My Time in Vietnam 1967
While I am learning about putting video on this blog I am going to put a little of my life in 1967, Vietnam.
This video was given to me by one of my best friends in dtroop 3/5 cav. 9th Inf. Div. Lt. Robert E. Lee, the great, great, great grandnephew of Gen. Robert E. Lee of Civil War Fame.
Bob had a film camera and made some movies of his time there. I have reduced it to a lenth that I can put on this log. Most of it was not all that good. I'll discribe the scenes you will see.
I believe the first scene is of the helicopter I was shot in. After I got back to base, the helicopter was airlifted from Dong Tam to Bear Cat. Bear Cat was the 9th Inf. main base. You can see they took one of the rotor blades off. It must have had more rounds in it than I thought. All I was ever told was there was three holes through the fuel tank and one when through the cabin and hit both my observer Lt. Jon Swanson and me. You can still see my blood on the steering
The rest of the scenes are of a French Rubber Plantation with a beautiful swimming pool, Bob and I on a three day pass at Vung Tau swimming and at an avation units quarters in Saigon.
I was shot near Ving Long, near the home of my Rotary daughter Trang Nguyen and my favortie place to fly was at Sol Tre, the French Rubber Plantation I have already discribed. That is near Ngat Dao's home, another Rotary daughter. Possibly, Ngats Mother even worked at this plantation.ds
My main job while I was in Vietnam was flying our Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Sydney Hazzard. None of the other pilots wanted to fly Lt. Col Hazzard because they considered him to be a hazzard to their health. I loved him. He was one of the greatest army men I had ever met. He had started his army career as a Private on horseback at Ft. Riley KS the US Army's Cavalry Center. When WW II broke out he was with Gen. Patton all the way. He loved Patton and I suppose he was much like him. He was fearless. He wasn't one of those officers looking for the next promotion. He prosecuted the war. It was an honor to serve with him.
By the way, when I was shot, I wasn't with Col. Hazzard. It was one of the few times I flew as a pure aerial scout. The day before by helicopter took 28 rounds and still flew. So, Lt. Col. Hazzard was not the most hazzard thing to me.
Anther interesting thing about the wounding was that Jon Swanson who was with me and got shot in the butt with the same bullit was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on his third tour of duty in Vietnam. He was a career officer. I got out and started teaching school.
My polocy in Vietnam was to stay as far away from the Vietnamese as possible. You didn't know who was friend or foe. I tried to stay in the air as much as possible which was easy because Hazzard flew a lot.
It was twenty five years later that I signed up for a "Save the Cranes in Vietnam," expidition with Earthwatch and fell in love with the country and people.
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