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good evening vietnam and welcome to lz
this is veterans live show i’m your host
ronnie embrace
i serve with b company first of the
502nd infantry
101st airborne division in vietnam from
december 1967 to december 1968.
love the veterans and everything we do
with them god bless them and keep them
in your prayers
tonight we have a very special guest
from springfield ohio
warrant officer phil marshall dust-off
he was here once before about a month
ago but he has so many wonderful
intriguing adventures he’s already
published two books
and i’ll bring them up later for you in
the meantime
we’ll uh be right back and bring phil in
in a moment but first we’re gonna go to
vietnam vet vietnam timeline
okay december 2nd 1963
the military junta which took control of
the south vietnamese government
following the november coup that
resulted in the death of
president president nueng dim
a temporary hall was put into place for
a strategic
hamlet program this program initiated in
march of 1962 by dm
to get the peasants residing in areas
threatened by guerrillas attack
into centralized locations would be
turned into defensive fortification
okay number one song in 1963 on december
was the singing nun by dominique
remember that one
all right december 2nd 1965
for you navy guys the uss enterprise cz
van 65 and the uss bainbridge
the lgn 2j became the first nuclear
task unit in combat operations which
airstrikes near benoit and the number
one song
december 2nd 1965 was turn turn
turn by the birds
okay next we’re going to roll into our
vietnam veterans photo club
photo segment
and don’t forget to send your photos
into the
vietnam veterans photo club on facebook
to the show which you could do at any
okay first show okay first photo
marie kennemer sent this in from
warren officer officer james dale kenmer
helicopter pilot 6971
he was highly decorated vietnam veteran
with bronze star air metals
with valor he was assigned in many units
including the honor first airborne
also the 92nd assault team and his last
station was with the 173rd
ahc his last station after his crash in
quang iii province
south vietnam then it was up by the dmz
thank god he was okay
next picture this is from rain
ray ringager rignaturn that’s a tough
1969 and down this was the result of the
monsoons absolutely right man and
monsoons are crazy
well don tam nice place okay
next photo mark crisp
there you go when you’re hot you’re hot
the steamy climate was one thing stand
next to the zippos
there and feel spontaneous combustion
coming on
zippos i remember that my goodness we
used to have zippo lighters
for our cigarettes and everybody had
some inscription on it somehow
okay next picture thank you mark
jack wells this was a company
1st battalion 7th marine regiment
marines that joined in the tinies
trying to spot nva patrols nice guys
look at these guys with their boonie
all right everybody’s smiling looking
got that rto2 2 on the left he had a
good job
okay next picture
jack wells again arvind skyraider
aircraft dropping
250 pound bombs in support of the 21st
arvind rangers
on operation taylor common december
that’s a big bomb 250 pounds next
okay that’s the end of the photo section
thank you very much we’re going to bring
guest phil into the bunker now hello
phil how you doing
good to see you again welcome aboard
thank you sir
and welcome home you as well yeah you as
so what do you got for us tonight oh
well hey i have to correct you ronnie
i have 15 books i’m just not finishing
up the 15th one oh
i only have two of them sorry yeah hey
i’ll pick you up it’s christmas you know
yeah yeah send you another one
yeah yeah not a problem not a problem no
i just
uh i i started uh documenting some of
the missions
in in my unit and uh gave copies of the
book to friends that enjoyed hearing the
stories and next thing i know
uh they’re they’re begging for more
stories more books and
that was uh eight years ago and uh so i
guess i’m pumping out uh one book every
six months
but uh guys not only how many thousands
of stories helicopter rescue stories did
we have in vietnam
i mean yeah around hundreds every day
hundreds every day
every hour that’s crazy yeah to think
about it
yeah they have that recorded somewhere
uh well the vietnam helicopter pilots
association we have a bi-monthly
and every month there’s a couple of
missions and that’s been a source for me
but uh
facebook uh whenever i see a vietnam
veteran on facebook i ask him do you
have a memorable
helicopter rescue mission that you’d
like to share with me and
that’s become a pretty good source a lot
of the aviation units have their own
websites and
a lot of guys post their war stories on
there so
yeah they’re just there’s thousands of
