This is part two of a real time machine for me www.abovetopsecret.com...
there will be one or two other parts if and when
I get around to typing the rest of the story if there is interest.
Many units in Vietnam lost more aircraft and crew to dumb mistakes made by their own pilots than to some hostile actions by the enemy. Sky's unit had
lost two aircraft and crew in accidents since his arrival in country. These accidents were not caused by the lack of a safety officer's input. Both
were caused by a little to much ego and a severe lack of piloting skills.
Everyone in Sky's unit knew the second accident was going to happen except the New Major (company commander) and his brown nose Lieutenant who had
arrived with the Major.
Sky could remember Turtle's red face as he complained about this new Major wanting to fly as Yellow One (left seat lead pilot) instead of Yellow One
mike (right seat lead who works the radios and controls the mission). The Major had come from the states with his Brown Nose Lieutenant and was
determined to show how a 2500 hour fixed wing Aviator with 25 hours in a quick course helicopter transition could run and lead Charley Company 227 a
combat assault helicopter company..
Turtle’s call sign was the result of being in Song Bay during a mortar attack and taking several hits and scrapes from mortar fragments, gravel, and
sliding into a ditch. A few stitches later and some Army antibiotic lotion he was good to go.
Turtle was saying he did not care if they pulled his A.C. Chain (reduced him to a right seater) or whatever; he was not going to sign off and let the
new Major and his lieutenant fly together and lead a flight.... After a lot of hand waving and hotly spoken words it was decided to let the Major and
Lt. Fly some simple resupply missions into some fairly secure areas. Let them get some helicopter flight time doing a$$ and trash missions over the
next month or two and just see how it goes. There was a little more discussion about which Crew Chief and Door gunner would be assigned to their
It was pointed out one of the 227th Crew Chiefs was not doing his job up to standards (slacker and complainer) and he actually wore a bead necklace
under his Nomex flight suit. This Chief and a particular Door gunner who also wore beads and drank to much at night liked to fly and complain
This crew arrangement sounded great to all so the very next day the Major and crew were given several resupply missions. None of the missions were
extra hard or even slightly above average dangerous. They were just resupply missions any decent FNG could handle by himself.
The witness on the ground said the aircraft was hovering down to land in their LZ and started to spin very slowly to the right. During the rotation of
the spin the tail boom/tail rotor struck a tree. The aircraft fell approximately seventy feet into a Bamboo thicket. The Major was impaled through the
leg and belly with bamboo stalks while the Lieutenant suffered a broken back. The Door gunner was killed and the Crew Chief was shipped back to the
states with severe internal organ rearrangement syndrome.
Charley Company would get a new Major/Company Commander and the world was once again set right in the RFO's (Real F-ing Officers ) opinions. The
Warrants were RFOs and the commissioned officers were RLOs or real live officers.
The other accident happened to a Warrant officer who for the entire year of his tour in Viet Nam never made aircraft commander. He extended his tour
with Charley Company for an extra 6 months with the stipulation he would be signed off as an aircraft commander. Even after 1200 hours in country as a
new guy he was a very marginal “Weak Dick” pilot. Sky remembered him from the one time they had flown together just before Sky himself became an
A. C. The Crew Chief and Door Gunner had asked Sky to please not let “Mr. Weak Dick” kill them. They wanted Sky to do whatever it took to save
them and they would back Sky up to the MAX even if he had to hurt this weak dick aircraft commander. This bothered Sky a great deal during the day and
even afterward. Aircraft Commanders were Gods where new guys were just FNGs. There really wasn't much Sky could do unless he wanted some serious
trouble from the other aircraft commanders and probably from the company. Luckily they all survived the day as weak Dick wasn't feeling well so Sky
did most of the flying. The Door Gunner and the Crew Chief became friends of Sky and were with him the day Shakey's Hill became a sh*t storm.
At a later date Mr. Weak Dick was coming out of an L.Z. And ran out of left pedal. The aircraft spun, fell, and crashed back into the landing zone,
rolled over, caught fire, and Mr. Weak Dick burned to death while conscience, which was noted by his screams. Sky had not been there that day but it
still bothered him to know all the pain and suffering Weak Dick went through for his afterlife reward of P**sy and beer. The rumor was that when a
Warrant Officer died and passed this veil of existence he would go to to the great helipad in the sky where the flying was good and there was p**sy
and beer to keep one busy for all eternity. Some of the RLOs went to a nice safe desk where the ink pens never went dry and they could push paper work
for all eternity.
It was a tradition to have a somber going away party in the bunker bar at Phuc Vhin anytime one of their fellow pilots or crew members were killed.
They would drink and toast their comrade in arms on to the next life and in their own individual way remember and morn for their fellow Aviator. They
were all kinda superstitious in small ways as they knew, but for luck, skill, and happenstance they could be the next to receive the farewell toast in
the bunker bar at Phuc Vhin.
“ May Chief Warrant Officer (name) fly the good missions and save some P**sy and beer for us all”. That is an actual toast that was used on
More to come later if there is an interest. Some of the mind set and language may seem rather hard to some who have never experience such as this
story depicts. If offended I am sorry as that is the way it was for us who were there in 1970.