EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Another old war story  (Read 9399 times)

mariekie4

  • ---
  • Posts: 442
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2015, 09:58:11 AM »
Now get with the program and start your book.  ;) Or do you really want us to beg?  ::)

Normally war stories are not my thing, however the way you describe this is in such a positive and interesting manner. You sure have a captive audience on this forum.
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


2007 Winnebago Journey 35'
2011 Jeep Liberty

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2015, 10:11:10 AM »
Thank you both for the encouragement.

I really am not interested on making any money from a book.

I think that more and more people are reading online as opposed to buying and holding a traditional book.

I will expand the stories and what I really hope would happen would be for others with stories that they want to share would take the oppurtunity to tell some of thier stories.  I kind of regard my telling of stories to be a sharing experience and I think it might help some of us old vets to remember and reinforce the good memories, the funny memories, and whatever other memories that you want to share.

What we did was not dishonorable and it is good for us to be able to take pride in telling them even if it is 45 years later.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 10:14:44 AM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2015, 12:32:03 PM »
Here is a very short story


This story is about a part of the war that most people never heard about.


In Viet Nam we used Military Payment Certificates, (MPC). We were paid in MPC, we used it in the same manner as regular US currency. We gambled with it, used it at the PX, used it to buy money orders to send home, and for any other thing that we needed money for.


Unfortunately this system could be manipulated to make money by trading on the difference between the value of MPC’s and regular “Greenback dollars”, or regular U.S. Currency in the local economy.


The way that this was done was by obtaining Greenbacks by sending home a money order to the states. The person back home would cash the money order and put the cash in an envelope and send it back to Viet Nam. US Currency was much more valuable than MPC in the local economy and it could be sold for double the cash amount in MPC.


Every time this was done the seller of greenbacks would double his money. They would then repeat the process.

This problem led to two procedures to attempt to catch the people who were doing this.

The first was the introduction of a MACV “credit card”. This card had to be presented anytime a money order was purchased. If someone was sending home more money than could be accounted for by his income then he was investigated.


The second procedure was much more complicated. With no advanced warning, all the bases were shut down and all the MPC in circulation was collected and converted to a new series.

I was the “Currency Conversion Officer” for our unit during one of these episodes while I was in Viet Nam.


The procedure was to stop all traffic in or out of the base. I then collected from each of our troops all the MPC that they had and gave them a receipt for the amount of MPC turned in.

At the end of collecting from everyone in our unit, I took the briefcase full of script and turned it in for replacement with the new and different MPC.

I then redistributed it to the troops.


During this process the locals would be desperate to get their MPC traded in for the new currency. The day after the conversion the old MPC was worthless.

The following pictures are not MPC but they are pictures of Viet Cong money. Notice how the first side shows the VC capturing an armored car.


Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

blw2

  • ---
  • Posts: 2539
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2015, 04:42:31 PM »
Thank you both for the encouragement.

I really am not interested on making any money from a book.

I think that more and more people are reading online as opposed to buying and holding a traditional book.

I will expand the stories and what I really hope would happen would be for others with stories that they want to share would take the oppurtunity to tell some of thier stories.  I kind of regard my telling of stories to be a sharing experience and I think it might help some of us old vets to remember and reinforce the good memories, the funny memories, and whatever other memories that you want to share.

What we did was not dishonorable and it is good for us to be able to take pride in telling them even if it is 45 years later.

Yeah, that's kinda the reason I'm encouraging writing a book...... I have no thought or idea if you would ever make money or not..... but no biggie, I enjoy reading your stories this way too!

Thanks
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

kdbgoat

  • ---
  • Posts: 3967
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2015, 05:08:15 PM »
Maybe write the book,  and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause of your choice. I do enjoy reading your stories as I usually don't hear NamVets talk about too much.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Jim Godward

  • ---
  • Posts: 5734
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2015, 05:26:13 PM »
Your story about the MPC reminded me of the same thing we did in Japan.  Worked OK but you had to be careful about the money orders as you indicated.
Jim
Jim & Pat Godward
AC7PO & KD7ZDM
Hillsboro, Oregon

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2015, 05:42:00 PM »


In keeping with the theme of telling positive stories, I would like to tell you about my first roommate in Viet Nam. His first name is Ben and I will change his last name to Stein because I am not sure about the Statute of Limitations.

