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I tried using the search tool but didn't seem to find anything. Looking specifically for Army 1st Cav heli pilots, but I love to hear the stories and reminisces of anyone who flew SEA—whether slick, gunship or dust-off. Just curious...:)

 

 

 

 

 

(Pffft. Wish I could go back in and edit heading to get that "of" outta there. <_< :rolleyes: Oops.)

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I wasn't in the Cav.

 

It was hot and humid.

I was young and inexperienced.

People were actively trying to kill me and my friends. That's really unpleasant and stressful.

 

Most days flying in-country were just like most days flying here- work. It was more work than I generally have to do here because I flew more- a lot more- there. I was grounded something like half the time I was in-country because I'd exceeded the 30-day runnning total of 100, 120, or 140 hours, whatever it was at that moment.

I remember days, in-country, when I was so tired I couldn't tell you my name. Some of the pilots I flew with fell asleep at the controls.

The days that were different compared to civilian flying...

The aircraft was expendable to accomplish the mission.

There's a reason officers carry pistols and not, generally speaking, battle rifles. That reason's not something that makes you feel loved.

I have more in common with the guys I was trying to kill than I do with anybody who existed solely "In the world".

The enemy was a target, not a person. If I ever had any contrary awareness, it was because something occurred that was extraordinary- usually good but occasionally very, very bad.

 

A couple of sayings current at the time-

"What are you going to do? Draft me and send me to Viet Nam?"

"Send me to LBJ? ("Long Binh Jail", the in-country military prison) Screw you- 3 hots and a cot, showers every day- sound better than being killed because you're stupid. Sir."

A good leader spends more time telling folks to stop than he does making them go.

 

In the end, we did whatever we had to do to help our comrades, in the next seat, on the ground, US, ARVN, or "Ruff Puff".

There are those among us who're liars or war criminals. But, I never- repeat- NEVER saw a war crime committed, much less the routine commission of them. People are people, and generally humane, combat doesn't change that. But if you're a murderous- or lying -psychopath, combat doesn't change that, either. I won't tolerate either, then or now.

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I appreciate your candor, Wally. I really do. I've spoken with a number of SEA pilots who share your sentiments, particularly those first four lines...almost verbatim. ;) The work was not glorious or glamorous by any means; this I know.

 

I've not heard that part about pilots falling asleep at the controls before, but I am not surprised considering the wear and tear, both physically and mentally, that each day's missions brought. As well, I believe I know why pistols vs. rifles <_<, but I've never heard reference to Ruff Puffs before (am adding a Vietnam terminology link below for anyone else who might also need it. :rolleyes:).

 

http://www.rjsmith.com/glossary.html#R

 

One statement I'm having trouble understanding/reconciling/deciphering is this: I have more in common with the guys I was trying to kill than I do with anybody who existed solely "In the world". Just curious, but how so? I have no doubt it's profound and I'm just goofy enough I'm not "getting it." And I LOVE that last paragraph.

 

Thanks so much for sharing, Wally. Mind mentioning which branch your tour(s) was/were with, what you flew, what your predominant mission(s) was/were, if I may be so bold as to ask? Welcome to PM me if that's more comfortable.

 

Why my interest, you might ask? Our (mine and 67n's) uncle flew four tours in SEA (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand) for U.S. Army/1st Cav, then went on to fly covert ops in Laos for Air America, being one of the last 15 AAM pilots evacuating from rooftops during the fall of Saigon. I have found a few former SEA pilots in Canada who knew him there and in SEA, as well as some civilian pilots who worked with him in Canada (all at www.verticalmag.com—awesome bunch of folks, too; just like you!). Canada is apparently where a lot of former SEA pilots found work after the fall of Saigon in 1975, because they had a shortage of r/w pilots at that time. I'm now looking for those who might have known him on the American side. I am writing his story purely for personal reasons (my family and our descendents). His name was Roy Heibel.

 

And out of respect for his privacy and your's, or anyone else's who might trip upon this thread over time, feel free to PM me if that feels more comfortable. :) I've learned on more than one occasion to just give you guys time, earn your trust, and let the stories unfold all in their own time and in their own way. I value your insights because they provide background for me, an understanding, if you will.

 

All for now. Sorry for the longwindedness. I promise to keep it shorter next time! Thx, Wally! And I hope life's been good to you and yours since the time of SEA. B)

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I wasn't a pilot back then, but I was a grunt with the Cav (5/7) and spent way too much time riding around in the back of Hueys. As grunts we really hated being on the first wave of ships in, or the last wave out, because if there was going to be an ambush, that's when it would be.

