Our Pedros, rotors of wood, men of steel
Major L. Johnson’s HH-43 Log Book, Binh Thuy, 1967-68
June 25, 2015
Leslie Johnson III, a veteran of Operations Just Cause, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, is the first son of Leslie E. Johnson, Jr., Major, USAF (Ret.), shown here in his HH-43 at Binh Thuy. Major Johnson retired to Branson West, Missouri and built a home with his wife Bobbye on the side of a massive mountain on Table Rock Lake to over-look the world from his deck. The view is said to be magnificent. Leslie said, “When you step out on the deck, it's like you're flying. They loved it.”
Major Johnson died on Valentines Day, February 14, 2015, age 85. He was buried in his hometown of Bruceton, Tennessee. Leslie had his dad’s log book from flying the HH-43 Huskie out of Binh Thuy, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), in the Mekong Delta area, 1967-1968. Leslie believes his dad used callsigns Pedro 39 and Pedro 91. I believe he was assigned to Det 10, 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS), Binh Thuy, RVN. The 38th ARRS had multiple detachments, but to my knowledge, this was the Air Force’s only rescue unit in the Mekong Delta region.
Leslie has provided us with a transcript of his dad’s log book from November 1967 - May 22, 1968. Leslie said, “Log ends abruptly. Dad made no further entries at Binh Thuy AB. I believe he had had his fill and concentrated on his duties, staying focused on the missions, and not re-living them in a log book. Dad was exhausted from missions and no sleep.”
I find the log book interesting because it is first hand from a pilot who was there, and because it reflects his activity early in the war. I am providing a verbatim transcript that Leslie provided. Any comment I might have is prefaced by the word in bold, “Editor.”
Prior to going into his log book, let’s take a quick look at HH-43 rescue operations from Binh Thuy.
First, I’ll note that Binh Thuy is a district of the Can Tho city, and the air base was in Binh Thuy. The two names Binh Thuy and Can Tho were often used interchangeably during the war.
Det 10, 38th ARRS activated at Binh Thuy in October 1965, assigned one HH-43 aircraft. The unit’s area of responsibility was the Mekong Delta, an area in which there where many Army, Navy and Coast Guard River Patrol Boat (PBR) missions were being conducted to interdict enemy traffic. This image shows the four major rivers of the Mekong Delta, with Binh Thuy’s location highlighted just below center.
Please recognize that these are tied together by thousands of canals and smaller rivers, many known as distributaries, all lashed together in a kind of labyrinth. Distributaries are branches of a river that do not return to the main stream after leaving it, as is often found in a delta. The enemy in this region in considerable strength having come down the Mekong River from North Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Furthermore, the Mekong Delta offered the enemy many sanctuaries. The PBRs operated out of a half dozen bases throughout the delta. The PBR patrols operated along the rivers, sloughs, and canals where ten-foot high grass along the shoreline hid the enemy who was positioned with machine guns and recoilless rifles. So this was dangerous territory for them.
This part of the US Navy was known as the "Brown Water Navy" as opposed to the ships out at sea, known as the "Blue Water Navy." However, it was more properly known as River Patrol Forces and Mobile Riverine Forces. This force was responsible for the entire area shown on the map, the IV Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ). It should be duly noted that the US Coast Guard (USCG) also reported to the NSA An Loi and contributed significant manpower and resources to the overall naval effort. The was a US Naval Support Activity (NSA) located at Can Tho-Binh Thuy. By the time Major Johnson got there it was NSA Binh Thuy. Most of the patrol boats were located there while the Navy set up helicopter and fixed wing operations at nearby Can Tho. Overall, this Can tho-Binh Thuy complex was at the center of the RVN's Mekong Delta.
Speaking broadly, the US 7th Fleet's Task Force 115 (TF 115) conducted "Operation Market Time" efforts to stop the flow of enemy troops and supplies into the RVN from North Vietnam (NVN) by way of the South China Sea and Gulf of Siam. TF 116 was set up to execute "Operation Game Warden" efforts to interdict enemy riverine operations in the Delta. River Patrol Forces were organized and equipped to handle this task. Then there was TF 117 called the Mobile Riverine Force which employed Navy and Army forces, usually with the Navy river forces inserting and extracting Army forces into and out of the Delta. The US 9th Division was the main contributor to the Army portion of this force.