helicopter rescue missions out there
that’s the the good news the bad news is
that as we pass on a lot of those
stories are lost
yep yeah and uh plus there were so many
different types of
rescue missions and dust off oh yeah
yeah yeah i mean uh
the lerps the the saw guys uh you know
you step on a land line or something
where as dust off we’re there we’ve got
our onboard medic and
and of course we were unarmed uh first
cab which is one of the missions we’ll
talk about tonight
uh put m-60s
in the in their hueys uh but of course
geneva convention said that we couldn’t
carry offensive weapons
but uh most door gunners will tell you
it was there mostly to keep the enemy’s
head down they may or may not have a
target they’re just shooting to keep
their heads down but uh
first cav called their door guns
preventive medicine let me have one
question that
did but didn’t our medics in the field
carry up 45
uh ours did yeah yeah of course we yeah
of course we weren’t in the field we had
uh uh either
uh five shot smith and wesson uh 38s or
a few other guys had 45s but
mostly we just set up i shot smith and
wesson uh
yeah okay but the other weapons were
well no we we were allowed to have
weapons for patient protection
we just couldn’t we just couldn’t have
uh offensive weapons we couldn’t have
rockets and many guns and things like
okay okay i mean like our crew chief and
medic they they had them 79 grenade
launchers and uh
there’s another one i’m going to tell
you about here in a little bit uh the
guy was
was the medic was firing m79 rounds
like the crew chief couldn’t believe he
said i’ve never seen a guy fire so many
so quick out of an m79 yeah i used to
carry one of those i
hated it to tell you the truth yeah well
uh yeah it could be effective for sure
yeah for its own reason but you’re
getting a firefight close and you’re out
of luck man
yeah probably your 45 was working
that’s what the shotgun rounds are for
yeah you’re right yeah well we had
something like pokemon in there you know
into the bunker
oh yeah so it was well
let me i’ll just tell you about it now
while we’re on it
we just put out a new book it’s called
dances with bullets
and and the medic uh was delmar pickett
he went by dell
uh have you ever seen the morton dean uh
video american medevac no
he he actually went on a dust-off
and it just so happened that del pika
was the medic on that mission
and morton dean about 40 years later
went back and found the three wounded
that were picked up
and the crew and uh did an outstanding
uh video on it 50 minute tv special
but anyway uh dell if okay get
write this down now you might want to
use it later he had five no no i just
teased it i’m just seasoned
he had five purple hearts he had six but
he didn’t clean the first one
he had 45 air metals he had two
distinguished lying crosses
uh two vietnamese crosses of gallantry
uh and uh his he passed away here a
couple years ago
and uh through a friend of a friend uh
he uh they’ll ask his wife to have his
diary published after he passed why he
didn’t do it while he was still living i
don’t know
but three or four of us went together we
put the book out it
will just now be available in about a
week on amazon
again called dances with uh bullets
an incredible he was there for two years
he extended twice the six-month
extension twice
and he he tried to extend the third time
and they said no you’re going home
so that’s how dedicated this guy was
and that’s that’s the serious thing
about that you say
how many oak leaf clusters could you fit
on the metal
well you get the number yeah yeah
yeah well you see some of the pilots in
the crew they’ve got a number
on their air metal oh okay yeah but yeah
you’re uh if you’re a grunt for every 25
air combat missions you got one and so
you get a couple of leaks on it sure
and that was great you guys earned it
but uh for air crew
every 25 combat missions we’ve uh 25
hours of combat missions
was uh was an air medal uh and of course
uh well one of one of pickett’s metals
air metals was a with a v device for
but yeah 45 air medals and uh five
should have been six purple hearts the
guy just
just just loved what he was doing just
let me have a
little footnote on about combat assaults
i got a literally from 101 division air
they’re going to honor
all the guys in vietnam who
did combat assaults because we were
doing combat assaults
before there was air assault school yeah
yeah so they finally i don’t know who
got the idea but they finally came
that if you qualified and like you said
you had 25 you know
25 combat results or you came under fire
some we had the training or there’s all
these certain things
but that i think that’s quite a
honorable thing
that they did because like i say combat
assaults jumping out of
you he’s into elephant grass five eight