 

One thing is for sure. There were slick, snake and loach pilots who did extraordinary things, going into hot LZs, getting in harms way in other situations and doing their best to try to save our bacon when we got into trouble. The slicks would come in and pick up wounded in situations where the medivac birds rejected the mission. We had (and still have) nothing but admiration for pilots and crews of those ships.

 

One pilot scared the crap out of me. We were in the last wave out and he got his tail rotor into some bamboo at the edge of the bomb crater where we were getting picked up. Sounded just like an AK-47 firing in our midst. No harm done, except for maybe taking 10 years off our lives...

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Well, hey...hats off to the infantry, PA Pilot! It's a rough business even in peace time. And I do understand the vulnerability of the first and last waves and the rather unpleasant task (I am putting that nicely) of carrying the fight to the enemy. Must've clearly been some terribly hair-raising, adrenaline pumping, unforgettable experiences. As well, I've been told a few hot LZ stories related to my uncle (he flew slicks and conducted SARs) that made the hair on my arms stand at attention and made me thankful those Hueys were so tough and resilient and somehow always brought him back.

 

I'm assuming that you, too, went through Ft. Benning? Perhaps you could explain to me the different regiments/units/divisions of 1st Cavalry? That seems to be the toughest puzzle piece for me (even tougher than the CIAs Air America was!) and the one I need to find out most so I can move forward in research. Maybe you can provide a clue or two for me on what I should be looking for to find connection?

 

Thanks for sharing a tiny bit of your SEA story, too. It's my pleasure to listen and learn. Finally, it's always interesting to know, too, what you all are doing now in the aviation industry. :) My best! -TQN

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The 1st Cav was a division (in my time, 1st Cavalry division, Airmobile). It was composed of a number of old cavalry regiments, including the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment (God help me, my old unit (which was also Custer's regiment). Within that, the Cav was organized into battalions (mine was the 5th Bn, 7th Cav), and then companies below that. As I recall, there were some brigades above the regiment level, but I don't recall how that worked...

 

I've never been to Benning -- my boot camp and AIT were at Ft. Dix, NJ.

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Yes, yes! I am right there with ya on 1st Cav Airmobile, 7th Cavalry Regiment; am fairly certain that part is 100% correct. Where I get totally lost in trackdown is the battalions and/or brigades; just don't understand how they were organized...or by what criteria. :blink: Aaaccckkk! And of course, Ft. Dix! Duh! I often assume the whole history of the Army and the entire U.S. of A. went through Ft. Benning! :D

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I didn’t know Roy Heibel.

 

Ruff Puffs: RF/PF, “Regional Forces”, roughly equivalent to the National Guard, and “Popular Forces”, a village militia. The VC seemed to treat the PFs especially badly.

 

When I said “I have more in common with the guys I was trying to kill than I do with anybody who existed solely "In the world", I meant that even though we were on opposite sides, fighting somebody is an experience both sides shared. You learn to respect an opponent who’s doing well at something you can’t ignore- trying to kill you. It wasn't an idea one debated the wrong and right of- it was reality.

I believe that there are psychological characteristics universal to warriors, as well. For instance, a soldier takes an abstract concept, and his experience makes it a very personal thing. “Comrades”, “reliability” and “trust” are just words outside of the shooting. In a fight, they mean something concrete and important.

 

Here’s a story that reflects my experience of the best side of the character of the enemy we fought:

 

Early morning, I was overhead a fire team of Snakes west of Bac Lieu, as we moved into a very unfriendly area, a “specified strike zone”

 

(map of the general area- http://www.fallingrain.com/world/VM/73/Bac_Lieu.html

 

I had some province and district-types on board my Slick, who were going to put the Guns on some intel targets. The fire team and I both arrived simultaneously in the target area, me at 4000’, and the Snakes low level. I’m certain that anybody interested would have seen and heard me coming- just another Huey- but not the Snakes…

As we came over the last tree line onto a huge paddy area, the Snakes called on that they had an armed squad in the open, and they’re “didi mau-ing” (running).

The local officials “There are no friendlies in here today. Free to engage.” And I passed it that to the fire team leader. I established a right hand orbit and watched as lead called “In, hot” and put a pair of rockets on-target, and then “Breaking right”.

It was the dry season, so the impact area was obscured by smoke and dust as lead broke with the wing covering. When the dust cleared, 4 enemy were hot-footing for the trees- still carrying their AKs.

Wing called “In, hot”, another pair of rockets, and then “Breaking right” with lead covering.