The 38th ARRS operated 14 detachments throughout the RVN and Thailand. Def 10 was organized in September 1965 and initially assigned one HH-43 helicopter with one more add just a bit later.
HH-43 hovering above a PBR working to pick up a wounded Sailor.
Much of the Det 10’s rescue work was picking up wounded “Sailors” from their patrol boats while the boats were on the move. The unit boasted it was the busiest outfit in all Southeast Asia. By the time Capt and then Major Leslie Johnson got there, the unit had two HH-43s. The unit was disbanded on December 20, 1969. It was the first Aerospace Rescue and recovery Service force in Southeast Asia to be disbanded.
Glickman noted, “In time, we developed tactics with Detachment 10, 38 ARRS (US Air Force's Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron) at BTAB (Binh Thuy AB) to air evacuate our wounded from the boats with their HH- 43 ‘Husky’ helos. The Husky hovered over the boat and retrieved the patient by a litter lowered to the boat. The downdraft of the helo’s two rotors could cause problems for the boat crews.”
As a side story, Lt. Fred Lakeway, USN, was told by the skipper to give newly arrived Glickman a ride in the O-1D Bird Dg Forward Air Controller (FAC) aircraft. It was to be an aerial familiarization. Once airborne, Lakeway said he spotted enemy on Tan Din Island on the lower Bassac River, and requested permission to fire rockets at the target. His request was approved. Incredibly, the Bird Dog took fire and Glickman was hit in the foot. On landing, an USAF ambulance was there to pick him up. In the dispensary, the medic bandaged his right foot, and back to the flight line he went. There a Det 10 HH-43 was waiting to fly him to the surgical hospital at Dong Tam. The pilot was Capt. Tom Precious.
Introduction to Binh Thuy Air Base
Binh Thuy was the southernmost airbase used by the the USAF and VNAF during the Vietnam War. It was located about 70 miles southwest of Saigon. USAF Red Horse civil engineering squadrons built her. Construction began in 1964. The VNAF 74th Tactical Wing at nearby Can Tho moved there in September 1, 1965, bringing A-1 Skyraiders (close air support), H-34 Choctaws (resupply and troop carrier) and O-1 Bird Dogs (Forward Air Controller - FAC). The USAF started sending mostly FACs, all four services sent a number of transient aircraft, and, of course, two HH-43s. The USAF also provided aircrews to direct strikes.
The base was in an area known for harboring strong concentrations of Viet Cong (VC) enemy. It was really in the center of the Mekong Delta region, as you can see from the maps presented earlier.
Binh Thuy Air Base (AB)
Logbook: Nov. 29 arrived in Vietnam at Binh Thuy AB RVN, 78 mi SW of Saigon - Have to sleep 3 to a room and CO stays up all nite with lights on
HH-43 F flying near Bien Hoa
Logbook: Dec.2 First ride in HH43F. Good grief, is it heavy. No reserve power to speak of- lead sled-
Logbook: Dec.3 Had second ride today- am now Officially checked out as rescue pilot. I go on alert tomorrow-
Logbook: Dec.11 First night flight- had 3 tracers fired at us while turning base leg-didn’t go out quite as far on next pattern-
Logbook: Dec.12 First time to do something- took a water pump out to a Thailand freighter – it was really low in the water- it was riding 12 feet lower than it was supposed to-32 souls on board- it was so old I don’t see how it would float anyway-1925 built- 12’-15’ waves- I was glad that one was over- 35 miles out to sea-
Editor: This event was reported in the March-April 1968 “Kaman Rotor Tips” but fails to document a date. However, Capt. Leslie Johnson was on the crew and the description sounds very much like what Johnson wrote in his logbook. “Kaman Rotor Tips” reported Major Pickering, pilot, and Capt. Leslie Johnson, co-pilot, along with Sgt. Gary Harold, a pararescueman (PJ) and SSgt Charles Herring, flight engineer, and accompanied by a second HH-43 responded to a slowly sinking Thai merchant ship, the Prosper. The Huskie’s task was to lower 150-lb heavy-duty water pumps. The ship was 33 miles from shore and seas estimated at 12 ft. The HH-43 had to hover near the tail funnel between 85-ft. masts. The masts and extensive antenna wiring presented another hazard. The Huskies delivered 535 pounds of equipment. Major Pickering credited the PJ and flight engineer for their mission success, especially during hoist operations.
