Skip to main content

Let's start with, ALL Photographs are by Marlin Paul Jack. My Only regret in Vietnam was, we had to Leave the Children Behind, and I did Not take More Photographs!

Please allow Me to Introduce ourselves. We are the '4 Horthumbnail [9)thumbnail [10)thumbnailsemen', of the 16th Cav. A 'Lift Platoon'. Hueys, different from Gunships as we do not carry 'Heavy' armament. Only twin M-60's. We mostly do not do 'Hunter killer', we move solders and equipment, to and from. And we pull Rescue Missions of Downed Pilots and Others.

It's been awhile since the last chapter. I wanted to find this photo, first before starting Chapter 7.

I was in the right door of the third of 4 ships. We are going In as a Extraction Mission, of a south Vietnamese Platoon....more like the size of a squad. The guns are not 'Loaded' up yet. It was considered Cowardice to have the ammo belts ready until the Very Last Second, start of combat!! If You look close, you can see the rotor blades, near over-lap! Go in Tight, Come out Tight! These are the best Pilots in the World! I've been in a Huey when the Pilot flew it Up-Side-Down!! Also High altitude test to 14,500 Feet, during the training of a new Pilot for a 'Running Landing' and a 'Auto Rotation' Landing.thumbnail [9)thumbnail [10)thumbnail

These patches are not 'Bloodschits'*, those will be explained in the following right up, below.

Marlin       

Attachments

Images (3)
  • thumbnail (9)
  • thumbnail (10)
  • thumbnail
Last edited by marlinjack
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

...the Photo was taken in August of 1970. The Gulf of Siam, West Cambodia. Scared? Sure, if you're Not Scared, You're Crazy! Or so they say. But, sitting with 1000's of rounds of 7.62 NATO, behind a 'High Cycle' M-60...."You're Not Scared of Much".

* A 'Bloodschit' is carried in the Commanding Pilots' 'Survival Kit'. Along with a small UHF Radio, a Becon/Strobe and a army issue 45 Pistol. And other stuff. Most Pilots carried their own personal Firearm, usually in a Shoulder holster. The Cobra Pilots preferred the CAR 15, a Carbine with collapsible stock and the Round forearm handguard.

There was one Bloodschit for every crewmember. They are the 'Patches' that Jet Fighter Pilots would have sewn onto the Back of their flight Jackets! Why are they Important? They have a emblem on them and writing in 2 or 3 local languages, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian, stating...'if aid is given to this (shot-down) Pilot or Crewmember, to get them back into 'Friendly' hands, the U.S. Government Guarantees a Reward Payment of $100,000.00 Dollars.'

...Now the '3 Rats'!

We picked up the squad of vietnamese soldiers, 'regulars'. I'am the Right Doorgunner. The pick up was actually quite uneventful. There is No seatroom, other than what the doorgunners have. Most All are sitting on the Floor. I have 3 Soldiers sitting on the Edge of the floor, Under My Gun with their Legs Dangling down over the edge. Each, of the two soldiers on the sides carries their rifle, but the Guy in the center, does not have a rifle, but carries 2 LIVE Chickens, one in each arm, wrapped around them. I'am sorry I did not get a Picture of this...He also has 3 Dead Rats strapped to the Back of his Pack, laid out side by side!

We are cruising along to our destination to drop these guys off. We're at about 500 feet and at a normal speed. Well this guy with the two Chickens in his arms...Is Not holding on to anything, and he Slowly starts to Slip off of My Ship!! He doesn't seem to even notice this. He continues to slip forward, and I am thinking...is He going to let go of the Chickens And grab the floor, where there is nothing to grab onto anyway, or is he going to go over the side??...With the Officers Dinner, and the Lower Ranks' dinner...the 3 Rats? Just then the Pilot did a slight bank turn to the right, I'll never know if it was coincidence or 'On Purpose'? But, Damned if this Soldier in front of Me was NOT Letting go, period. It was as if he was 'Numb' to the whole situation! He was Going Over!!! I was Poised and Ready, I saw it coming, I bent down and just as he was due to loose his life, bent over, His Leather belt and Pants, 'Cupped'! I simply reached out with a Nomex Gloved Hand and with My Left hand, I grabbed him by the pants and belt and pulled him back in! (I'am Thinking) "Nobody 'Jumps' from My Ship without My Permission!". He turned around, on his Right Shoulder, realizing, then, what had acured, and gave Me the Biggest Brightest Smile, I had ever seen on a Vietnamese Combat Soldier! We had saved Dinner! He will be their Hero! Another Soul Saved...by the Belt. Enjoy the Rats.

Next Chapter 8 'Cobra Gunship Collision and Inverted' and Photos

Marlin

"Yea, Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death...I Shall Fear No Evil, for I am the Badest Mother F**K*R in the Valley"

Last edited by marlinjack

...I Thank You Sir!!

I was there July 9, 1970 to July 8, 1971...Just One Tour.

I went Home on a 2 week Emergency Leave, Was Home for Christmas 1970 as My Mother was in the Hospital, She never Recovered. My Highest Thank You!! to the 'American RED Cross' for making it possible. Honour dictated I Return to finish My Tour, as I could have chosen to be Relocated and Stay in the States. I had My 19th Birthday in Nam, on Nov. 22, 1970. It was the Co. Commanders' policy that All Soldiers have their Birthdays, Off. I spent the day writing letters Home.

Again, I Thank You for the Kind Thoughts,

Last edited by marlinjack

P.S. I will always, for the rest of my Life, feel Guilty, that I Only Served 1 Year in Vietnam. We had a Crewchief who refused to Go Home! I thought I was rewarded well, earning 8 'Air Medals' ( for the Record, Only...You're awarded 1 Air Medal for every 25 Combat Missions). In My case 'They' Added 'V Devices' for Bravery and Valor.

That particular Crewchief was just finishing his 3rd Year Tour, soon to be his 4th. He Comes into the Barracks, after 'The' Ceremony, and throws his newly awarded AM into a wooden Box he has there, turned sideways...It lands on a Pile of Air Medals 2 Inches High...His attitude was, 'I don't Give a Crap'!! I Bravely, Respectfully asked "How Many". His Only Reply. "36".

...The Rumer was..."The 'Life Expectancy' of a Helicopter Doorgunner, In Actual Combat, was Three and Half Minutes!" But, That's Just a Rumer.

I, Not like Most, had a 'Reason' to return Home. I had a Girl waiting for Me...at least 'til I received My 'Dear John Letter', with 30 Days to Go! She was a Whole 'Nother 'World', a Whole Different Story!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!!

Last edited by marlinjack

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×