Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

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hobbit
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by hobbit »

2200 helicopter pilots were killed in Vietnam including the two piloting this Huey. Two of my teammates died onboard as well. God was with me this day. I mentioned this mission several years ago here on the board. I didn’t have any photos at the time. In fact I didn’t know any existed. Then I was contacted a few years ago by Mac Davis (I think?), historian for the 2/17 Air Cav. This triptych and the message was part of an e-mail I sent to another L Company veteran, SGM Roy Aguero. God bless our Vietnam chopper pilots. I owe my life to them at least three or four times over.

http://i92.photobucket.com/albums/l36/e ... hopper.jpg
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fatboy
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by fatboy »

Kiowa pilots were some of the ballsiest ones out there.
In Iraq around July of 2006, we had a KW team engage some IED planters. As my platoon was racing to the sight for support, I was on the radio coordinating our approach, listening to both pilots run their weapon systems dry (rockets and .50s), then have their co-pilots lean out with M4's to continue raking the kill zone to keep Haji's head down. When they ran out of 5.56, you could hear the clank of their balls over the radio as one of the pilots requested permission to re-engage again with his pistol to make sure Haji was fixed for us to finish. Our BC had to call them off that night.
And for the record, they had 2 confirmed and 1 serious blood trail for the 3rd.
RS 07 and 08-01 (I took the long tour in Florida)

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rangertough
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by rangertough »

I was the Route Clearance LNO for Regional Commands South, Southwest and West. Weird job for an Infantryman in an Engineer Battalion but we worked mostly with IN BCT's and SOCOM (mostly Green Beanies) so I'd like to think my prior experience was a factor in our mission success.

We're close to the end of our tour (OEF 10-11) in RC-S (Horn of Panjwai) 3/10 MTN had been there about 3 months and everyone hated them. Their BDE commander was timid, the CSM was awful and should be stripped of rank, honor and retirement. One night I had just left a CONOP/final coordination meeting for yet another mission that would destroy what little good will we still had with the populace. When I get called into the CJOC to watch some idiots emplace an IED on one of our primary routes.

The decision is made to engage with 120mm mortars because all the KW's are busy helping other (and honestly more deserving) customers at the moment. The Command decides to use the new GPS guided round that everyone is all GaGa for (never mind the fact that the first one they fired no one knows where the fuck it landed). So all the people who need to know this is going down get notified including RC-S in Khandahar. "Why does RC-S need to approve this?" you ask. Because the round goes so damn high they need to clear airspace up to the fucking International Space Station (well Civilian Air lanes anyway) and the round is just so new and cool everyone and there brother has to watch.

Clearance from RC-S takes 45 minutes. the emplacers are packing up their shit and going home. I'm fuming (my boys have to clear that tomorrow). When out of the blue a KW has been freed up from its mission and is vectored in on the emplacers. The crew shoots hell out of the slowest one of the bunch and gets a piece of another. The are "bingo" and have to head back.

Over the radio the pilot says "Tell LINEBACKER (Route Clearance TF name) we're sorry." They were pissed they couldn't get all of them. Hell they were the only one willing to do shit. I love those guys.

Anytime we had an IED strike (all the fucking time) KW's and Apaches would orbit until our recovery was.completed. We didn't ask for them and I'm pretty sure they weren't vectored to us. They just did it.

Tough
Rangertough
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by CatFish Driver »

rangertough wrote:I was the Route Clearance LNO for Regional Commands South, Southwest and West. Weird job for an Infantryman in an Engineer Battalion but we worked mostly with IN BCT's and SOCOM (mostly Green Beanies) so I'd like to think my prior experience was a factor in our mission success.

We're close to the end of our tour (OEF 10-11) in RC-S (Horn of Panjwai) 3/10 MTN had been there about 3 months and everyone hated them. Their BDE commander was timid, the CSM was awful and should be stripped of rank, honor and retirement. One night I had just left a CONOP/final coordination meeting for yet another mission that would destroy what little good will we still had with the populace. When I get called into the CJOC to watch some idiots emplace an IED on one of our primary routes.

The decision is made to engage with 120mm mortars because all the KW's are busy helping other (and honestly more deserving) customers at the moment. The Command decides to use the new GPS guided round that everyone is all GaGa for (never mind the fact that the first one they fired no one knows where the fuck it landed). So all the people who need to know this is going down get notified including RC-S in Khandahar. "Why does RC-S need to approve this?" you ask. Because the round goes so damn high they need to clear airspace up to the fucking International Space Station (well Civilian Air lanes anyway) and the round is just so new and cool everyone and there brother has to watch.