Again, smoke and dust, clearing in a few seconds, 2 more guys running for all their worth for the trees.

Lead, “In hot” and his front seat works the target with mini-gun, and then “Breaking left.”

When the dust clears this time (guns raise as much dust as HE), I’m orbiting over 1 bad guy making for the tree line, and safety. I look at the trees, bordering a canal, and there’s a very solid looking bunker on the line the platoon was following. If this guy’s luck holds a few seconds more he’ll not only be in the trees- he’ll be bunkered up- and nothing we have can touch him.

Wing calls “In, hot”-

 

And I’m gonna digress for a second.

When the Snakes make a gun or rocket run, they’d start at altitude, push the nose over, stabilize as they accelerate on angle, and fire. While they’re running in, the blade slap- “Whop, whop, whop” of Huey blades- and the tail rotor “growl” all merge into a increasingly thunderous, gut-shuddering, physical presence of threat as noise that you can’t ignore, even if you know the Snake’s not bringing smoke and destruction to you.

 

Wing calls “In, hot” and starts his run- and you could see the lone surviving VC’s attitude change, “Eff this, I ain’t running anymore.” He stops, spins, and throws the AK to his shoulder, and dukes it out with the Snake.

 

A month or two later, his colleagues over-run an out post a couple of miles from there. So, we put a blocking force in, and, they catch us. Charlie shoots down the first two lifts- entire- filling the LZ up with shot-up slicks.

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Good morning, Wally and all. Approximately 12,000 helicopters saw action in Vietnam (all services), so finding a pilot or crew chief who knew him (Roy) is like finding a needle in a haystack—but sometimes I get lucky. :)

 

I appreciate the elaboration on Ruff Puffs; makes even more sense now. Same for the elaboration on having “more in common with the enemy;” makes perfect sense of a time and a duty that made little to no sense at all to the general public.

 

I must admit I couldn’t sleep (too hot!) last night; turned on the ‘ol puter and wandered here just out of curiosity, reading your story quite late. Fell asleep with the ceiling fan whirring overhead as your story reached into the recesses of my noggin. You paint a remarkably vivid picture, Sir, and I could almost see and hear your Huey above the AH-1s…see VC running…watch that last man turn and fight. Let’s just say it wasn’t a fitful night’s sleep, but I do not regret it one bit. The last thought I remember before I hit la-la land was, “I sure hope he’s recording his memories for his family and others.” And so, I share that with you. :rolleyes:

 

Your last paragraph leaves me with questions, but I’ll give voice to just one: Do you remember the name and/or location of the outpost? Just curious...

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As far as I know, outposts were not named. We'd be called to the vicinity of a ville, city, coordinates, or other landmark, and given a call sign and freq, and pull pitch. I remember where and sometimes who, and what...

 

Here's another one-

I'm working nights, a "Night Phantom", with a fire team of Snakes, at "Quan Long", which we called Camau. I can tell lots of lies- er- "war stories" that took place while we were staging out of Camau... Anyhow, we're down there for a night of sleeplessness and fun, and we've already done one strike.

We're back on the strip, refueled, and the Snakes are rearming when we get a call on the "Prick (PRC) 99" that a base near the west coast is getting hammered, can we help?

Fire team lead says they'll be ready in a few minutes, so I'm off, solo, into the dark with my un-slick Slick. My cabin's full of parachute flares, I have a short-barrel 50-cal on one hard point and a minigun on the other, and a couple "free 60s" for fun- if this pig goes down, we're not sitting behind the hardpoints, naked, trying to defend ourselves. Even with the "Ma deuce", Charlie gets big immobile targets, quickly.

Anyhow, I'm off and climbing, towards the U Minh (translated, "Forest of Darkness" and well named)- we'll need sky under us for the Snakes, and if they want flares... I look left, in the notch of the southern U Minh, for the outpost, and sure enough, there's one twinkling with mortar hits. I'm northeast of it, going through 3500, and the gunner says "I've got tubes are right under us." Pulling right, and commencing an orbit, I see muzzle flashes in the darkness- looks like 3 tubes, the crews know how they work, they're shooting so fast I can differentiate and count'em.

"So and so (I don't remember call signs), we have tubes at "X" bearing and range from you, shooting. Are there any friendlies here?"

An exasperated American voice "Emphatic expletive deleted NO! Shoot the barsads. They're blowing h--l out of us!"

Crap! no Snakes yet. Well, let's see if we can at least interupt their concentration. "Cleo, put some 50 on those tubes."

