Military Service, Viet Nam, 1968 Until 1970

Discussion in 'Places I Have Lived' started by Thomas Stillhere, Jan 29, 2022.

  1. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    I spent the first year down near the bottom of the photo, the 336th. I spent everyday flying the entire year. Twice a week I would fly all night on rotation. I left the 336th when I returned from Christmas leave 1968 and my extension took me just down that narrow little street to the 121st where I lived for two years and once again the same routine. Imagine living on such a small piece of real estate that long. Honestly I never ever walked back to the 336th and lived on that very small upper section. I simply didn't know anyone at the 336th any longer due to the large turn over of people. They had a lot of bad luck after I had left and lost several men in accidents at the refueling bladder and also one accidental shooting of one pilot when he stepped out of his ship and the gunner was busy clearing the guns when a round went off and killed the pilot. The guns were not supposed to leave a live round chambered but they did wear out and were not dependable. Thought you might want to look at the photo.

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  2. John Brunner

    John Brunner Senior Staff
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    I cannot imagine. I did not serve...registered in the summer of 1972. There were a couple of lotteries left, but at that time troops were headed back this way.

    I had a friend who flew over there. He received The Wright Brothers Award a few years ago. It was an interesting ceremony.

    I'm glad you survived. Do you still fly?
     
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  3. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Wow, you guys had REAL hooches! I was with the 195th in Long Binh and we had GP mediums. That said, prior to me showing up and even after I left they moved around quite a bit hence the use of tents instead of real buildings.

    I can see how the incident happened with the officer. The mounted 60’s with butterflies were famous for it after a jam and I’ve seen it happen. It was fortunate for the crew chief because his 60 was pointed down when he took the pin out of the mount the round went between his feet and into the asphalt but it could have been worse indeed.
    It’s a good thing that happened early in my stay because after that incident I checked to make sure there wasn’t a live one left in the chamber before I took the weapon off the mount.
     
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  4. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Supreme Member
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    I lived on three different Destroyers, out of San Diego and Long Beach. IOW, Destroyer Escort Group/7th Fleet.

    We were doing Sea Trials, numerous miles off of San Diego. We fired a SAM at a sleeve, being pulled by a plane, and, somehow/someway, almost hit the plane! I was on the Bridge when it happened and could hear someone yelling over the radio "HOLD FIRE, HOLD FIRE" very frantically. Some FT (Fire Control Tech) and Officer got into trouble for that!
     
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  5. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    I was a gunner on the gunships, no flying for me unless I was alone with another pilot for instance ferrying a replacement ship back to our base. The pilots always tried to give the crew stick time to be able to possibly get them out of a tight spot. A lot of crew chiefs were well schooled and even had license to hover the ships in a maintenance regime but you learn very quickly by getting so many hours even as a simple crewman. My only job was the armament and of course being the right side gunner. For the record I took my last plane ride in 1989 and that was the last time I have been off the ground. If you ever landed on a commercial flight in Phoenix Arizona in July and were sitting over the main landing gear, most likely you would also decide it was much safer on the ground. I don't plan on ever being off the ground again. :0)
     
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  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Right side Delta and then Charlies here too. I did however like to go up and sit peter pilot when my ship was being tested after a PE and fairly often I was given the stick. I thought at one time I’d like to go to flight school after Nam but things just didn’t work out that way.

    And do note, the only fixed wing I prefer to fly in is one that I can jump from but otherwise I’m a rotary wing guy.
     
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  7. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Supreme Member
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    I have a friend who was a chopper pilot, and is also qualified in fixed-wing, but he always prefers the rotary stuff. He recently bought one of those old Bells that were used in Korea and seen on M.A.S.H. I don't think he has gotten it air worthy yet, however.
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    That would be the H-13 recip series and there were a few used in the Nam too. For it’s day, maintenance was comparatively easy but nowadays the parts might be really hard to procure.
     
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  9. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    A rubber belt drive ! also did you know the early choppers in the korean war used wooden main rotors, like the one Mickey Rooney was flying in Bridges at Toko Ri
     
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  10. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Right off hand I really haven’t thought about it but yeah, that makes sense.

    I guess then that the field fix for blade strike or a bullet hole would be wood putty? :rolleyes:
    Better than filling a hole with 7.62 rounds and duck taping over the holes.:D
     
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  11. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    Most people would cringe watching two guys performing a blade tracking.
     
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  12. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    What unit were you in ?

    Sky Chiefs.JPG
     
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  13. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    Bob, here is the 50 year Reunion of 1st Avn Bde. One of the pilots ask me to cook something up to be used at Fort Rucker and this was it. Just use your imagination and add 4 years. Hopefully 10 more years from now we can do the same.


    216.jpg
     
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  14. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Supreme Member
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    Only one other rotary wing I can see that’s missing is the intermeshed wing Kaman Husky. I only saw a couple of them and I’m not sure if there were any in the Army inventory but for the (supposedly) most stable helicopter ………?

    Yup, that’s the 1st platoon Skychiefs. Flew right door gunner on a Delta for about 3 months and then on to the 3rd Platoon Thunder Chickens.
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  15. Thomas Stillhere

    Thomas Stillhere Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't recall ever seeing a Kaman in the Army, of course the Russians stole the design of that one and today it is still in service with the Russian Navy. Also the Pawnee was not added due to the date of Command for the 1st Avn Bde. Only the aircraft that was in service during the Bde life were included in the image, even the little spy plane with the high mounted single engine. The spy plane would turn off their engine and glide over enemy concentrations. The 121st came from Fort Carson Colorado and it was the Pawnee in use at that time. The 336th came as an Aviation Unit of the 101st, then at 1st Avn take over the 336th was split up and removed from the 101st. The Airborne people were moved to the North and the unit names stayed with the 336th. A lot of that went on for some time. A lot of the airborne troops that went north extended and went back to Aviation Units as gunners and crew chiefs. The 336th last served in the US as a National Guard Unit and was finally disbanded. The 13th Battalion "my Batallion" still lives at Fort Rucker as a Black Hawk Training Unit.
     
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