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Old 26th Feb 2019, 13:33
  #53372 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Judging I sit here with a nice cup of Coffee and some Girl Scout Cookies looking at a gorgeous Morning outside my window facing the water.....being thankful for the opportunity to do that.....with those thoughts being prompted by the photo.

Four that stood out amongst some very good posts:

Wensleydale....."A little bit hot on that approach, Hoskins".

This one made me do some googling....

Penny Washer.... Close inspection ofEyjafjallajökull

reveals that it is surprisingly active again.

This one took me back a few years to 60's when some Hot Rods did have flames on the side of them....

Traffic Is Er Was..... Hoskins, when I said we should hot rod it with some flames down the sides, I meant we could PAINT them on.

But the Winner of the Contest this time around is this it got an early morning chuckle out of me before the Coffee had kicked in even. Over to you Shy!

Shy Torque...... The result of "arson" about in a Chinook.

The very short version of the story behind the photo:

I began my second combat tour in Vietnam on Fool's Day in 1970.....I should have known that was not a wise move...neither volunteering for a second tour and certainly not beginning such a serious endeavor as that on the First of April.

In May 1970, American and Vietnamese forces entered Cambodian Border Areas being used by the North Vietnamese as logistical and command/control bases at the southern terminus of the "Ho Chi Minh Trail".

Naturally Air Ops in support of that were very intense and we had reduced availability of aircraft due to maintenance falling behind due to the numbers of hours being flown and we could only put up four or five aircraft from our assigned sixteen.

Come mid-June I was tasked to fly an Artillery Battery move near the Katum Special Forces Camp....adjacent to the border....Monsoon weather had arrived and low cloud forced us to fly low with our underslung loads.

I managed to overfly an NVA unit and took hits from the nose clear back to the ramp....had an invigorating few minutes after that and part of the sling load (105MM Projectiles and Fuzes) exploding filling the cabin with smoke and a flash of flame.

We landed Carrier fashion on a single engine and dragged up a freshly built fence of Concertina Wire, Trip Flares and Claymore Mines....making ourselves most un-appreciated by the infantry that were stood there admiring their work.

We sorted things out with the aircraft....flew it back to our Home Base and swapped that aircraft for a replacement and were dispatched to Bu Dop Special Forces Camp to carry on with a re-supply of some units not far away.

After finishing that work.....a 1st AirCav supply guy, with tears in his eyes, begged me to move some of his loads to his guys at LZ David....who were in bad need of Ammo, Water, and Food.

His Cav aircraft had all gone home due to "bad" LZ David was on a very high mountain ridge (but had a GCA unit located there).

I inspected his loads...and as usual....knowing this was a grand way to both help some infantry troops and show up the Cav Chinook we went into the murk and rain.

Enroute in cloud with some small holes we could see down through, over mountainous terrain, with a sling load.....we encountered a .51 Machine Gun who had the luckiest gunner in the North Vietnamese Army who scored a single hit on us.

It entered the right rear most corner of my chin bubble....passed laterally and up going slightly forward and took off the brake pedal from under my left foot, severing some of the hydraulic lines for the brake system in the process.

As you might imagine....there was an almighty "Bang", the aircraft yawed, there was a bright flash, and my left foot and leg found itself back under my seat....luckily still attached and at that instant un-hurt.

I calmly asked .... "What might all this be about!" or words to that effect.

Then the fire started.....and being fanned by the slip stream coming from the shattered chin got rather interesting for a while.

The fire finally died down as the contents of the Utility Hydraulic system emptied (in my mind about 2,000 gallons of hydraulic fluid).

Time drags when you are sat in the middle of a hot fire playing the Weenie Roast scene as the Weenie.

We jettisoned the sling load, tried to find a place to carry out a forced landing but could not...and elected to climb back up and do a GCA back to Bu Dop our departure point.

The aircraft was slung out by a C-Model Chinook for return to Stateside for Re-build.

I was medevac'd out and sent to Camp Zama Army Hospital's Burn Ward for some minor re-building.

Each Year I celebrate "Glad To Be Alive Day" with a strong Libation and a few minutes of quiet meditation.

Last edited by SASless; 26th Feb 2019 at 15:09.
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