Ben was our Unit Scrounger. He was also a Huey Pilot, but his contribution, and it was a great contribution, was to keep us supplied with spare parts and necessary equipment.

There is a picture of Ben below:

Ben's job was the redistribution of supplies between Units in Viet Nam. In other word he was a horse trader for parts to keep us flying. Ben had a couple of Conex containers full of trading inventory. Just about anything you needed Ben had. He had pallets of paint, cases of steaks, and if someone left a jeep unattended he probably would have that also. Now as far as I know Ben used his requisitioning skills for the good of our unit and did not personally benefit from his reallocations, (trades).

Ben had his own personal Huey and he would leave in the morning and return later with all kind of goodies.

Ben was the only person I knew in Viet Nam that got the Wall Street Journal delivered every day.

A few years ago I attended the 7/1 Cav reunion in Tampa. While talking to the fellow that was our Squadron Safety Officer I was told that on one occasion Ben was letting a customer...err another supply person fly his huey at a hover. This other fellow hit something and damaged the Huey. The Huey was repaired and nobody ever heard a word about that while I was in Viet Nam. Ben was a valuable asset to our unit and did his part in the war in the best way he could.

I have never heard from Ben in the last 40+ years but I am sure that Ben was very successful in his business career after Viet Nam.

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

RoyM

  • ---
  • Posts: 1976
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2015, 07:23:23 PM »
That is funny. I served with the Canadian forces, we had a guy like Ben who was extremely useful. We took good care of him too. ;D
Ram 2500 diesel
Prowler fifth wheel
Urge to travel

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2015, 08:01:48 PM »
Ben was very good at his job.

About 6 months later I got a different room mate.

Here is a story about him.

It is a kind of funny story and I have told it to others maybe I can make it even funnier the second time. Most old war stories get better every time you tell them, at least mine do.

I did two tours in Viet Nam and most of the time my room mate was Michael Phillips. Mike was from Billings, Montana. We took our two adjacent rooms and created the best Officer Quarters at Vinh Long. We had a double room with a Bar, Entertainment Center, desks, and even a slot machine that we sto.....rescued from Dong Tam when the 9th Infantry went home.

Here is a picture of Mike followed by our BOQ


Now I have mentioned Mike for a couple of reasons. For over 35 years I tried to find out what happened to Mike after Viet Nam. A few years ago as I was attending a reunion of the 7/1 Air Cav in Tampa I found out that Mike had contacted the organization and I got his phone number from the membership comittee. I called and found out that Mike lived just west of Houston. Mike has spent most of his career working for Phillips Oil Company. I made the trip to see him. We had a great time, swapped pictures from Viet Nam and told stories.

Oh yes, He also told me that after I left, some Captain kicked him out of the party hooch and took it over.

The following is a story that Mike swears is true, but I do not remember it.

We were both in the Headquarters Troop and we got all kinds of different missions and request from the Squadron Commander. Anything that was out of the ordinary was usually given to us to do. According to Mike we were asked to develop a "Smoke Ship" to be used to cover combat assaults by laying down a smoke screen to hide the slicks as they unloaded or loaded troops in an LZ (landing Zone).

Again according to Mike, we supervised the mounting of a tank under the center canvas seat, installed a pump, lines, and nozzles to spray hydraulic oil into the exhaust of the turbine engine.

Now this is the part that is absolutely Mike's recollection and not mine.

We fired up the Huey in a revetment (protected parking space) and got it warmed up. Mike turned to me and said "Where should we go to test this thing out?". Again according to him, I shrugged and said "Heck, lets just let her rip right here" and flipped the switch.

This is a revetment:

A Huge, billowing cloud of smoke engulfed us and started moving downwind enveloping the entire flight line. Surely I would have remembered that. I did leave Viet Nam on a flight a few days later, but I am sure that was purely coincidental.

