Gunner Did return fire...Or, was I Duped into 'Prodding' the Platoon into Action!?? I'll Never Know. NO Better Motivation...those guys sure Moved Quick!

...Another Mission saw us returning with 2 Bullets through the Tail Rotor Blades. One of the Most Vulnerable spots to score a hit and bring down a Huey. Second Only to the Turbine Engine Air Intake!

...In My Chinook, Back at the Right Door/Window, I look out and down, in time to see a Bright Red 'Tracer' Bullet Rising up from the ground. No Fear we're at 2000 Feet and it's unlikely to reach us. Know that usually, along with a Tracer, there will be 2-3 'Non-Tracers', Ball Rounds, before and after It.

But on another Sortie, we had our Tool Box, a Huge Cantilever ARMY Issue, sitting on the floor, Just behind Me, against the Cockpit Bulkhead. A American Soldier was sitting on it, when there was a 'Bang', loud enough for Me hear it through My Helmet. The guy, Surprised, was bounced into the air about ten inches, Unharmed. We were flying low enough, and some time later, looking through the Tools, I found a Wrench broken in Two, and a Bullet Hole in the bottom of the Box and the Ships' Floor. I don't remember finding the Bullet, but Must Have.

...'Friendly Fire'??

...Our Credo: "Protect the Innocent, Defend the Weak!"

I Hated Bullies, and I found Myself in the Perfect Position to do Something About It!! "I took a Personal Interest in Seeing THEM Suffer!!" "You F**K with the Best! You Die Like The Rest!!"

More to come, as My Memory serves Me Very Well.       

Last edited by marlinjack
Original Post

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.