Stories Page 7

Yes Son Those Rotor Blades Are Sharp When They Are Turning!!

Story By : Cleve Stanley

Did you ever have the feeling that when you exited the ship with the engines running that you were going to get your head cut off by the rotor blades even though on a hook you had plenty of room? One day we were sent to haul a bunch of ARVN's ( south vietnams troops ) from a firebase to the field. We landed and since the landing pad was lower then the firebase we had to shut down the engines so the ARVN's could climb down the steps to the pad as the front rotor blades where about 4 to 5 feet over the ground and you couldn't get down the steps if the rotors blades were turning. We loaded up all the ARVN's and their chickens, pigs and such and just after the blades started to get some good rpm's I heard one of the pilots say where is that dumb ass think he is going. Just as I looked out the front of the ship an ARVN came running towards the steps and right smack into the rotor blades! He had on his steel helmet, but as you know a steel helmet is no match for turning rotor blades! The blades caught him just about chin level and took off his head which went flying to unknown parts. The blood covered the winshield and one pilot got sick all over the front of his seat. One of the ARVN's onboard had saw it happened and the next thing I knew we had 25 to 30 screaming ARVN's on the ship. We shut back down and they all exited the ship. We went out to check to see what damaged had been done to the rotors and if the ship would still be flyable and damn if the only damage was a slight dent in one blade. We washed down the front of the ship and then went to the task of making sure the pilot that had gotten sick was still flyable. When we tried to get the ARVN's back onboard they wouldn't come near the ship as they said it was more or less a evil devil...Oh Well


Story By : Jim Brady

Hello Cleve! thought of another story. It involves a great guy named Johnny Sheffield and a rat......

The hootches the enlisted men in C Company lived in were home to us for our entire tour, so it is natural that the guys "personalized" them. There were black-light posters, some antique refrigerators, many tape-to-tape stereo units and lots of ingenious ways to elevate our bunks to keep the rats off while we slept. I had a very old fan (without blade guards) mounted on the wall at the foot of my bunk that shook like crazy, but kept the mosquitos off. A lot of guys decorated their ceilings with parachutes from aerial flares.

A very good friend of mine, Sp4 Johnny Sheffield, also in 2nd Flight Platoon, shared a hootch room next to mine. You have to have a mental picture of Johnny. He stood over 6 feet tall and had an NFL defensive lineman's build. I never knew anyone else in the Army who was harassed by the NCO's for not shaving because of the bushy chest hair that pushed up to his neck. He was a big man. He had a disposition like Hoss Cartwright of Bonanza.

Late one night, as I was just dropping off into a deep sleep, I heard a bloodcurdling scream and a loud "thump" against my wall. It scared the crap out of me! I jumped out of my bunk and rushed next door. Johnny was white as a sheet! I asked him what the hell had happened, and here's his story:

He was sound asleep, when a rat (that had been running around on the parachute that he had nailed to his ceiling) fell thru a hole and landed squarely on Johnny's bare chest, and ended up looking nose-to-nose at Johnny. This of course scared the shit out of Johnny, who grabbed the rat at threw it against the wall.

We had a good laugh at Johnny. We told him to imagine how scared the poor rat was, falling from the ceiling and ending up right in Johnny's face!

Perimeter Guard

Story By : Cleve Stanley

Perimeter guard had it's good points and bad points. The good points... no night flights and you would be home from flying before time for guard duty. Also the next day off (most times) For non-veterans perimeter gruard is when you and three others go out to a bunker around the camp to pull guard all night with two men sleping while two men keep watch. The bunkers are about 25 yards apart. Why I don't know, but I always ended up on the same bunker which was about 50 yards in front of the ammo dump! What idiot put an ammo dump that close to the perimeter was what I always thought while on the bunker. Any half assed VC with a RPG could have put a round into the dump from outside the wire! Guard duty started about an hour before dark so as to give you time to check the wire and claymores and also to be pestered by the young teenagers from the village in front of our bunker line. They would try to sell you anything they thought you might buy... drugs, pepsi and even a woman to keep you company during the night !  I even had one boy about 12 try to sell me his CHERRY mother (cherry mother?) LOL When the darknest came they all went back to the village for the night. One night we did take a few AK47 rounds from the village that hit the front of the bunker. We got on the field phone and called the CP to ask for permission to return fire, but was told no...just stay in the bunker and keep our heads down as the village was friendly. The firing stopped after a minute or so, but a couple hours later a few more rounds hit the bunker and we were starting to get really mad so we called for permission to put up a flare and was told to put up one flare just to scare them off. Later that night the rounds hit the bunker again and this time we were told put up a couple flares and scare them back into the village. After 3 times we were ready for them and put up 4 flares right over the village, but for some strange reason the parachutes on the flares didn't open and started some fires in the village. When daylight came a bunch of big brass came out to find out why the parachutes on the flares didn't open. They had us fire off the rest of the flares we had and all the parachutes opened with no problem. They drilled the four of us on that bunker for over an hour, but got no place. Nor did they dig under the sandbags that covered four nice white parachutes lol The army rebuit the village, but in all my nights of bunker guard we never received another round from the village lol

Guard #2

Story By : Cleve Stanley

One night while we were on bunker guard a big thunderstorm was slowly passing by. This was a land  of OZ type thunderstorm with LOT'S of lighting hitting all over the place and heavy rain. The four of us where sitting under the front of the bunker talking about flying, home and things when all of a sudden BOOM and the sky lit up like you had fired a million flash bulb at one time! The rain had almost stopped and the night just seem to all of a sudden get very quiet. We coninued to stay in the front of the bunker and watch the wire, but after a few minutes we knew something was up because our eyes where watering bad and we started choking...GAS!!! Since our gas mask's were all inside the bunker and closest way to get inside the bunker was through the gun port hole in the front of the bunker we all jumped into the whole at the same time. If you have ever saw the Keystone Cops I bet that is what the four of us looked like trying to all four get through that hole at the same time lol As we put on our mask you could hear people yelling GAS!! all along the bunker line. It seems that the army had these rocket pods in front of the bunkers that held around 20 rockets full of CS riot gas and the lighting had hit the one in front of our bunker setting off the rockets and their gas, but at the same time it had knocked over the pod so the rockets just went a couple feet then the gas went off.  After that night I always made sure my mask was close by when on bunker guard.

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