Every fire truck on the base decended upon us to put out what they thought was a fire

The crew chiefs and door gunners from every ship that was down wind of us spent a week cleaning a film of oil off thier aircraft.

That is Mike's story and he is sticking to it.

Here is a shot of a smoke ship in action, you can see how effective it was.



I thought I would add a few comments about Mike Phillips.

Mike would never eat fruit cocktail. One day I asked him why. He said that when he was a kid, (like we were not still kids then), he had taken a big jar of marischeno cherries and drained the liquid. He then filled the jar with some clear vodka. He got sick as a dog from eating them and could not even look at cherries after that.

The most dangerous thing that Mike ever did in Viet Nam was the following

One day when he was off from flying, he went downtown off the base to Vihn Long. He bought a huge stuffed Cobra, the snake..not the gunship. He brought it back to the hooch and sat it in the middle of the main room facing the door. It sat up about 2 feet high and was in the striking position. We usually came in well after dark from flying. That night I opened the door. switched on the light and just about had a heart attack on the spot. Probably why I had my open heart surgery a few years back. Next time I see him I am gonna box his ears....

The last tale about him is that Mike was mentioned in the book that Col David C. Hackworth wrote. Both Mike and I used to fly him around on occasion. Well I take it that they both went down in a huey one day and Hackworth wanted to thank Mike by putting him in the book. It must have happened after I left because I do not remember it happening, course sometimes I do not remember a lot of things.
__________________

Edit:  Looking at the pictures of our Hooch reminded me of two other things.

I had a extension cable for the headphones and I used to listen to music as I fell asleep.

One morning as I went out to the flight line they guys asked me where I was the night before.  It happened that our base camp had been mortored the night before and everyone spent the night in the bunkers except me.

The second memory relates to the TV in out hooch.  We had one channel AFVN (Armed Forces Viet Nam).  However the strange things was that we were next to the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) that was in a bunker.  They were transmitting on an FM radio with a encription device on it.  Clear as a bell over our Television audio came the call.  "Blackhawk 6 this is Blackhawk 4 SECURE, over".  That was supposed to mean that it was a secure transmission.  I wonder how many vietnamese downtown were listening in.


« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 08:34:16 PM by HueyPilotVN »
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 4377
  • Westminster, CO
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2015, 07:42:37 AM »
Mmmm... nice hooch. And thanks for the stories -- neat.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6297
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2015, 11:08:52 AM »
Too funny Bill! Enjoying your stories. Glad you are writing the "G" rated versions as well. I know that war is hell and filled with horrors, but your stories also put the humanity back into it.  And since many of the participants are just young guys finding a way to survive, we can all relate.  Good show.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

CWSWine

  • ---
  • Posts: 153
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2015, 09:35:47 AM »
I was in Vietnam in 1968 - 1969 and back again in 1970 - 1971 and was a 67N which was a helicopter crew chief / door gunner.   I spent 18 months in lift platoon working with infantry, dog trackers and C-75 Rangers.  Also spent 6 months (67V)scout crew chief and door gunner doing recon and hunter killer missons.   I logged over 1500 hours in Vietnam.  Retired from the Army at 20 years 16 days as 67W aircraft tech inspector. 
« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 09:45:20 AM by CWSWine »
-Dennis
Current
2017 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40D Diesel Pusher 380HP 1150 Foot Pounds Torque 41.3 feet bath and half.
sold 2017 GMC Denali 3500 Diesel CC 3744
sold 2017 Grand Design Solitude 310GK-R
Sold 2015 F350 SRW Super Cab
Sold 2016 - Montana 3711 Front Living Room 5er
SOLD - Crusader 315RST 5e

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2015, 11:33:08 AM »
Dennis,

You guys were the tip of the spear.

I spent many hours circling in the air condition comfort of higher altitude while you guys picked a fight and stirred the pot.  You fellows in a Loach would get them to shoot at you and then you would throw smoke and scoot away while the Cobras would roll in.