Ma Deuce speaks up, my static pressure gauges go nuts in the muzzle blast, so I start widening out and shallowing up to get that noise as far back as I can. My right ear wasn't, and isn't the same after we got the 50.

From 3500 feet, even 50-cal tracers take a long time to impact, but they're still burning as they bounce out of what I imagine is a very unhappy gun pit. Cleo's very, very good. If he's shooting at you, and you see any of the first three rounds, I hope you enjoyed it, because those are the last near-misses you'll see today- the rest will be on traget. But the gun pit that shuts up, right-effing now, with heavy machine gun ball and tracer coming in...

Then, their night gets worse- the Snakes call a couple minutes out, what do I have?

I tell lead whats happening, he's got my fire in sight, and they go to work...

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Wow, Wally! I sense heart-pounding adrenaline and wide-eyed awareness even as you relive that now! I’m glad I didn’t read that one right before bedtime. :rolleyes: And I can’t even imagine what it looked like down below after the Snakes were done. :blink: Yikes. Took me a while, too, to figure out that Ma Deuce was the 50-cal M2. In fact, on the third read-through, that all made perfect sense to me. I was only a li’l kid when all of that was going on and though I have picked up on a lot of the language unique to the Vietnam War, I still find myself going “huh?” on occasion. :)

 

Some of my favorite stories are those related to the machines, to the Hueys themselves…the workhorses and lifeline…and their amazing ability to do what they weren’t intended to do. (Hint, hint.) :rolleyes:

 

Totally understand about not always remembering call signs and who, what, when and where sometimes; that was a long time ago. On any given day, I forget where I put my cell phone and/or car keys that I held just moments previously. :P I’d say you’re doing pretty darn good in the remembering arena, however. ;) B)

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Glad we got that cleared up! :P And no beer in the punishment box, either!

 

Sorry, Wally. :) Famn Damily, ya know. :D

 

As you were saying...

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I loved her, but I'm really freakin' glad I don't still fly a Huey. In spite of Bob Mason, one was lucky to get the Huey to do what it was designed to do: Low rotor audio was almost- but not quite- the last item in the takeoff checklist; doors that would depart from the aircraft in flight; a throttle stop that would keep you from rolling off a hot start; a head that would snap off when unloaded?

 

She was simple to maintain, big open, cabin, nearly a glider to auto, and those big ol' metal blades were 48' Snapper mowers, but what was done with her was all crew guts and skill. They draft 18 year olds for a sound reason- very few 40 year olds think they're invincible and/or invulnerable.

 

The difference between a court martial and a medal was often mere survival, and who was watching. One of the most famous stories in my company was the pilot who was being written up for a disciplinary action until the A&D officer submitted the same event for a Silver Star.

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Your first line there made be laugh, Wally. :D Would you not even want to fly one just “for old–times sake?” Ever?

 

I’ve indeed read Chickenhawk and spoke briefly with Mr. Mason. Nice guy. Have you read James Parker’s Covert Ops (titled Codename Mule in hardcover)? Curious to know your opinion of the former and latter, if you read it, where accuracy is concerned.

 

I know a heli or two (Hillers, I believe) were introduced during the Korean War (where another uncle served), but Vietnam/SEA was clearly the first large combat test of air mobility, especially where helis were concerned. You were all part of a perhaps the greatest concentrated effort of learning how to effectively employ helicopter tactics, while at the same time learning by experience, trial and error. Talk about baptism by fire! (And I hope my respect and admiration are showing through.)

 

I believe I read once that the introduction of the Huey—with its turbine engine, power, reliability and smaller maintenance requirements—was THE technological turning point as far as air mobility in Vietnam/SEA were concerned. But I truly believe your assessment that what the Hueys were able to do relied heavily on the guts and skills of the crew; it completely goes without saying and in fact, is a bit of an understatement IMHO.

 

I still think it’s safe to say they were amazing machines, and that thousands of veterans would not be here today was it not for the Hueys and their crews. They be tough girls! Army UH-1s totaled an amazing 7,531,955 flight hours in Vietnam between October 1966 and the end of 1975. Don’t know about you, but I’m also happy to see a good number of Hueys still in service in the U.S., Canada and other countries. I so enjoy seeing them and can spot that unique, polywog shape immediately as the universally recognized silhouette of SEA. :)

 

My three teen boys have shown me their immortal and invincible thought tendencies on more than one occasion just here on the homefront. :blink: :o :wacko: Ay, yi, yi! As for the drafting of 18-year olds at that time, did you know that two-thirds of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers? And that by comparison, two-thirds of the men who served in World War II were drafted?

