LONGHORN 77 LAI KHE & PHU LOI SOUTH VIETNAM
1ST AVIATION BATTALION, 1ST INFANTRY DIVISION
A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
I had the unnerving experience to be caught in a crossfire of two .50 cal. machine guns. Ya know they were 50s because of the sound and size of the tracers. Normally, the enemy have .51 cal. machine guns, which produces a green or white tracer. But these were red. It's not unusual that they use our own type of weapons against us.
By guessing at the number of tracers I saw by both guns (1 in 5), I would say that over 200 rounds were shot at our chopper. They missed. A couple of reasons why (I think). First, we were high and they were shitty at their job. Second, we quickly went into a steep dive to tree top level. I thought we were going to crash during the dive because the pilot radioed in "May Day". And third because as we were diving one of their guns stopped firing (perhaps jammed thus saving our asses). They did skim the blade a little- that's all. But if that "blade-skimming" was ONE HALF INCH lower we would have lost the blade and gone crashing down.
You can see in the photo the size of a .50 cal. compared to the NATO rounds I used. No contest. I had to change my underwear when we landed.
Less than half of Americans ever even heard of Vietnam before 1964. I didn't.
MY FUN PHOTOS
Get out the popcorn, sit back and watch my fun photos of my 18 month vacation in the sunny Orient. The hotel room was a little cramped and drafty and the food wasn't that great, but gee, it was a very educational experience.