We had a saying that I am sure you have heard before.  "Eyes of an Eagle, Heart of a Lion and Balls of a Scout"

I am sure that you have many war stories that you could tell, but most of them are not necessarily the warm and fuzzy kind.

Thank you Sir
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #43 on: July 20, 2015, 04:28:47 AM »
Cannot sleep, another story, still true but running out of the true ones.

During the two tours I spent in Viet Nam I had the same job at the same unit and base. I was in the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop of the 7th Armored Squadron of the 1st Cav. We were a separate Cav Squadron based in the Delta. There were only about ten of us aviators in the HHT and we all flew mostly single ship missions. One of the support missions we flew was to provide a Huey for the Senior Advisor of IV Corp, (four corp). Early on I got this mission a lot and after crashing with the SA on board and all walking away uninjured, I pretty well had it full time. The best commendation that I got in Viet Nam was listening to the outgoing SA telling his replacement on the intercom that I was definetly the pilot that he should request to fly him on his tour. We were flying to Saigon for the outgoing SA to go home.

There was however one mission that I did not enjoy.

To set the stage let me say that this was back in the early days of the Army implementing the Airmobile Concept. Helicopters were being used to quickly reposition troops and perform new types of missions.

The Army had lots of middle to senior field commanders that did not have much experience with helicopters, how they operated, their limitations, and advantages.

The Army developed a "Short Course" to introduce them to flying helicopters. These Officers were taught to fly but were not professional aviators as they did not have the full course or the time in flight school.

We, who flew everyday would jokenly call a day with blue skies and unlimited visability "Field Grade Flying Weather".

I offer this background because my least favorite mission was to fly with our Squadron Commanding Officer, a Lt Colonel whom shall not be identified by name to protect the guilty.

His normal mission was to fly out to the area of operation and watch any ongoing mission by circling above the action and then return to base. He never flew these missions on a Thursday because we all took our malaria pill on Wednesday and it took 24 hours to get over the sh...diareha (SP).

Anyway, sorry about the long background.

One early morning I was assigned to fly with him. We got to the aircraft and I started the pre-flight and then the startup procedure. I noticed as I was cranking the turbine that the CO was on the FM radio talking with the TOC, Tactical Operations Center in the command bunker. I got the Huey up to operating RPM and was calling the tower for clearence to hover to the active runway.

I should also mention that though I was only 20 and very much the junior officer to the CO, I was the Aircraft Commander and in charge while in the air. Of course that does not mean much when you get back on the ground.

As I got the Huey light on the skids the CO grabbed the controls and pulled pitch to raise us to a two foot hover.  He then nosed it over and headed for the runway.


At this point I did not have permission to hover to the active runway. To cover for his jumping the gun I asked the tower for takeoff permission.

As we neared the runway the CO made a high speed banking turn to the east and took off.

At this point we had two problems, we did not have permission to take off and much worse, we were taking off to the east and everyone else was landing to the west. This was kinda like entering the freeway going the wrong way.

I quickly took the controls and said " I have it", which is universally used to signal taking over the controls. In this case it actually meant "Let go of the stick you IDIOT". Of course I did not really say that.

I did another quick banking turn to the right and flew low level over the parked aircraft, maintenance building, guard towers and concertina wire perimeter. My goal was to get out of Dodge and stay out of everyone's way. We then climbed to altitude and continued without a word said between as he slowly figured out what had happened. He was not called on this incident, no one outranked him to call him on it.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

blw2

  • ---
  • Posts: 2539
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #44 on: July 20, 2015, 09:01:49 AM »

To set the stage let me say that this was back in the early days of the Army implementing the Airmobile Concept. Helicopters were being used to quickly reposition troops and perform new types of missions.


Thanks for sharing another enjoyable story.  I'm glad you got that sorted and apparently didn't get called on it yourself by the screwball CO!

What timeframe did you serve over there?

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

catblaster

  • ---
  • Posts: 2132
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #45 on: July 20, 2015, 01:12:12 PM »
"A Huge, billowing cloud of smoke engulfed us and started moving downwind enveloping the entire flight line. Surely I would have remembered that. I did leave Viet Nam on a flight a few days later, but I am sure that was purely coincidental.

