Only the dead have seen the end of wars...Plato
Building this web site and talking to old friends sure bring back a lot of memories of our flying days. Below are just a few of the things I have thought about since coming home from my time with Playtex in Vietnam.
Memories of flying very low over the rice paddies while playing chicken with popa san standing on the paddy dike.
Memories of Sgt Phelps sending Paul Foster,,another guy and I to the river to wash his jeep and us getting attacted by the very large man eating snake lol and of us unloading three M16's into the snake killing it or at least cutting it into many smaller parts.
Memories of us getting very drunk while washing the jeep and of me getting running starts and trying to float the jeep across the small river only to have the jeep sink up to the top of the windshield when I tried floating it over a part of the river that was to deep for our drunken game and then bribing a non english speaking ARVN to tow the jeep out. Memeories of Sgt Phelps trying to figure out why his jeep never ran good after that day...sorry Sgt Phelps!
Memories of flying during the monsoon rains when it was so cold you could hardly stand the air blowing into the ship.
Memories of hauling supplies out to a firebase that was in bad need of ammo, food and water in clouds so low and rain so heavy that the crew chief and gunner had to stick their heads out the sides of the ship to help the pilots see while we moved forward ever so slowly to avoid hitting any mountains.
Memories of friends going home and missing their friendship after they are gone, but at the same time being happy for them going home to family and safety.
Memories of one crew member that no one wanted to fly with because he was deamed bad luck because the last three ships he flew on either took hits or went down.
Memories of the pilot no one wanted to fly with because he was so parinoid all the time.
Memories of the great pilots everyone wanted to fly with.
Memories of the pilot that always carried a WW2 grease gun that jambed everytime he tried to fire it out the side window of the ship, but he loved that gun.
Memories of the pilot from Maryland asking me for a cig then getting a big smile on his face when I gave him a pack of cigs with a Maryland tax stamp on it from a carton my parents had sent me.
Memories of two great FE's (Don Stamps and Eddie Stidham) who always made you feel you belonged on their ships and like you were part of the family and not just another gunner for the day.
Memories of hitching a ride on the mail run ship to DA Nang just to go to the big air conditioned PX that the marines had . Then not being able to hitch a ride back until the next day and getting in trouble.
Memories of Sgt Phelps telling us if we got drunk at night and missed the next days flight we would get an article 15...so we drank on the ships and then slept there so we couldn't miss the flight lol
Memories of the day you left for home and then the guilt of thinking you should have stayed and helped the friends you left behind.
Have a memory to add? EMail it to me and I will post it here.