Logbook: Dec.13 first ACR picked up F-4C pilot that ejected- Sea Wolf flew fire suppression-man they fired all kinds of stuff – nice to see someone there to help a little –pilot was ok except for hurt leg – He was really thankful to be picked up –took light ground fire on take off –
Editor: ACR means air crew rescue. The Sea Wolf (such as shown here) is most interesting. UH-1Bs were obtained by the Navy from the Army primarily to support Navy riverine, “Brown Water Navy” and Navy SEAL operations in the Mekong Delta. The Sea Wolves would later get improved models. The Seawolves of HAL- 3 belonged to an all-volunteer squadron commissioned and decommissioned in Vietnam. The squadron operated a Naval Support Activity (NSA) and a Naval Air Base with a squadron of HAL-3s a few miles south of Binh Thuy. The HAL-3 squadron was decommissioned at Binh Thuy in March 1972 after having flown over 120,000 combat missions, the most decorated Navy squadron in history. It looks like a Sea Wolf supported this rescue mission.
An USAF F-4C Phantom II, Callsign Whiskey 72, 558th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), 12th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW), Cam Ranh Bay, did go down in the Song Co Chien River, a large body of water separating Vinh Binh and Kien Hoa Provinces on the southern coast of RVN on December 13, 1967. Capt. W.T. Sakahara (navigator-bombadier) ejected as did 1st Lt. Robert Elwood Bennett III (pilot). Elwood landed in the river and his parachute sank before he could be rescued. He is listed as KIA. Whiskey 72 had delivered his ordnance on target, but shortly thereafter both crew ejected. Capt. Sakahara was picked up, but by a patrol boat. There was an extensive search and rescue (SAR) effort conducted for Elwood without success. I can only surmise the Navy patrol boat discharged Sakahara and Major Johnson picked him up to take him back to an Air Force base, though Johnson makes no mention of that.
Logbook: Next a C-7A (photo shows a C-7B, Cam Ranh Bay) crashed off the end of 06 – we picked up 5 crew members – all hurt – none serious –
Editor: There was an USAF C-7A crash near Binh Thuy on December 13, 1967, but Aviation Safety Network lists only two occupants. The aircraft was on a resupply mission, and was hit by enemy fire damaging the field manifold, thus causing a stop of fuel to the engines. The pilot crash landed in a nearby rice paddy. Both crew, Capt. Kenneth Chrisman and 2nd Lt R. Callahan survived. Despite Aviation Safety Network listing only two occupants, a flight mechanic, John Trease is listed by the C-7 Caribou Association as involved in the crash and the association credited him with capturing a Viet Comg (VC) who approached the aircraft. So this crash might well have been the one to which Johnson referred. The crew was based at Vung Tao.
Logbook: This has been a long day but its better than just sitting –
Logbook: Dec.14 LBR – F-100 with fuel leak – he landed without incident – He sure took his time in getting out of the acft with gallons of fuel running out of the fuselage –
Editor: LBR means Local Base Rescue. This was really the mission originally intended for the HH-43, to handle crash landings, fires etc. I might remark that I have found some evidence that the F-100 was being worked to its limits in Vietnam, and fuel leaks from structural fatigue were more common than one would want. I will also note that some F-100 experts viewed the Binh Thuy runway as “short,” about 6,000 ft. with no lights and no tower.
Logbook: Dec.22 Good Grief – ALR flew out to an island about 55 miles off the coast to check on distress signals - found it & landed – PJ & mechanic searched area – I got out of acft with rifle in hand & charged into the jungle - after going about 50’ into the brush I stopped & said what in the hell am I doing - So I just walked around a little in the jungle – was I scared? YOU BET .
Editor: I do not know what “ALR” stands for. I suspect he meant ACR. I have done some measurements, and believe Johnson was talking about Phu Quoc Island. It is located in the Gulf of Thailand just 12 km south of the Cambodian border. It hosted the RVN's largest POW camp and the US Naval Base at An Thoi.
Logbook: Jan.1 2 LBR’s today AIE’s – both had hydraulic failure but both got down without incident – I’ll swear they never call an emerg. until they are about to land & we never get up in time –
Editor: It is hard to say whether these were Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) A-1s or USAF. The VNAF 520th Fighter Squadron (FS) was located at Binh Thuy but the USAF also operated A-1s out of Bien Hoa AB near Saigon. Both units would often fly missions from their home bases and recover at the other base, then go out and fly another mission and return to their home base. I will note here that the flying rule book in Indochina required the pilot declare an emergency as soon as he has determined an aircraft emergency exists. This alerts the rescue forces and increases the chances of rescue and recovery considerably. Leslie Johnson seems to be expressing some frustration that they do not always do that.
