VN War helicopter stories
Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:33 PM
seen only in terms of sensationalism by the media but generally lacking in realism & authenticity. Also, why can't a script be found in Hollywood that showcases the helicopter & crew from the VN War years?
Posted 19 November 2012 - 09:16 PM
Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:38 AM
Posted 21 November 2012 - 10:04 AM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 07:02 PM
When I was in the 388th S.P.S. at Korat we went with a guy from intel to do a night recon and observation flight of the surrounding area. We carried a couple starlight scopes and were looking for signs of gun runners and other problem children. I had the seat next to the side door on our H-43 across from the mechanic who sat next to the jungle penetrator. As luck would have it my microphone didn't work but at least I could hear what was going on. We were circling the base a while waiting until the sun went down before we headed too far out. I was taking some photos of the base when I spotted a smoke trail below us that seemed to be turning. I looked and saw a fighter starting to climb in our direction. I had to kick the foot of the mechanic who looked like he was sleeping and pointed out the trail. He promptly swung his mic into place and a few seconds later we dropped down near the ground.
After a minute or two of some low level dirt skimming we went back up and started to head off base. Eventually the sun went down and we started looking for our gun runners. I noticed a large thunder cloud in the distance and remembered that if it started to rain we would have to land immediately, and we weren't armed.
As we flew along with the intel guy kneeling out the open side door one of the pilots asked to try a starlight. He was given one which played with for a few minutes until he pointed it at the thundercloud and a bolt of lightning and a flahs of light lit the sky. He yelled as the light was amplified into his eye and he almost dropped the scope out of the door.
Shortly after that we spotted a couple cars transferring weapons to some other vehicles. Intel made some notes and we headed off.
We flew on for a little bit when a bright light from the ground flashed past the cockpit lighting the whole interior. We immediately banked away and all our exterior lights went out.
We were heading away from the area when it occured to the pilot that the guy on the groung hwo just tried to blind him and make the aircraft crash had only one light while he had three. He turned around ahd went back looking for our victum. When we got close and I swear we were lower, he turned on our becons. Immediately the light came on again and started to sweep towards us. The pilot hit his switches and the whole area went bright white. I lost the enemy light in the glare and we shut down our lights and climbed out of the area. There was some chatter over the intercom about what just happened when the pilot said he had an idea. We started cruising the area until he spotted one of the vehicles we had spotted earlier. The pilot said "Watch this." I looked over his shoulder as we started to get lower and then watched as the tops of the trees got higher. Finally we were skimming only maybe 20 feet over the dirt road and closing on the vehicle. When we were really close he hit the switches again and the whole area went blindingly white. The vehicle went off the road and into the trees. At the speeds they drive over there, someone wasn't going to have a good night.
The pilot shut off his lights and clombed out of the area as fast as he could and we headed back to base. On the way our mechanic said "F__k the King and Queen" The pilot gave instructions to throw him overboard before a local fighter found us and shot us down. On the way back we had just one more surprise waiting for us as sparks startes to come from our right rotor pylon and we made our best speed back.
For those who don't know this aircraft, here's a picture of one of Korat's:
Here's some of the shots I took :
Posted 27 December 2012 - 06:06 AM
Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:59 PM
Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:12 AM
Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:55 PM
I will share a most interesting time though. No combat action happened, no gunfire and beautiful views. In late Feb or very early Mar of 1970, the US and ARVN forces readied along the Cambodian border. I was in a recently deployed Kiowa OH-58A (civilian version was the JetRanger). there were less than a dozen in country and I think mine was the first in our AO (IIFF). Flying the Artiller DepCo, we entered Cambodia early to register artillery points and observe road structure t likely fire support bases yet to be built. Without knowing the capeability of enemy anti aircraft weapons much of this flight time was extremely fast and low level. The vast open rice growing plain was dotted with small hamlets surrounded in trees. Beautiful unmarked country. We often flew over troops marching along the dirt roads. Uniformed soldiers in green, black or khake and all well armed. We would exchange waves and often were close enough that we could have recognized each other later. I don't know which force they belonged with and they did not recognize my little helicopter. One morning the Colonel pointed out an airstrike about 10 miles away at the base of a set of hills. The hills meant we were too far inside the country (about 40 miles) and the jets appeared to be older Mig 15's. I don't know who had Migs other than the NVA so it was a hasty departure. This event was in the area designated the Parrot's Beak.
Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:11 PM
Here are two images, the first the entry point which just missed the Chief and the second the exit.
Edited by hueytaxi, 31 January 2013 - 08:15 PM.
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