ten feet above the ground and
and well you wanted out of that puppy
you don’t want to stick around that
that’s a big target sitting there but
here we are 50 years later getting an
like into to where they are small badge
that’s pretty
pretty decent so yeah thank you for
example on division
okay look at that next let’s start
let’s start a story all right all right
uh out of my first book
uh dmz dustoff vietnam which was the
237th medical detachment we were the
northernmost uh dustoff unit in vietnam
and uh
which put us uh not that far from the
border with laos
uh our guys get a call to pick up two
air force uh a4 pilots that had to punch
over laos and uh bad weather
low low cloud layer and everything so
they head out to laos
and uh they’re hovering around looking
for these two air force guys they know
about where they’re at and uh the air
force uh helicopters and fast movers
they’re above the cloud layer they’re
they’re not going down underneath
and looking and uh our guys couldn’t
find them couldn’t find them they had to
go back and refuel they go back out
and they find them they picked them up
and uh
took them back to base and boy they were
just so thankful for these army guys and
and this dust off you ain’t right yeah
our guys were doing 120 knots which is
135 miles an hour you know 50 feet above
the ground to get out of there
and uh the air force guys apparently
were more scared of that than they were
or anything else
yeah and you know can’t this thing go
any faster
well here’s one yeah here’s the long and
short of it uh
the guys are rescued they’re fine they
get them back to the air force
and the air force is going to throw the
dust off through a party
down at da nang for rescuing their their
guys and the army says oh no
we’re going to give you an article 15
for going into laos
yeah yeah so so uh cooler has prevailed
and they didn’t get their article 15
but like the like than that he told him
he says hey he said there was no
billboard that said welcome to laos we
just went where our guys were down
and and yeah so uh yeah so the air force
threw him this is a big party
just before the crew of four went down
to danang uh
the uh the pilot was telling me that uh
this air force nurse comes out in a
with these big brass uh colored uh
christmas ornaments and hangs them on
their zippers because the guys the army
guys had
brass christmas movements shall we say
and uh there was adult beverages and
i guess our guys had to go back that
night so with a couple of adult
beverages in them they made it back to
but instead of kind of a hard landing
but uh
you know but that was but that was a
you know a genuine rescue but the air
force throws them a party and the army
wants to court martial
how crazy is that i got one
comment to make on that one about 150
135 knots or whatever
uh i remember hearing being in the
village around the ground or in
in the in the bush you hear the you is
three times about three top level and
you hear me am and all of a sudden
they’re gone they like
they don’t give out speeding tickets for
you guys nope
nope no we found out how fast they could
excuse me but see well what you’re
telling me just uh
it something you guys probably didn’t
i didn’t understand it for a while but a
especially huey with those two big rotor
blades puts out what we call a cone of
and so the higher up you are the bigger
that base of the cone is
so the lower to the ground that’s a real
small cone so if i’m doing 135 miles an
hour tree top level
you don’t hear me come until i’m right
on top of you right so
but if i if i do that at say a couple
thousand feet well you’re gonna hear me
miles away
right so that was how we were able to
sneak in sneak out
so to speak into the lz’s we come in hot
and low and fast and
and uh drop in get our guys and and get
and uh the the enemy hopefully didn’t
have a whole lot of time to uh
to uh to know we were there that’s right
that’s why you don’t get the woo woo
from down low
yeah you get it but you just get it for
a couple seconds if you did yeah you
yeah you hear more mechanical parts i
thought in a way
yeah even if we flew right over the
enemy unless they got the weapon in
their hand pointing up in the sky
they’re not gonna have a shot at us
right good but you’re still you’re still
taking a risk because you’ve got open
area that you’ve got to fly over to
they can see you coming even if they can
hear you oh yeah okay yeah
but then that leads me to the next story
i was going to go over with you
is a hoist mission uh that was
the the most dangerous the the highest
pucker factor thing that we did
uh do i need to explain to your audience
what audience what a high factor
well i think they know what puckers mean
with pucker okay all right
all right well we’ll just leave it at