Logbook: 4 Jan. Med. Evac. 2 saves - both navy PBR troops – hurt by mortar when they were ambushed. One had a bad leg wound but the other had a bad head wound – you could see his brain through a 2” hole – The PJ had to hold his mouth open with his thumb so the fellow wouldn’t drown on his own blood & vomit – his eyes were swollen shut & whole face was purple – worst one picked up as yet – PJ did a fine job –
Editor: I cannot validate that this is a photo of the rescue described in the logbook, but it gives you the idea, and that is Capt. Johnson in the upper left portion of the photo with his head turned toward the medical work being done. In any event, “Kaman Rotor Tips” May-June-July 1968 edition reported on this rescue. AIC Larry Nickolson, USAF, the PJ, is giving plasma to a seriously wounded sailor they picked up from a river patrol boat. There were also two other wounded Navy men in the aircraft. Their boat had been hit by a VC rocket 15 miles from Binh Thuy. A1C Archelous Whitehead, Jr., the flight engineer is helping. Johnson, the co-pilot, was watching while the pilot, Capt. Lauence Conover flew the Huskie.
I found another reference to Capt. Johnson being involved in a rescue of a Navy crewman suffering critical head wounds. No date was provided, other than the year, 1968. Nonetheless, this mission was said to be the first night pickup ever done from a moving river patrol boat. Major James Okonek was the pilot, Capt. Johnson the co-pilot, with Sergeant Whitehead the flight engineer and Airman Nicholson the PJ. The crew employed a stokes litter. The photo shows PJ Dick Stiffen demonstrating a stokes litter pickup. Navy Seawolf gunships circled above. The boat signaled its position, and the Huskie crew conducted a full blackout approach --- no lights. Nicholson guided the skipper to the boat and they hovered over the boat and made the pickup. The crew then had to fly back to the hospital, difficult since there was a possibility of navigational error in the extremely dark Mekong Delta area. The crew conducted its entire mission, scramble to deliver the Sailor to a doctor in less than an hour.
Logbook: Jan.5 - LBR – AIE fuel leak & vibrating prop – landed without incident – They never call an emergency til they are on final approach.
Logbook: Jan.8 - LBR AIE Smoke in cockpit – nothing else – had a few bullet holes in wing –
Logbook: Jan.14 - LBR F-100 battle damage – fuel leaking all over the place - he got down ok but he never shut the engine down – I figure he just tried to look as if it was nothing but he moved when we told him of the fuel all under him –
Logbook: Jan.17 - another nite local flight – we got shot at again – reported it to security -
Jan. 18 - C7A (caribou) crashed just off the end of the runway – 2nd one in a month – no one hurt again – Sure made a mess of a nice rice paddy –
26 Jan. - LBR AIE vibrating prop – landed without incident – also an ACR F-4C pilot hit & ejected along river – pilot got out & into dinghy, co-pilot drowned – we never found him – he may have been out when he hit the water –
Editor: The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and VC launched the Tet Offensive of 1968 on January 30, 1968. This was one of the largest military campaigns of the Vietnam War. It was a campaign of surprise attacks against military and civilian commands and control centers throughout South Vietnam. This would turn out to be a major disaster for the enemy, though the media made it look the enemy was winning. The enemy lost more men than it could replace at the time and was forced to delay its invasion lans by several years.
I was not able to correlate Major Johnson's report of a F-4C lost on January 26, 1968.
