Co-pilot of 61st Assault Helicopter Company.
From the source:
1st Lt. Bailey with gas mask, flying with CW2 Coveney on POW rescue mission called “Bright Light”. Even though he out ranked me I was the Aircraft Commander and made him wear it. How dumb was I since we were the CS gas bird! We dropped about 10 sacks of gas on the LZ just before the slicks landed and inserted the Rangers.
My Dad on the 1st of three tours in Vietnam. This one is 1966 I believe. A co. 101st AVN, 101st Airborne.
He was also with 40th Infantry Division in Korea, and 1st ABN Battlegroup in Beirut Lebanon 1957-58 timeframe.
Submitted by the child of the veteran pictured.
US Army Bell UH-1 Huey of the 61st Assault Helicopter Company, circa 1968.
Portland gay couple, survivors of Vietnam War, now find peace:
When the Army asked for medevac pilots for Vietnam, Norton volunteered, even as his commanding officer warned it was suicide. During the war, air ambulances rescued more than 900,000 military and civilian casualties, 97.5 percent of whom survived, according to the U.S. Army School of Aviation. The Hueys flew low, just above the jungle canopy, constantly exposed to enemy fire. Thirty-nine medevac crew members died and 210 were wounded over a two-year period.
Alpha Company, 2/8th Cavalry, circa 1965
Bell UH-1 Huey at work, 1970
“The minigun ships, on the other hand, carried fourteen rockets, and two, 7.62mm, six-barrel minigun, machine guns. These are truly awesome weapons. The machine guns were electrically operated from a sighting system in the copilot seat. The aircraft commander (AC) could, however, take control of these guns if he deemed fit. An electronic, piper or bullseye was in the sights and the copilot moved this piper to line up on his target. The sights came down on a mechanical arm from their stowed position when the copilot released them. As he moved the piper, the guns followed. We generally set these guns to fire at a rate of 2,400 rounds per minute. That meant the ship could put out 80 rounds per second. These guns had a maximum capability of firing 6,000 rounds per minute but that rate was reserved for the faster fixed wing fighter jets. At our fire rate of 2,400 rounds per minute at the speed of 120 knots, a good operator could put a bullet in every square foot on the ground. You don’t need any more coverage than that. More would waste ammunition and decrease your available time at a combat station. Try to imagine what it would sound like if you were to make the single blast of a 308 high powered rifle a continuous sound. Let me tell you, it is a deafening roar when the miniguns kick in. They get hot quickly, so they are set up to fire no more than three second bursts, and then automatically kick off for three seconds, to keep the barrels from melting down.”
– Guts ‘N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam by Mark Garrison, page 114
“Sniffer missions were comprised of having a machine in the cargo compartment behind the pilots that would measure ammonia levels in the air. There were generally two guys on board, who operated the ammonia sensing equipment, besides the four man crew. Since congregations of humans gave off a lot of ammonia as a result of their metabolism, the army figured this would be a good way to find groups of enemy troops. The only drawback was that congregations of monkeys also gave off a lot of ammonia. It was Standard Operating Procedure for a Sniffer flight to be flown at fifty feet, just above the tops of the trees, at fifty knots airspeed. In other words, it was dangerous as hell. During the flight, the ammonia machine operators would say “mark!” into the intercom radio and the crew chief or door gunner would throw out a smoke grenade, marking the area. Immediately a gunship fire team would roll in on the smoke-marked area and blow the absolute crap out of it. I always suspected a lot of monkeys were needlessly massacred.”
– Guts ‘N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam by Mark Garrison, page 104