Every fire truck on the base decended upon us to put out what they thought was a fire

The crew chiefs and door gunners from every ship that was down wind of us spent a week cleaning a film of oil off thier aircraft."





We had an M88 recovery vehicle blow a turbo while in a parade at Ft Riley. This was in celebration of the 1st Infantry coming home from Nam. That column of smoke covered the entire parade field, the press, visitors and Secretary of Defense and lingered for what seemed like forever. .....Hated parades...
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #46 on: September 21, 2016, 01:47:56 AM »
Brad,

Sorry for not responding sooner but I have not revisited this thread for a long time.

I arrived in Sunny South Vietnam on July 4th 1969, around the time of the moon landing.  I left Viet Nam about 18 months later around Christmas of 1970.

It was a very strange set of circumstances that surrounded my leaving then. 

I originally joined the Army specifically to become a helicopter pilot with a four year commitment in the summer of 1968.  I spent a year completing basic and then flight school. 

I then spent my first year tour in Viet Nam.  I extended for the second tour because my younger brother was a marine with only about a year and a half left on his commitment in the marines.  I was told that if I extended for another tour that he would not be sent to Viet Nam.  I felt it was much safer to be flying Hueys than to be on the ground or in the jungle or rice paddies.

Now the really strange part.  At the end of 1970 the Army came out with the strangest order.  "Any second tour aviator in Viet Nam could be released immeadiately from active duty.  I went from having over six months left to being what we called "A Short Timer" overnight.

I got a Huey and had buddies in two Cobras fly escort on either side of me to Saigon and was out of the country the next day.

My four year obligation was fulfilled in two and a half years.  I remained an officer in the reserves but never had to spend a day doing any reserve duty.

A short few days later I was "Back in the World" as we called it.

For the next twenty years we did not advertise that we were vets although I never felt that we did anything dishonerable or unpatriotic.

Sorry for the rambling and long overdue answer to your question about when I was there.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

blw2

  • ---
  • Posts: 2539
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2017, 12:45:01 PM »
Bill
I just finished reading "Hornet 33".  He mentioned your squadron as a sister squadron a few times (though somewhat derogatorily because of how your hueys were so clean...)
That guy experienced some bad stuff over there and this was written I think as a way for him to unload a bit.  Bad PTSD stuff.... but I'm glad I read it, help to gain a bit more understanding....  I was thinking of you a good bit while reading.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Derby6

  • ---
  • Posts: 669
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2017, 03:58:57 PM »
For the next twenty years we did not advertise that we were vets although I never felt that we did anything dishonerable or unpatriotic.

Because you didn't do anything dishonorable or unpatriotic.  Quite the opposite IMHO.

My generation, myself included, have been treated as hero's, thanked repeatedly, etc all because of EVERY VIETNAM VET.
Thanks you for your sacrifices.....
2015 Ford Explorer (Wifes Ride)
2011 Ford F350 4x4 Lariat Crew Cab/Long Bed/SRW
2011 Honda Civic-- (Beater with a heater)
2007 28' Desert FOX Toy Hauler             
TOYS:
01 Yamaha Kodiak 400
09 Yamaha Grizzly 550
12 Yamaha Grizzly 450
13 Yamaha Rhino 700 (Wifes Ride)
13 & 14  144" & 155" SKI DOO

Old_Crow

  • ---
  • Posts: 375
  • Home is where you make it.
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2017, 05:32:10 AM »
Bill,
Thanks for your stories...and your service.  I spent a year at Ubon, Thailand as a crew chief on F-4s.  Since I didn't get there until '73 after the bombing stopped, all my best stories mostly involve drinking and hookers...not exactly the stuff for a family safe forum.