Logbook: 30 Jan. - Good Grief – my first mortar attack – man I don’t like these at all – none came very close but to look at the damage really ruins your whole day –
Logbook: 2 Feb. - flew nite Patrol around base – I don’t like this at all - lights on, 300’ up at 60 kts - VC could even hit us – Can Tho field hit by mortar – started fire & they ask us to come over to help put it out – ridiculous but we tried –
Logbook: 3 Feb. - By the grace we didn’t get killed tonite – Flew patrol around base – Flew up a river & made a right turn up a canal – as soon as I rolled level – the entire sky in front of me lit up with more tracers than I could count. I could think of nothing except squeeze down further into my seat then I quickly turned right again – I figure 3 to 5 automatic weapons fired at least 100 rounds at us in 4 secs – Returned to base & landed & found 4 bullet holes 3 feet in back of me & 3 holes in one rotor blade – only reason they didn’t get us was that they lead us 10 ft too much –
Logbook: Well if this wasn’t enough they just got thru mortaring us again – closest one was 75 feet- Please Lord let this day end soon –
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACKS ; 4 FEB, 5 FEB, 7 FEB – (LtCol killed in room under 2 mattresses-PSP doesn’t stop shrapnel either), 8 FEB, 12 FEB, 13 FEB- (0250-0350-2320 HRS), 14 FEB
Editor: Andrew Matyas, Lt. Col., USAF died on February 18, 1968 from wounds received from rocket-mortar fire at Binh Thuy. He was a FAC pilot with the 22 Tactical Air Support Squadron. He is the only one I can correlate with Major Johnson's logbook. It might be he died on February 18 from wounds suffered in one of those mortar attacks described by Johnson. It is also possible Johnson got the date wrong.
Editor: Let’s talk about the enemy attacks against Binh Thuy for a moment as you will see Leslie refer to more later. The Office of Air Force History, thanks to Roger Fox, has a “Chronology of VC/NVA attacks on the ten primary operating USAF bases in the RVN, 1961-1973.” (I will only report US aircraft damaged-destroyed, US KIA-WIA, the chronology does not identify ordnance type, though the first enemy use of mortars against a USAF base occurred on February 27, 1967 at Danang. I will only report those during the timeframe addressed by the logbook)
- February 3, 1968: 9 rounds fired into base, no appreciable losses
- February 4, 1968: 73 rounds fired, 16 aircraft damaged 1 KIA, 5 WIA
- February 5, 1968: 45 rounds, 8 aircraft damaged
- February 7, 1968: 9 rounds, no appreciable losses
- February 12, 1968: 9 rounds, 1 aircraft destroyed, 6 damaged
- February 13, 1968: Saboteur attack, 2 WIA
- February 13, 1968: 44 rounds, 1 aircraft damaged 3 WIA
- February 13, 1968: 26 rounds, no appreciable losses
- February 16, 1968: 25 rounds, 3 aircraft damaged
- February 18, 1968: 12 rounds, 1 KIA
- February 23, 1968: 56 rounds, 3 WIA
- February 26, 1968: 33 rounds, no appreciable damage
- March 5, 1968: 110 rounds, 1 WIA
- March 14, 1968: three attacks, total of 119 rounds*
- March 22, 1968: 36 rounds*
- *March 25, 1968: 85 rounds. Cumulative losses for March 14, 22 and 25 were 1 aircraft destroyed, 4 damaged, 1 KIA, 1 WIA.
- I believe the one KIA was on March 22, A1C Kenneth Baker, USAF, with the 30th Weather Service Det 13, killed by a 75mm recoilless rifle shell that struck an air conditioning unit on the side of a weather observation cab of the control tower, exploding through the wall, with shrapnel wounds killing him. This photo is of the Binh Thuy Control Tower taken sometime during 1968-1969. Note the cab below the top tower. My guess is that is where A1C Baker was located.
- April 9, 1968: 30 rounds, no appreciate damage
- April 13, 1968: 35 rounds, no appreciable damage
- May 21, 1968: 40 rounds, 2 WIA
Note that the pace of attacks was high during Tet 68. Tan Son Nhut AB in Saigon really took a beating during this time. You will also see USAF records might not reflect damage or injuries that Leslie Johnson would log. Bernard Nalty noted the following in a report for the Air Force History and Museums Program:
“Airmen stationed at Binh Thuy, southernmost of the ten air bases, may not have realized at first that Tet 1968 marked a special enemy effort. Located among the rice fields irrigated by the Bassac River, the airfield had already proved so inviting a target for shells and rockets that explosions shattered the night three or four times each week. Not until February 13 did the Viet Cong launch a ground attack at Binh Thuy, but that effort failed. Air Force security police, two receiving wounds during the skirmish, drove off a demolition team that approached the fence. Heavy defensive fire discouraged other infiltrators who had crept through tall grass to hurl grenades over the barbed wire at a pair of armored personnel carriers parked near the edge of the base perimeter.”