that yeah
yeah but um uh the uh
the noise that we made uh just sitting
there in the treetops hauling our
wounded up
the enemy would just shoot at the noise
even they couldn’t see us they just
shoot at the noise
and sometimes they get lucky and and we
had an awful lot of losses
uh on those hoist missions lots of uh
air crew
helicopters the guys were hoisting up
and so on
but um a good friend of mine who
is the current president of the vietnam
helicopter pilots association guy by the
name of art jacobs
uh was a war officer in his first tour
and he was a gun
cobra pilot in his second tour uh he
he flew dust off during tet and he flew
cobras during lambs on 719. what kind of
luck is that
but he was on a hoist mission on what we
call a hot hoist it was an insecure
area that we had seriously he had
seriously wounded
people they started taking fire and
their door gunner takes around in the
and the aircraft loses hydraulics so
they have to abort the mission
they go back to base they’re able to let
back to base he gets another helicopter
gets another door gunner
and he goes back out they start taking
fire again they’re dropping the hoist
start taking fire again
this time the co-pilot is hit and again
they lose hydraulics
and they have to abort the mission again
so he goes back
get the land say yeah it makes an
emergency landing again
uh looking for another helicopter and
the commanding officer said no you’re
not going out we already lost two
aircraft we’ve got two wounded ones
you’re not going back out and art says
about that time the company commander of
the unit on the ground
uh comes up and he says guys you gotta
go you gotta get my men they’re dying
out there you gotta go get em
so art looks at the company commander he
says sir he says let me
get a volunteer crew and get back out
and try it again so
he let him do it so this time art goes
out the third time
knows where the lz is they drop the
hoist they start taking fire again this
time art
is wounded so three aircraft
uh they crashed that time they and so
three aircraft three wounded guys one
uh but that was what we did to try to
get our wounded out that was our job
i carry on hoisted on we had a friendly
incident with our company and uh in
triple canopy
yeah the guys were trying to they were
felling trees with their own body weight
they’d get up on top of
trees maybe that fat around trying to
just been trying to break them off
yeah and then and then they drop
something in
and uh very dangerous
yeah i got one i gotta waste that at one
time with that oh all right well then
you yeah you had the you had the 50 cent
yeah the other one was in a rice paddy
that was easy the second one
yeah you probably didn’t know you
probably didn’t know but on our cyclic
stick we had a red button
that if we push it it would cut the
hoist cable if we had to
really yeah but that was the last resort
that was all
absolutely was halfway up it was like
three quarters of the way up three
quarters of the way up
if you got hung up in the trees it was
you either you and the helicopter with
four people or more
on it right i got you but i never had to
use it
here yeah here’s the funny thing about
voice missions
uh our uh unit instructor pilot
spent 12 months there and never once
pulled a hot hoist mission never once in
12 months
the first day that i flew as an aircraft
commander i had a hot hoist mission
you just never knew you just but well
i’ll tell you what that is the scariest
time you’re not scared when you’re doing
it you’re doing your job
you’re doing what you were trained to do
but on the way out of there you’re
thinking you know it’s one of those
moments you know we got away with it
again then you got to go dry your pants
yeah yeah change your underwear
yeah yeah okay next
okay all right next one uh this one
uh uh this is uh by the way these uh the
the name of the books are helicopter
rescues vietnam
yeah is there one i got here oh yeah
there’s one you got okay now that one is
that’s the second book that i did and
that’s all medevac and dust off missions
yeah medevac was the first cav the other
one he said he’s in my office
yeah and uh that one is
uh dmz dust off vietnam which was my
there you go but uh but if anybody’s
uh if you just go to uh amazon and type
in phil marshall
vietnam all the books will come up great
okay but this one we’ve been trying to
get the combat medics badge for
our uh air medics you guys are on the
ground absolutely you deserved it
but our guys were were we we didn’t have
any laws we could hide behind you know
things like that
yeah and our our air medics were just as
vulnerable as anybody else perhaps more
absolutely the army is now giving
the combat medics badge to airmedics but
it was only retroactive back to 2001.
