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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
V.I.P. Member
Posts: 107
(7/11/01 2:20:28 pm)
| Del All A pucker factor of 10

One bright and sunny day some time in 1968…

A bunch of GI’s hop on board a C-130 for the trip back up to DaNang… and then on to Phu Bai...most of them had just come back from R&R in Australia….

As the planes crewman comes back and says “Keep you belts on until we land and stop”

Interesting…..says I to myself… as this is a cargo set up… there AIN’T NO BELTS.. and no seats either…. we were sitting on our duffle bags…

“WHY” someone asks (or rather …yells)

“Cause the airfield is under mortar attack” comes the reply….

To most of us.. this was no longer unusual… I had flown up and down the coast of VN some fifteen or sixteen times in the last 12 months…. OK… time to set up… get into the duffle and pull out the vest and helmet…

Put on the vest and then sit on the helmet…..

NUGS & Airforce dudes look at us like we are nuts…. well… we are… but that is another story…..

“HEY… I understand the vest… but why are you sitting on the helmet??””

The answer comes as a round comes up through the floor close to the edge of the plane… The NUGS see that and a mad scramble ensues to emulate us older guys…..

No one laughs at them though…. it had happens to almost all of us at one time or another…..

As the plane descends (and if you have never flown the friendly skies of SVN) SHARPLY descends… the crewman gives the “WE ARE LANDING” signal… know…. sits down and straps himself into the woodwork with everything and anything that is handy……we get a decidedly serious THUMP and then a BUMP BUMP…….. and then the plane lands…….

Typical landing…. fast and furious…. with a sharp left or right hand turn into some side runway or into a hanger… the rear ramp is down and no one is in the plane but the NUGS….. everyone else rolls, falls, or jumps out as the craft is still rolling..

If you looked behind the plane… you can see duffle bags and GI’s all over the place on the PCP…..

As I and two of my buddies secure our bags and drop down into a ditch (specially built by the AF guys for attacks like this)….we can see that the C-130 had, indeed been seriously hit……… many, many holes in the left side… we did not hear a thing over the engines…. luckily… no fire and the engines were not hit……

The only thing that made it a great landing is that…. no one was hurt…..

You see… the left wing had a rocket the size of a river boat in it!!!!!

The damn thing struck but didn’t explode…….right through the wing and STUCK THERE!!

The C-130 sat on the runway for weeks as no one would try to get that rocket out of it…. it was a couple of weeks later that we learned that the Demo boys didn’t even want to touch the job…..I can’t blame them….


UUUUhhhhhh I don’t know…. pick one…….

Somewhere… there is a pilot that has a picture of that……


Edited by: Mithrandir at: 7/13/01 10:20:14 am

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 78
(7/11/01 2:52:15 pm)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10
moral???,,some one was watching out for you that day,,or maybe they were watching out for some one else on the plane and you were just lucky enough to be along,,,either way, you won! Glad you walked (or ran) away from that one

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 111
(7/11/01 3:00:14 pm)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10
Thanks for the nice comments nighthawk....

for many years I pondered why after so many times others did not get out, get away, or go unscathed and yet I did....

on the other hand... the commies were terrible shots....

The stories I have posted here are just a fraction of my time in the military both active and reserve..... but I only had ONE time that I got hurt... and that was still considered minor.....

I guess it bothers me.....

I was not supposed to survive .....I know that in my heart...

sorry... beginning to wander off track...

thanks for listening...


V.I.P. Member
Posts: 79
(7/11/01 3:09:08 pm)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10
but you did survive,,thats what counts

BTW,,I am not sure there is a "supposed to" in this life,,just a "was", an "is", and a "maybe", in the future

Posts: 4
(7/12/01 8:38:30 pm)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10

I'm glad you did survive! You had Someone watching your six! Welcome Home, Brother!

Posts: 419
(7/12/01 9:34:48 pm)
| Del
Re: A pucker factor of 10
Mith-good story buddy. Ditto what Nighthawk said about "supposed to". Don't worry about wandering off track. We're here to listen and help if we can.

Senior Chief Moderator III
Posts: 373
(7/13/01 3:19:43 am)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10
Ditto to all the above!

Posts: 1150
(7/17/01 10:43:39 am)
| Del Re: A pucker factor of 10
With the rest of the Gang Mith...why some and not others that were killed or maimed physically and emotionally also. How can any settle that to a definitive reason.

Heavy thoughts from a light hearted account. Huh!

Have at it Mith! you have me seeing and hearing and smelling with you writings. Others here as well...not meaning to offend...I believe all posts are important and says alot about the character of the poster...some here have the ability to present it a notch better due to their skills is all.

Good stuff!

A quick Ps...from Cam Ranh to Vinh Long in the belly of a scared 19yr old FNG as I was strapped and heard comments like "hope the fat ole bird makes it"..." should of gave ya k-bars to get out" and stuff like that...the crew must have had a great laugh about it...a lot of huge eyes and sweaty arm pits. Hehe!

...and two hard boiled eggs.

481 Posts
Know that feeling....about shooting an approach from Angel's 3 into DaNang. First time in we called the tower, got the wind, runway (there was only one) altimeter setting, etc, and were told to find the beacon and turn inbound and not to get below 3000 feet until a certain point. We followed the instructions and after landing, asked the grunts in the follow me jeep what the hell was the reason for the high altitude aerobatic approach and landing. They laughed then said that Charlie was off the end of the duty and to lighten things up for them, they would take pot shots at any aircraft UNDER 3000 feet.

DaNang stunk! But the geedunk hut served cold beer!


7,486 Posts
It's great to see you posting Mith.

I love reading your accounts of happenings in-country. I can see, feel, and smell everything all over again.

Thank you for making it Home and sharing your experiences.
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