Clearance from RC-S takes 45 minutes. the emplacers are packing up their shit and going home. I'm fuming (my boys have to clear that tomorrow). When out of the blue a KW has been freed up from its mission and is vectored in on the emplacers. The crew shoots hell out of the slowest one of the bunch and gets a piece of another. The are "bingo" and have to head back.

Over the radio the pilot says "Tell LINEBACKER (Route Clearance TF name) we're sorry." They were pissed they couldn't get all of them. Hell they were the only one willing to do shit. I love those guys.

Anytime we had an IED strike (all the fucking time) KW's and Apaches would orbit until our recovery was.completed. We didn't ask for them and I'm pretty sure they weren't vectored to us. They just did it.

Tough
I had to support 3/10 MTN the rotation after you were there. The BDE commander is a total asshat.
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hobbit
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by hobbit »

rangertough wrote:I was the Route Clearance LNO for Regional Commands South, Southwest and West. Weird job for an Infantryman in an Engineer Battalion but we worked mostly with IN BCT's and SOCOM (mostly Green Beanies) so I'd like to think my prior experience was a factor in our mission success.

We're close to the end of our tour (OEF 10-11) in RC-S (Horn of Panjwai) 3/10 MTN had been there about 3 months and everyone hated them. Their BDE commander was timid, the CSM was awful and should be stripped of rank, honor and retirement. One night I had just left a CONOP/final coordination meeting for yet another mission that would destroy what little good will we still had with the populace. When I get called into the CJOC to watch some idiots emplace an IED on one of our primary routes.

The decision is made to engage with 120mm mortars because all the KW's are busy helping other (and honestly more deserving) customers at the moment. The Command decides to use the new GPS guided round that everyone is all GaGa for (never mind the fact that the first one they fired no one knows where the fuck it landed). So all the people who need to know this is going down get notified including RC-S in Khandahar. "Why does RC-S need to approve this?" you ask. Because the round goes so damn high they need to clear airspace up to the fucking International Space Station (well Civilian Air lanes anyway) and the round is just so new and cool everyone and there brother has to watch.

Clearance from RC-S takes 45 minutes. the emplacers are packing up their shit and going home. I'm fuming (my boys have to clear that tomorrow). When out of the blue a KW has been freed up from its mission and is vectored in on the emplacers. The crew shoots hell out of the slowest one of the bunch and gets a piece of another. The are "bingo" and have to head back.

Over the radio the pilot says "Tell LINEBACKER (Route Clearance TF name) we're sorry." They were pissed they couldn't get all of them. Hell they were the only one willing to do shit. I love those guys.

Anytime we had an IED strike (all the fucking time) KW's and Apaches would orbit until our recovery was.completed. We didn't ask for them and I'm pretty sure they weren't vectored to us. They just did it.

Tough
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The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. -Albert Einstein

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Ranger Ron »

You all have just about said it all! I just add my ~S~ to all those unknown heroes that came out of the sky to get us the hell out of there.
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for he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother!"
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by SkyShark »

One of the most importnat mentors in my life was a Viet Nam Chopper Pilot. Not sure of the type of bird he flew. I know it wasn't a Huey though because he stated that it was a lot smaller bird that flew lower to the ground. He stated that pretty much his job was to scout and to draw fire away from the troop carrier birds above him.

He kept track of the bullet holes that his his bird(s) while in flight the whole time he was there. He always laughs at the fact that he had the exact number of holes in his bird from rifle fire that he had days in country. LOL

Maj. Pearcy I salute you.
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by Steadfast »

SkyShark wrote:One of the most importnat mentors in my life was a Viet Nam Chopper Pilot. Not sure of the type of bird he flew. I know it wasn't a Huey though because he stated that it was a lot smaller bird that flew lower to the ground. He stated that pretty much his job was to scout and to draw fire away from the troop carrier birds above him.

He kept track of the bullet holes that his his bird(s) while in flight the whole time he was there. He always laughs at the fact that he had the exact number of holes in his bird from rifle fire that he had days in country. LOL

Maj. Pearcy I salute you.

Welcome back SkyShark - you have been sorely missed.

Sounds like your mentor was a LOH (Light Observation Helicopter) pilot. One way they worked was a LOH & 2 Cobra Gunships.