so our guys are the ones that that
the concept right they won’t get
somebody somebody in the pentagon has
got the ass for vietnam veterans
and every vietnam air medic except
i mean yeah every other medic except for
vietnam airmedics gets a combat medics
badge but our guys don’t
so we’ve been trying phil right now
we’re gonna
right now we’re gonna go i’m gonna go on
all the pages we have all the websites
we have
and we’re gonna have everybody get in
touch with that congressman find out
you find out if you don’t know now file
who’s behind it whatever it is and we’re
going to pound them
and pound them i’ll let you know we
we’ve been working on
everything yeah all right yeah we’ve
been working on it right here
you’re absolutely right our medics had
they had a weapon in their hand
they had a helmet on their head they had
flak jackets maybe
maybe i don’t know if you wore them but
the fact is you know
you’re right vulnerability the guy was
just out there doing nothing
and then a lot of times they had to drop
medics down too
yeah yeah well i’m gonna read this this
was a statement before
congress by a wounded uh soldier
and forgive me for reading it but and i
have a little bit of trouble reading it
not because i can’t see
just because of what it is but this uh
was a
soldier that was wounded uh and was
uh saved by a medevac helicopter by a
so so give me bear with me here while i
read it to you
this is the grunt talking he says for
the rest of my life i will never forget
the whopping sound of the huey’s blades
and the sight of that spotlight clearing
the tree line obviously it was at night
as the helicopter got closer i could see
sparks flying everywhere as countless
small arms rounds hit the helicopter
i remember thinking there is no way any
of those guys will make it
i honestly thought the helicopter would
be shot down and when we would all die
but somehow through all the gunfire they
got in
i remember seeing those beautiful angels
pick me up and take me aboard
i remember the pinging of bullets
ripping through the skin of the huey and
hearing the crew
excitedly yet calmly talking to one
and i saw this face above me the face
had blood all over it and it was saying
to me
buddy stay with me hey buddy you’re
going to be all right
over and over again i would drift in and
out of consciousness
and all i can recall is this bloody face
telling me i was going to make it
when i came to a nurse asked me if i
felt like company
something happened that will live with
me for the rest of my life the dustoff
crew was in the hospital with me
the guys that saved my life the young
boys that rescued me
themselves had been wounded the blood on
the air medic’s face was not
mine it was his a bullet had gone
through his cheek
but rather than attend to his own wounds
he kept me alive
yeah so that was uh yeah just just yeah
incredible you were talking about um the
uh the medics
having weapons which of course ours did
too we all had our uh
personal weapons and we had m16s or the
m79s whatever one
one of our guys had a thompson machine
gun but uh
april fool’s day of 1970 one of my best
friends in vietnam i was already home by
that time
uh they picked up some lerps in the dmz
and was one of those missions where
they’re whispering in the in the radio
and then they’re on the run and then
they’re whispering again
they landed and got uh got the lerps
on one of them was wounded got the lerps
on board uh
unfortunately one of the guys took a
bullet uh in the head from behind as he
was getting on the helicopter
but the enemy was so close that the
medic had his weapon drawn
and with one hand he’s helping guys on
the aircraft the other hand he’s
shooting at the enemy to try to keep
their heads down
the aircraft they took off under fire
everything they lost everything
hydraulics they lost engine oil pressure
transmission was running hot
uh they the co-pilot told me he counted
over 100 bullet holes
uh my buddy said that seems kind of high
but he guaranteed that it was high
double digits
uh on the on the way back to quang tree
uh the only radio that was working was
the emergency radio that the co-pilot
and uh the handheld emergency uh locator
so he calls quang tree tower and says
i’ve got wounded
i you know i’m in big trouble i have
hydraulics have the crash truck standing
by get the ambulance out to the runway
we’ve got to make a running landing
and of course he’s making this call on
guard on the guard frequency
and that means any aircraft in the area
can hear this
right and uh so my buddy says next thing
i know he says uh
we got a ch-53 air force helicopter uh
on our wing and dust off we got you
covered you know we’re right with him he
said next thing i know he said i got
cobras on the other side of me
and he said he said it looked like a
flying circus he
said we had so many aircraft following
us in but he said they were limping
uh all the instruments were out and many
of the instruments were out the warning
lights uh were going
off they made a touchdown they made a
landing oh before they
they get on short final some uh fullberg
colonel or general comes out boy now
just remember you’re training in
in flight school just remember your
training you know and the co-pilot said
shut up
he’s saying it to himself not on the
radio and he said
let us land the damn thing
so they get on the ground they slide in
on down the runway and get the wounded
in the
in the ambulance and and the aircraft
