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View Diary: The great leap forward – or upward, even! Sikorsky R-4B (56 comments)

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  •  Enlisted for Warrant Officer Flight School (6+ / 0-)

    I enlisted for WOC out of high school in '69. Washed out and was sent to aerial gun school at Aberdeen Proving Ground. In Nam I was also with the 1st Aviation Brigade but we were still using C Model Hueys equipped with mini guns, rocket pods and nose mounted grenade launchers. Was a door gunner/mechanic for a wild and crazy nine months in the Central Highlands out of Kontum and then in Jan. 1971 we were attached to the 101st Airborne and sent north to Quang Tri for the ill fated invasion of Laos called Long Som 719. If there was ever an appropriate use for the Doors "This is the End" it was that operation that indeed signaled that the best of the ARVN could not go toe to toe with regular NVA units even with our massive air support. Within a year of our pulling out of Kontum it was overrun and the NVA marched on to Ho Chi Minh City(Saigon). I have nothing but the utmost respect for Ho Chi Ming, Vo Nguyen Giap and the forces of the NVA. They repelled the Japanese Army, the French forces and the entire onslaught of American military might and prevailed. Came back from there drastically changed from the John Birch indoctrinated kid I enlisted as.

    •  oh jeez (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, shortfinals, PeterHug, bobatkinson

      Lam Son 719

      I'll bet helos were often a very welcome sight to the guys down there on the ground.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 01:01:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lost something like 90 choppers in three months (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shortfinals, subtropolis

           We were based in Dong Ha and Quang Tri but launched mostly out of Khe Sanh each day. Those valleys and mountains the young GI addresses in this video were indeed laced and threaded with heavily fortified and deeply dug anti aircraft guns and heat seeking missile sites. They had been set up to deal with the fast movers that constantly worked over the Laotian and Cambodian countryside in spite of our Commander in Chiefs(Nixon) denials. So needless to say when we lumbered in with Hueys and Chinooks those radar controlled 51's ripped us to shreds. Looking back now it is quite astonishing to have gone from that to out of the Army and on the street in small town America in less than a week still just 19 years old and with not much in common with my fellow teenagers.

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