The one story about the smoke ship made me laugh out loud, though.  Anyone who's done any mechanics knows the effect of pouring small amounts of transmission fluid down an intake to clean carbon off the top of the pistons and can picture that cloud rolling down the flight line.
In fact I did that very thing in the barracks parking lot at Luke AFB in Phoenix in 1975.  I guess I was lucky it was Sunday.  Only got 2 firetrucks and the SP's.  There was some talk of an Article 15, but I don't think they could figure out what to charge me with and I was short anyway.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

sadixon49

  • ---
  • Posts: 256
  • Fishers, Indiana
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2017, 08:07:00 AM »

For the next twenty years we did not advertise that we were vets although I never felt that we did anything dishonerable or unpatriotic.


I remember a time when flying home on leave from San Fran, never a hotbed of patriotic fervor, to Chicago.  We were required to fly in uniform to receive the military stand-by rate. The lady and her child next to me requested and moved because she didn't want her child next to one of those baby killers.
steve
2017 Jayco Redhawk 26XD
E-450 Ford, 6.8 V-10
EEZRV TPMS

Bill N

  • ---
  • Posts: 1499
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2017, 10:04:34 AM »
Bill I just happened on this thread today and really enjoyed reading every story and every response.  I thank you for your service and continue to enjoy your posts to the forum. 
     Not to horn in but I would like to just add a little humorous helicopter story.  From 1962 to 1967 I was a Minuteman Missile Combat Crew member stationed in South Dakota at Ellsworth AFB.  Our missile sites were dispersed over an area about the size of Maryland and while our main mode of transportation was automobile we used helicopters for the sites that were farthest out from the base - some over 100 miles. 
     At the time - 1963, the H-19 was the chopper we used to transport missile crews and personnel around the complex. The H-19 was at the end of its service life soon to be replaced by Hueys, UH1F models.  I am not a pilot but know that, in the case of the H-19, air temperature affected the lift capability of the chopper and I assume this is true of any chopper.
     Anyway, on one of our early trips to a missile launch control center near Phillip, South Dakota we landed at a small helicopter pad just outside the fence of the control center. This particular control center (Delta 1) had only been turned over to the Air Force from Boeing for a few weeks and it was  a very hot day in July.  We relieved the off going crew  in the underground control center and they boarded the helicopter for return to base. Also on board in addition to the pilot were three or four security guards also returning to base.  As I was later told, the chopper lifted off very sluggishly and never seemed to gain much altitude before putting down again. The humorous part of the story is the the chopper made a perfect landing in the sewage lagoon just outside the fence of the site.  The thankful part of the story is that since the missile control center had only been open a short time the lagoon was not fully covered with it's deposits and the pilot managed to only put one skid in the goo and the other on still dry land - all exited safely..LOL
     The H-19s that we were using seemed to have problems with chips detectors. At least 3 times we were forced to land on the open prairies of South Dakota when the Chips Detector light came on.  That involved waiting for another chopper to rescue us and leave behind a mechanic to repair the problem.  I saw a couple of years later where somebody had bought an old H-19 and made a RV out of it - that must have been interesting.
     When the UH1Fs finally arrived they were like Cadillacs compared to the H-19s.  When I completed my initial missile launch crew tour in 1967 I was positive I would be going to Vietnam because my secondary AFSC was as a Supply Officer.  I questioned a friend at Officer Assignments and was told that I would NEVER be going to Vietnam because, as a Minuteman missile launch crew member, I had knowledge of the national war plan.  That was news to me but not very disheartening to be honest.  I finished my 20 years in the Air Force in 1981 and 19 of those years were in the missile operations and maintenance career fields.
     As a sort of footnote to this story the Launch Control Center (Delta 1) where this story happened is the only one left in South Dakota. The sites were all destroyed as a result of the treaty with the Russians except for one control center and one missile site (Delta 9). These two sites are today run by the National Park Service as historic sites and open to the public for tour. The visitor center is located at mile marker 131 on Interstate 90 in Western South Dakota.  I hope to make it back there one day as my crew was the first crew to accept that particular flight of missiles from the Boeing Company in early July 1963.  Just google Minuteman National Historic Site for a link to the site.
 
     Once again, I really enjoyed your stories and, a bit late, I would encourage you put them in a book. 