never flew again
but uh again like i say by by them
transmitting on guard
uh they a everybody everybody in the
heard them and as soon as they see this
gaggle and their aircraft
had it quantrie they all joined in so
yeah we looked out for each other but
here’s a really neat thing about it um
this uh this was in 2012 when that first
book was published
one of our crew chiefs has a jacket that
says 237
dust off dmz dust off on the back it’s
and he was at a parade in royal oak
memorial day july 4th whatever and this
guy comes up to him
and he says you fly with the 237th dmv
dmz desktop says yeah he said i was a
crew chief oh you guys used to pick us
up all the time da da da da da
and the crew chief says well we’ve got a
book out now our missions you ought to
pick one up and
and you know see if there’s anything you
recognize well as it turns out
he was one of those guys one of those
slurps that was picked up
on that aircraft really and not only
could now we identify him but he also
gave us the name of the guy that was
getting on the aircraft so so i added
another four pages to that story to to
uh the guy that was kia but also you
know how cool is that
that uh you know in the middle of royal
oak michigan at a parade they just
happened to meet
and uh and and now now we’ve got more of
the story
that’s pretty cool yeah yeah and there
have been so many uh
so many uh coincidences like that one of
the uh
unintended consequences so to speak um
one more of those unintended
consequences uh i was just finishing up
a book one day
and there was a story in there uh that a
was a dust-off pilot and they had to go
into a landing zone to pick up their
commanding officer
who had been wounded again in the head
and the
landing zone was under fire and they
couldn’t land close enough to the
wounded commanding officer so they had
to sit there for
a short time until they could get the
over to him and again uh bullets flying
and he just happened to read uh years
later in a reader’s digest article
about a guy by the name of sam bird
uh who was a very uh well-respected
commanding officer of this ground troop
and they’re talking about the day
sam bird was wounded in the head and
picked up by a desktop helicopter
well the pilot like i say years later
reads a story looks at the dates and by
golly that was
that was his mission so i put that
mission in the book and was just getting
ready to go to press with it
and it was a saturday morning and my
wife’s doing house cleaning and she
hands me these two typewritten pages and
she said here do you need this
and i looked at it and the title was the
bravest thing i’ve ever seen
and it was a story that a guy had given
me when we were at
an american huey 369 event in michigan
and i had forgotten all about it i laid
it down and forgot about it so i started
reading it
and i’ll be a son of a gun he was the
artillery advisor on that mission
that sam bird was rescued and the
bravest thing you ever saw was that
pilot sitting there
waiting to get the wounded on board
while bullets were flying all over the
and so yeah they didn’t know each other
and so i called the pilot and i said hey
i said there’s a guy you might want to
and uh i read him reading the story
oh yeah he said yeah he said i’d like to
meet him so
that was just another thing just yeah
just unbelievable
uh and unintended consequence yeah the
different circumstances are right like
like crazy
in fact for a short one for me on my way
back from uh
i believe it was uh the second time
out of the 85th or back i believe it was
in the quinyan
and i got to secure this route back to
the crank tree
and uh i stopped at phuket excuse me
no problem i stopped at phuket air base
i heard that one of my buddies that i
same day i joined the army
him and another friend of ours from high
school we grew up from the third grade
they both joined the air force i joined
the army the same day
and he said he was at phuket i actually
tracked them down
somehow when they’re in the met ball at
37th fighter squadron or whatever with
this place i
i don’t know if that’s the right number
and i found this guy that we
george gibson his name was the caller we
used to call him hoot and uh
yeah amazing uh things happened in the
middle of nowhere
you know i’m in a coming out of a
massage parlor in uh
her beauty is from high school he goes
are you running here ever say oh yeah he
it was like another witty how do you do
this meet people from high school
in the country of vietnam whereas two
million or five five hundred thousand
troops and airmen and marines and
everything it was amazing
oh yeah yeah circumstances that arrive
so other than that
you uh you you have some way
to tell your stuff phil you’re amazing
are you ready for another one yep all
right don’t
tell me when i’m going too long here
all right this is the ghost riders um
that was the uh the aviation company and
they’re in the ashaw valley
and uh i’m trying to get the uh
the unit number uh 158
wow can’t even tell 158 aviation company
uh they were stationed the same place i
was but they’re uh
they’re the southern tip of the ashhaw
valley they’re trying uh to insert
troops into a single shipbuild
lz and uh before long three
aircraft three hueys get shot down in
the lz but they had enough
to crash off to the side so that
so they didn’t block the lz right so
here here comes another
here comes another huey end they get
shot up lose to hydraulics and that’s
all they can do to get to the edge of