LOH drew the fire & Cobras dispatched their ordanance on the hot area.
I'm sure they did much of everything.
RLTW
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by vossman »

Steadfast, thank you for the kind words. The Vietnam guys will always be our heroes. As MEDEVAC, I've been escorted by every bird except a Chinook and every one of them were terrific people. Even when we got chased by the little KW they did what they could to help us. Pilots are some arrogant primaddonas to be sure, but most know what they're doing and when it comes down to it, will do everything they can to help each other and the guys on the ground. I will never forget we work for the guys on the ground!
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rangertough
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by rangertough »

vossman wrote: I will never forget we work for the guys on the ground!
You were one of us poor bastards on the ground.

Tough
Rangertough
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by KW Driver »

like the Vossman said, thanks for the kind words. but I firmly believe there are only two branches of the military, Infantry and Infantry support. if my pilots didn't know that coming in, they damn sure lived it when I got done training them. and as much as our lives may suck at the time, we live damn well, and anything I can do to make Joe's life easier or longer, we're gunna do it.

As far as getting into a fight? it's the reason we're there. it's the only time we could forget about sitting there in a convection oven, no AC, no cooling vests the bigger guys could get away with. with the knife twisting in my ass cheek, of a perminate charley horse, caused by sitting in a confined space, with 70lbs of chicken plate and ammo hanging off my chest, for 4-8 hrs a day. every day, with a 24 hr reset once a week, a 48 hr reset once a month, when we have enough pilots there to pull full teams. fighting off the utter, soul crushing, time stopping boredom of convoy escorts, or up and down a route trying to do counter IED.

there's a fight? oh fuck yes, time to pay the piper for making me sit in your shithole country, in this goddamned little box of pain, day after day. time to die fucker, for trying to hurt my brothers and me.

and we had it good. I only ever got to eat two of four available meals, but they were scratch made hots. I had an AC CHU all to myself. I had a shower trailer, and a throne trailer. never pulled perimeter guard. never a worry about IEDs, SAF? they sucked and you had to be stupid to get hit, or it was just your day.

Route clearance? those poor bastards...

get in on a fight to make the ground guy's lives just a little easier? too easy. find and fuck up the bad guys before they could hurt one of ours? touchdown.
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rangertough
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by rangertough »

KW Driver wrote:
Route clearance? those poor bastards...
BWAHAHAHA.....wait a minute I lived that remark. This last trip I found out that most Engineers are whining bitches. Then I did a year of RCP and found out why.

Tough
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fatboy
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by fatboy »

rangertough wrote:
KW Driver wrote:
Route clearance? those poor bastards...
BWAHAHAHA.....wait a minute I lived that remark. This last trip I found out that most Engineers are whining bitches. Then I did a year of RCP and found out why.

Tough

Right there with you- I did a year of IED clearance (discovery by detonation), as a grunt with no Engineer/ Sapper support.
And for KW- I'm almost positive my tours overlapped with one or two of yours and in the same A/O, so it's possible you were flying in support of me or my guys.
RS 07 and 08-01 (I took the long tour in Florida)

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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by KW Driver »

I kinda doubt it based on your sig line, but, Redcatcher was my Squadron's callsign, Thug worked Mosul, and I was Black Death 11. spent most of my time in Tal Afar, working the border over to Mosul, down to Q-West's/Speicher's boundry, with some in Mosul.
A Co & HHC 3/75 '93-'98.
RS 10-94.


200 meters of green shit next to a river in the desert does not qualify as a "Crescent of Fertility" -me

"The meek shall inherit the earth, one meter wide and two meters long" -Lazarus Long

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fatboy
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Re: Vietnam Helicopter Pilots

Post by fatboy »

KW Driver wrote:I kinda doubt it based on your sig line, but, Redcatcher was my Squadron's callsign, Thug worked Mosul, and I was Black Death 11. spent most of my time in Tal Afar, working the border over to Mosul, down to Q-West's/Speicher's boundry, with some in Mosul.

My last tour in 07 had me running around in Bayji, with our Brigade HQ in Speicher. Coincidentally, I also spent time in Mosul, Tal Afar, and Q-west during the invasion time frame. Either way, air support from guys like you was greatly appreciated!
RS 07 and 08-01 (I took the long tour in Florida)

1-508 ABCT
1-327IN
101st Pathfinder DS1
Iraqi Freedom 03-04, 05-06, 07-08

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