 

Had not heard of court martial/commendation mix-ups previously, but in the heat of the multitudes of “moments” during that time, I am not surprised. I have, however, heard conflicting stories of what happened to downed pilots during SARs…one related specifically to my uncle.

 

Enough for now. Good to hear from ya again, Sir! :rolleyes:

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Would I want to fly a Huey again? Around the patch, and that's it- never as a working mount. 412's are as close as I ever want to go in the Model-T direction.

 

Bob Mason's books conveyed a good impression of his experience. He writes very well. I'd be very careful of accepting impressions and good writing for the popular market as factual.

 

I think I read somewhere that the average age of Warrant Officer pilots in Viet Nam was 20.5. Considering that you can't be much younger than that and get through BCT and flight school, I'll guess that the majority were on the skinny side of that number. I know I had my liquor ration pulled because I was underage. Oh, I could still buy all I wanted in the O- club, but I couldn't buy a bottle for... unsupervised consumption?

 

We had a WO pilot that was at or around 30- incredibly old- we called him "Pops." He was as good a man as I've ever had the privilege to fly with, in spite of his super annuated(?) condition.

 

I've also seen numbers that indicated 75% of the pilots killed were in the first 6-months of their tour. I'd take that one with a bit of salt, 'cause the old dogs learned not only how to fly SEA combat and survive, but also how to honorably aquire assignments that weren't quite as... "Exciting"? The high attrition rate in the first 6 months also means that a new first pilot/air craft commander and an FNG co-joe is really bad moe-joe.

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Howdy again, Wally. Totally understand about not wantin’ to go Model-T backward. How soon after SEA did you learn to fly and what made you decide to do that? Just curious (sorry; one of my bad habits). :rolleyes:

 

Careful of accepting impressions and good writing for the popular market as factual, yes. But I have to believe a certain level of honesty, integrity and true character do exist in quasi-autobiographical works. Take Covert Ops, for example. There are accounts in there that I was able to fact-check and find Parker’s accounts and descriptions quite remarkably accurate. Besides, I don’t think he (Mason) wrote Chickenhawk to appeal to nor appease the pop market so much so as for therapeutic reasons. That was the impression I took away anyway. Regardless, it’s still one of the best accounts of a pilot’s Vietnam experience on the market today methinks.

 

Interestingly enough, the average age of an infantryman serving in Vietnam was 22, with average age of NCOs 24. Under 12,000 men who served in SEA were less than age 20. You must’ve been one of them. And now you make me feel old; I remember when 30 seemed old, old. Ha! It came and went and really wasn’t so bad!

 

Had not seen those stats on pilots killed in first 6-months of tour. But I have found contradictory accounts of average ages for combat heli pilots that run the gamut from 19-22 (f/w pilots were generally older). I’d assume they are considered among those statistics. Have never heard it put quite like that, but I believe you are right in your statement that a new first pilot/air craft commander and an FNG (and yes, I know what that means. :P) co-joe is really bad moe-joe. Oh, yes, I do! I think even in the civvy world that's a bad, bad combo. Yes?

 

No doubt the older fellers learned how to work the system (less “exciting” assignments), but there were those who did not…those who thrived on that excitement, for lack of a better word. This I know. ;)

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>Howdy again, Wally. Totally understand about not wantin’ to go Model-T backward. How soon after SEA did you learn to fly and what made you decide to do that? Just curious (sorry; one of my bad habits).<

 

High school, flight school, and Viet Nam. I enlisted before graduation. I always wanted to fly.

 

>Careful of accepting impressions and good writing for the popular market as factual, yes. But I have to believe a certain level of honesty, integrity and true character do exist in quasi-autobiographical works. Take Covert Ops, for example. There are accounts in there that I was able to fact-check and find Parker’s accounts and descriptions quite remarkably accurate. Besides, I don’t think he (Mason) wrote Chickenhawk to appeal to nor appease the pop market so much so as for therapeutic reasons. That was the impression I took away anyway. Regardless, it’s still one of the best accounts of a pilot’s Vietnam experience on the market today methinks.<

>Interestingly enough, the average age of an infantryman serving in Vietnam was 22, with average age of NCOs 24. Under 12,000 men who served in SEA were less than age 20. You must’ve been one of them. And now you make me feel old; I remember when 30 seemed old, old. Ha! It came and went and really wasn’t so bad!<

 

Perhaps "only 12,000" men UNDER the age of 20 (I still believe the average WO pilot was 20.5...) served in Viet Nam, and - perhaps not. Warrant officer pilots were younger than hard-bar RLO pilots, and Warrants had most of the line pilot seats.