the landing zone which is on the side of
a mountain
well the back of the aircraft is hanging
over the side of the mountain
they have no hydraulics it’s like
driving your car with no power steering
no power brakes
and they can’t shut the aircraft down
because if they do it’s going to fall
off the side of the mountain
right so the guys from the other
aircraft that were crashed
get on the skids on the front skids of
the helicopter and i’ve got a picture in
the book
of six guys on the skids of the front of
the helicopter
so they can shut the aircraft down and
prop up the tail boom so the
aircraft doesn’t fall off the side of
the mountain
so so so here’s here’s here’s the good
the crew chief right away does some
checking and he finds the reason why
they lost the hydraulics because they
a round in the hydraulic reservoir and
all the hydraulic fluid leaked out
so he goes to one of the wreck hueys
takes the
hydraulic reservoir out of one of those
replaces it which is not
difficult there’s only a few bolts to
hold it on replaces the reservoir
adds more hydraulic fluid because these
guys always carry hydraulic fluid with
them or crew chiefs
and the aircraft is now pliable so they
put one of the wounded pilots in one
any of the other wounded crew members in
the back and they’re ready to come out
so they call the cnc ship that’s
orbiting overhead
and they go hey this is you know uh you
know whatever
the ghostwriter 67 uh
we got we got the aircraft fixed we
replaced the uh
the hydraulic reservoir we’re coming out
and the
colonel major whatever in cnc says well
wait you can’t
you can’t fly that yet it hasn’t been ti
mean technical inspected said you can’t
fly that you you haven’t been ti yet
yeah and so the pilot
not his first mission you’re breaking up
we’re coming out
oh yeah but but absolute true story they
were getting shot down
left and right but they kept the lz open
and uh yeah
absolute true story absolutely
you got some backdrop up there behind
you with the helicopter
oh yeah you see it yeah but that’s uh
the blackhawk the fan oh oh yeah yeah
yeah i’m going to put a tail router on
one of these days yeah
all right we’re gonna have a few
questions i guess from the audience phil
oh that’s great yeah
okay let’s see what pops up here
there you go we’re all dust-off yui’s
hoist capable
yes and no uh we only had two hoists and
every day the first up ship now this is
just our unit but every day the first up
ship had the hoist in there and then we
had a backup
uh for uh we had a three-day standby at
quang tree
we were at camp evans for a while um
first cab medevac had the hoist and we
had the hoist but we were so far
up the the supply chain i had to get my
uniforms my nomex
on the black market i couldn’t get them
through regular supply
but yeah to answer your question uh all
the desktop ues were hoist capable but
every day the first up aircraft uh
installed the hoist and then
our standby ship at quantrie had one
okay thank you next
uh you know the vietnam war veterans
just thank you
so much for reminding me yeah yeah it
it’s been my honor and privilege uh to
recognize these guys in these stories
um again it was our job uh that was that
what we were trained to do and yeah we
loved the flying
and uh we learned what that huey could
do i guarantee it
uh yeah we learned to work the controls
in in vietnam we learned to fly the
that’s why they call it the helicopter
war yeah absolutely but
uh we we got to be very very highly
skilled with those things
uh and i talked about in one of the
books that
uh it got to the point where yeah i had
my hands and my feet on the controls but
i just thought i want to go over there
this is where i want to land and that’s
what the helicopter did
yeah i mean yeah i was in control but it
just you were one with the aircraft
and uh it it just you felt that
comfortable with it
and that only comes with time and
experience i mean
some days we might fly eight or nine
hours the next day we might only fly an
as dust off we
would do a lot of takeoffs and landings
and that’s where you get the skill as
as the pilot uh yeah to uh
to answer your question there uh thank
you you’re very very welcome
uh yeah it’s been my honor and privilege
to document these stories
uh it’s uh you just
you just gotta you gotta read them and
shake your head and disbelief sometimes
the stuff that we got away with and
unfortunately some of the times we
didn’t get away with it
um there’s one mission i’ve been able to
document that’s uh
i don’t want to say it’s very famous but
a lot of helicopter vietnam guys know
about it
uh a slick was assigned to out and pick
up some lurps that were
that were under under serious fire they
were being chased
and uh the slick was real hesitant to go
down you know the bad guys are all
around you know
and and the guys on the ground said uh
you don’t have any i think i told you
this one before you don’t have any manly
body parts if you don’t come down and
and they did they went down and got them
picked them up
and as they’re uh leaving the lz they
took a rocket
and the aircraft blew up in there in
midair and there was nothing left
so yeah like i say sometimes the stories
aren’t good but at least
i can recognize those guys by name
and uh honor them and like i say it’s
been my honor to put these things
all right this is one guy just land tom
just said you have a way of
telling the stories and keeping
everybody focused and engaged