Bill
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 10:11:44 AM by Bill N »
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 4377
  • Westminster, CO
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2017, 01:04:59 PM »
Thanks for the story, Bill. Interesting...

Quote
I am not a pilot but know that, in the case of the H-19, air temperature affected the lift capability of the chopper and I assume this is true of any chopper.

That's true for any aircraft, rotary OR fixed wing. We call it density altitude, basically because the warmer air is less dense, thus is equivalent to the density under standard conditions at a higher altitude.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

Bill N

  • ---
  • Posts: 1499
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2017, 04:28:45 PM »
Thanks for the story, Bill. Interesting...

That's true for any aircraft, rotary OR fixed wing. We call it density altitude, basically because the warmer air is less dense, thus is equivalent to the density under standard conditions at a higher altitude.

Thanks Larry - that probably why baseballs fly out of stadiums on hot days at a high rate.  LOL
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2017, 01:45:32 AM »
I guess I have at least one more story.

I do not think that I have ever posted this story online and only told it a few times.

I may be a little more philosophical telling this story as an old man of 67 looking back 47 years.

This story is about the stupidity, racial prejudice and bigotry, of two fellows that almost caused my death.

Here is a little background to set up the story.

In Viet Nam, most junior officers were given extra jobs beyond their primary job.  In a previous story, I mentioned being currency control officer for the conversion of MPC (Military Payment Certificates).

Well after a year in country and getting a promotion, I was given an additional job as a Maintenance Test Pilot.  This kind of test pilot is nothing like being an Experimental Test Pilot like Chuck Yeager.

The job of a maintenance test pilot requires doing a very methodical series of procedures and tests designed to ensure that an aircraft is safe after performing repairs or maintenance.  Much of the job is reviewing the documentation and log books.  After looking at what was done to the aircraft, a through preflight inspection is performed, and then a maintenance test flight.  These test flights were done to certify that the aircraft was safe and could be released for missions.

There were three of us that were certified to do test flights in my troop.

We had a Huey coming out of maintenance for several repairs, including repairs and replacement of the hydraulic push / pull tubes that control the tilting of the main rotor blade.

One of the test pilots was a Southern Caucasian Captain who was prejudiced and he was scheduled to fly this Huey as it came out of maintenance.

He asked me to take this test flight at the last minute.

I went over the logs, looked at what was done per the logs, and started my preflight inspection.

I would normally not look at something like engine or transmission work, but would expect that the aircraft mechanics did their job properly.

The normal procedure is that the aircraft mechanic would sign off on their work followed by a Tech Inspector that would inspect and then sign off separately.

I think that sometimes we have this Guardian Angel that sits on our shoulder and whispers in our ear.


The push / pull tubes are in front of the transmission and behind a panel where the canvas center seat is in the cabin of a Huey.

I would normally never ask for the panel to be pulled to inspect the control linkage tubes.  This time I did.

The control tubes are connected to a hydraulic servo with a bolt with a hole in the end of it, a castle nut, and safety wire.  This setup looks just like the spindle and nut on a wheel bearing that uses a cotter pin to secure it.

On aircraft, we use safety wire instead of cotter pins and they are installed with specific twists and turns to make sure that the nut does not come off.

The control tubes did not have any safety wires.  The castle nuts were missing and the bolts were pulled out till only a few threads were engaged.

If I had flown this aircraft, it would have completely lost control of the main rotor blade and crashed as soon as even one of the bolts fell out.  The catastrophic crash would most likely never have disclosed the cause because of the location of the failed components.

The final signature on the log book for this repair was that of a Technical Inspector who was African American and who had no problems with me but did have an ongoing dispute with the assigned test pilot for the flight.

I left Viet Nam shortly after this happened and I do not know the outcome of the case.

Most people do not know that many of the deaths in Viet Nam were from causes other than the Viet Cong and NVA enemy.   
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

Bill N

  • ---
  • Posts: 1499
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2017, 09:31:00 AM »
Most people do not know that many of the deaths in Viet Nam were from causes other than the Viet Cong and NVA enemy.