Chickenhawk is a great bit of writing and I can't PROVE anything that I doubt, and I don't really want to because it's not important to the work. Pilots have been known to exagerate, shocking as that may seem. I'll keep the specifics of m,y doubts to myself, but I will say that most vets I know cast a jaundiced eye on it. We're a cynical lot.

 

>Had not seen those stats on pilots killed in first 6-months of tour. But I have found contradictory accounts of average ages for combat heli pilots that run the gamut from 19-22 (f/w pilots were generally older). I’d assume they are considered among those statistics. Have never heard it put quite like that, but I believe you are right in your statement that a new first pilot/air craft commander and an FNG (and yes, I know what that means. tongue.gif) co-joe is really bad moe-joe. Oh, yes, I do! I think even in the civvy world that's a bad, bad combo. Yes?<

 

One couldn't possibly BE a WO/pilot, and in country any younger than 19, unless you lied about your age. Lots'o 19 year old Snake drivers in my unit- and they'd had an extra couple months stateside to do the transition, compared to your humble Slick drivers.

 

>No doubt the older fellers learned how to work the system (less “exciting” assignments), but there were those who did not…those who thrived on that excitement, for lack of a better word. This I know.<

 

Yep, there were those that stayed on the line. I know some who spent their entire 4 year obligation in country, flying combat, and one who came back to Air America after his obligation. Flying combat "on country" was hard work, even when you weren't spitting little bits of seat cover out.

 

I've been puzzling at something you said about confusion regarding medals... I was trying to say that the line between stupid and heroic depends a great deal on your point of view.

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1. High school, flight school, and Viet Nam. I enlisted before graduation. I always wanted to fly.

 

2. Perhaps "only 12,000" men UNDER the age of 20 (I still believe the average WO pilot was 20.5...) served in Viet Nam, and - perhaps not.

 

3. Pilots have been known to exaggerate, shocking as that may seem.

 

4. I'll keep the specifics of my doubts to myself, but I will say that most vets I know cast a jaundiced eye on it.

 

5. We're a cynical lot.

 

6. One couldn't possibly BE a WO/pilot, and in country any younger than 19, unless you lied about your age.

 

7. ...compared to your humble Slick drivers.

 

8. Yep, there were those that stayed on the line. I know some who spent their entire 4 year obligation in country, flying combat, and one who came back to Air America after his obligation. Flying combat "on country" was hard work, even when you weren't spitting little bits of seat cover out.

 

9. ...I was trying to say that the line between stupid and heroic depends a great deal on your point of view.

 

1. Sorry, Wally. My mistake and my apologies. Where on earth did I get that? :unsure: Musta been the comment of spending to much time in the back of Hueys; I assumed non-pilot infantryman. :rolleyes:

 

2. Which brings up the topic of those claiming to be SEA veterans when they were never there at all, in an effort to claim benefits, among other ludicrous reasons. <_< Jackarses.

 

3. Nope. Haven't noticed that one bit! :D Sometimes, too, time gets in the way of memory accuracy and sometimes the stories grow a tiny bit, like fishtales, only better. :rolleyes:

 

4. I don't doubt that for a minute. And don't even get me started on the jaundiced eye the majority of former Air America pilots and crew cast upon Robbin's book and Mel Gibson's movie, Air America. Pffft. Talk about embellishment.

 

5. Hadn't noticed that either. :D :P And for good reason, in many cases, IMHO.

 

6. Hmmm, a few somebody's musta been fibbin'; I think I saw somewhere that there were like 5-6 young American men (boys) killed in Vietnam...all 16 or younger.

 

7. My BS radar not workin' momentarily; you bein' facetious or sarcastic or ? My uncle used to sing, "Oh, Lord, it's hard to be humble..." whilst shavin'. Your comment brought that back again. :)

 

8. Don't doubt the hard work for one minute, as well as nerves (and b*lls) of steel (Did I just say that? Oops). Would love knowin' name of that AAM pilot via PM, if possible. Always curious; sometime connectin'. ;)

 

9. Very eloquently said! LOVE IT!

 

BTW, you really should write, Wally. In your spare time. Ha! I know a fabulous ghostwriter if you're ever in the market/mood! :rolleyes: And hey! Think I saw something about your outfit in the news today. Yes?

 

http://www.verticalmag.com/control/news/te...?a=2082&z=6

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