i teach all three children about the
vietnam war
and our vietnam veterans they will pass
it down to their children and hopefully
the generations after
your sacrifice will never be forgotten
thank you lisa appreciate that
thank you very much yeah i understand
that libraries are taking books about
vietnam off the shelves
uh history books our kids history books
uh might give vietnam war a couple of
uh so i kind of my
my alternate um
issue is generations uh not learning
about what we did
we were there for a noble cause we were
there to help south vietnam remain a
democratic republic like we are
uh we weren’t there because we loved war
we were there to help them become
or maintain their democracy and and uh
unfortunately uh you know we we won the
battles but we
and we didn’t lose the war we were just
we were just told to get home
but thank you very much lisa okay kilo
19 it says it seems asinine that you
weren’t giving combat badges from the
yeah we we just wanted them we want them
for the medics we’re not asking for them
for ourselves we’re not asking
anything for ourselves uh yeah i agree
uh our medics
it’s just amazing another story
i can pass on to you our crew was
on all of our radio calls they knew what
was going on
and uh so uh this is a dust off crew
they’re going in to pick up a wia
and the guy on the ground the radio
operator on the ground says
they’re on the aircraft is on short
final they’re about ready to land
and the rto on the ground says hey dust
go around uh our wia is a kia
well like i say the medic is listening
to this and the medic tells the pilot
get me in there sir
so they did and uh to get the kia on
board and the medic’s able to bring him
so uh our guys just uh yeah it was just
amazing what what they were doing uh
from alan pope in 1969 he ran into two
guys just a couple of days apart
that i went to high school with and
played baseball from little league
we were all at eagle beach for different
reasons all combat vets with the 101st
there you go there you go what a
coincidence right
that’s terrific yeah actually we met a
in saigon who worked in yonkers where
i grew up and he was in the supply
supply business of uh
like you know sanitary supplies uh
cleaning supplies stuff like that i went
in the cleaning business in 73
i met him six years after because i went
to his office and stepped or
wherever he was he was a salesman for
the army into the for the army
you know to sell them their cleaning
goods vietnam and i met him
six years later back home that’s crazy
yeah yeah yeah how many how many times
did ships cross in the night
and you and you didn’t know amen yeah
for one more oh okay wait a minute okay
what’s the hoist okay
uh same guy um the hoist uh
was 250 feet of braided cable that we
could run down
uh with an electric winch and
at the bottom was what we called a
jungle penetrator usually it was a
jungle penetrator because you’re picking
up guys
in the jungle and when the
penetrator would would touch the ground
uh that would release the
static electricity that built up you
didn’t want to touch it until it hit the
but then there would be three leafs or
pedals that would fold out you could
haul up to three people but we’d only do
one or two usually
and uh the problem with the hoist what
makes it so dangerous is that that
cable doesn’t run very fast um and again
it goes up to 250 feet so you’re just
sitting there in the treetops
literally sitting in a tree holding that
aircraft steady
while that hoist while the medic and the
crew chief are running that hoist up and
uh one two three four five times however
many times it takes
you can be sitting in the treetops for
20 30 minutes easy
with that loud helicopter you know how
do these guys get wounded well
there’s bad guys in the area so uh
again you’re just the proverbial sitting
duck sitting there
uh while you’re hoisting uh running the
wounded up and down the cable
so it was uh it attached us very much it
was one of the most uh
uh things it was one of the things that
required the most skill of us
i guess uh was with that hoist mission
but uh it was it was very dangerous for
us okay one more more
this will be the last one dave thank you
so much for remember remembering that
remembering us
i made it home so thankful didn’t get a
welcome home but i am happy
still going someone was looking out for
me they still are
love my freedom and he knows what
freedom costs us absolutely
absolutely we can agree with you more
david yeah i want to thank you so much
for coming on tonight
and here’s one of phil’s books remember
go to amazon
and search out phil marshall vietnam
yep and he could pick up one of his 375
000 books
15 books 15 ronnie good for you
16 plus dances with bullets great great
to see you again brother
thank you so much for being here thank
you very much sir you got it
all right and thank you out there in the
vietnam veterans world yeah what a time
feels so good
and boy he probably brings a lot of
memories back for a lot of people
most people are in the field especially
who are uh
involved with that yui helicopter so we
want to thank you again
for watching remember to you can sign up
to be on the show if you want
just go to vietnam veterans photo club
on facebook
you can send your pictures in to us the
same way and you can just have the host
any questions for the host or the uh the
uh the night that the show is on so see
you next time
god bless you all and welcome home