I can't tell of how many times I heard of this from a couple of Army friends who served in Vietnam.  Didn't they call it 'fragging' or something to that effect Bill?  Vietnam was not the finest hour for some of our drafted ground troops but most others did their duty and even gave their lives for a suspect cause.  Today's vets and active duty troops are given the utmost of respect and I am so happy to see that in my lifetime.

Bill
Bill & Joan N in Missouri
USAF (Ret)
2002 Winnebago Adventurer 35U
Workhorse W22, 8.1L Chevy V8
2013 Chevy Sonic Toad
Furbearers:  Heidi-17(Forever), Grace-10 & Squeak-4, Winnie - 5 months

SargeW

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 6297
  • Life is better on the road!
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2017, 10:17:32 AM »
That's sad to hear Bill, but I know it's factual. Unfortunately there is still an element of racism in the military, and in law enforcement, as much as it pains me to admit it. And although I was not in the military, after 25 years in LE, many of our members were current and past military, and the old opinions surface from time to time.  The roots of racism run deep and some folks refuse to let it go. I am glad your guardian angel was on the job that day. I am grateful for your service, and the stories that remind us of how important it is to remember that time in our history.
Marty--
2017 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40SP
Cummins ISL 450 HP/Powerglide chassis
Visit our new travel blog! http://www.mytripjournal.com/rvnchickTNG
Support your local Police Officer, Fire Fighter and Military!

Molaker

  • ---
  • Posts: 5764
  • We don't camp. We tour.
    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2017, 10:49:15 AM »
That's sad to hear Bill, but I know it's factual. Unfortunately there is still an element of racism in the military, and in law enforcement, as much as it pains me to admit it. And although I was not in the military, after 25 years in LE, many of our members were current and past military, and the old opinions surface from time to time.  The roots of racism run deep and some folks refuse to let it go. I am glad your guardian angel was on the job that day. I am grateful for your service, and the stories that remind us of how important it is to remember that time in our history.
There's racism and then there's just plain old ignorance.  Racism is usually easily detected and is frequently accompanied by some form of violence, physical or otherwise.  Ignorance is far more difficult to expose, yet in this day, can be just as devastating as physical racism.  The ignorant form of racism is what most of us suffer from or rather cause others to suffer from.  It doesn't have to be skin color related, either.  How many of you have heard and laughed at "polack" jokes in the 50's (How many polacks does it take to change a light bulb)?  Innocent enough, but ignorant of (and insensitive to) the pain or discomfort the words can convey.  I grew up before the era of "political correctness", as did most of you.  I still have to watch myself to prevent old training and upbringing from slipping out.  Political correctness is not something we should "poo poo", but something we should practice.  And, it does take practice.  Otherwise, the ignorance tends to rise to the top. <stepping down off soapbox>
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

Punomatic

  • ---
  • Posts: 524
    • Life in Black and Blue
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2017, 04:35:59 PM »
...Political correctness is not something we should "poo poo", but something we should practice.  And, it does take practice.  Otherwise, the ignorance tends to rise to the top. <stepping down off soapbox>
I respectfully disagree with your assessment of political correctness, Molaker. I do agree that we should practice sensitivity, but I would encourage you to read the history of political correctness. This is not just a "nice practice;" it is a movement designed to enslave. Unfortunately, academia these days is mostly controlled by adherents to the insidious philosophy behind "political correctness."
2016 Riverside White Water Retro 195
2014 Nissan Titan SL Crew Cab
DW and me and Pogo (the neurotic terrier-gone to the rainbow bridge) and Lulu (the Moxie with moxie)

HueyPilotVN

  • ---
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Another old war story
« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2017, 04:40:03 PM »
Sorry if I started a political discussion here.  That was not my intent.  Just part of the story.

Again I encourage anyone to jump in with their Old War Story.

For me it is kind of like therapy.
Bill Waugh
40' Country Coach DP
34' Stacker Trailer, Trailer Toad
Jeep Commander
Mustang Bracket Race Car
35 years on the road

 

Hosted by Over The Network