MSgt. David Summerfield, USAF, was with the 632nd Security Police Squadron (SPS) at Binh Thuy during 1967 and 1968 and took some photography of mortar attacks against the base during that time. He did not note the dates. I will show you a couple.
This was the result of an attack on POL tanks, pump canopy and barracks area.
VNAF personnel inspect the damage done to an A-1E in a revetment by a mortar attack.
This is a plaque Major Johnson made dating the mortar attacks and displaying some bits of shrapnel.
Logbook: 15 Feb – ACR – F-100 pilot – OK.
Editor: That’s all Leslie says about it. The F-100 pilot he rescued, Capt. John Lewis, had a bit more to say. Lewis, 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), Binh Thuy went out the evening of February 14, 1968 on a F-100D Super Sabre two ship mission to take out a VC gun position near the village of Can Ke, about 17 miles southeast of Can Tho on the banks of the Mekong. The F-100 was affectionately known as the “Hun.” He and his wingman, I believe Michael Bennett, flew lights out and had to “call the corners” to make sure they didn’t pile into each other. Lewis made one run against the target and then saw tracers from a Russian Quad-50 (four guns mounted together all shooting at once). Lewis then made a second pass. Both F-100D’s were dropping Mk82 High Drag bombs which enabled them to get pretty close to the target before releasing the ordnance. After dropping his ordnance, Lewis did the normal 6-G pull-up and then felt a thump. He was hit in the hydraulic system and lost all hydraulics. His stick went dormant, and all he had left was the throttle and rudder, the latter controlled by cables. He flew back up the river toward Bien Thuy, and planned to eject over the airfield. Lewis essentially had no control over the aircraft so he was unable to execute that plan. The F-100 rolled over and he ejected at about 3-4,000 ft and 400 knots. His helmet and faceplate blew off from the wind blast after ejection. He got two black eyes and his legs were beat up but not broken. He had a good chute.
In the mean time, Capt. Leslie Johnson, Capt. Larry Conniver, and the crew chief Gordon Browning, had already scrambled and landed in an open field, picked up Lewis, and took him back to base. Later bomb damage assessment (BDA) the F-100 crew had destroyed the Quad 50. As an aside, Lewis went out of his way to identify the Huskie crew that rescued him --- one happy camper.
The photo shows another F-100 pilot rescued by Det 10. Major Johnson's son' thinks the pilot in the cockpit his his father.
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACKS; 16 FEB, 17 FEB (some people are getting trigger happy), 18 FEB (our bombs & rockets do no good - A Viet Colonel will not send troops out to get Charlie),
Logbook: 22 Feb. - my birthday – a little sleep – 3 martinis & 4 manhattans – let the little SOBs come – Happy Birthday
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACKS; 23 FEB (–hit ammo dump it blew and blew from 2 am to 0830 – what a mess –), 25 FEB (GOT OFFICER QTRS ZERO’D IN – SLEEP IN BUNKERS- one mortar hit 10’ in front of bunker door)
Logbook: 1 Mar. - ACR – picked up 3 navy guys off a PBR on river - one wounded bad & other two had leg wounds –
Logbook: 2 Mar. – picked up ARVN troop off river - he had a bad head wound but was conscious & knew what was going on – landed in soccer field in Can tho where an ambulance took him to a hospital-
Logbook: 4 Mar. - 120 rds of mortars – both acft are out but one should be in tomorrow –
Logbook: 7 Mar. - Took 2 Vietnamese & an OSI agent on a flight to spot a VC supply point – man they don’t pay me to do this kind of work – the day wasn’t boring anyway –
Logbook: 9 Mar. - PBR pick up north of Vinh Long - 2 wounded - 2130 hrs – made another PBR pickup down river - bad head wound – ground fire but sea wolf kept it down –
Logbook: 12 Mar. - PBR pick up- heavy ground fire – sea wolves took several hits – we nearly bought the farm – PBR would not disconnect the stokes – when they finally did it caught under the boat & pulled copter 30 degs bank 3 times – cable broke thank God or we would have hit the water – never got the wounded- boat took him to Can Tho, ambulance got him took him to soccer filed- we picked him up & took him to Dang Tran (sp?) 40 miles away – bullet wound in back next to spine –
Logbook: 14 Mar. – Mortars – 85 rounds guess – room next to mine direct hit –
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 17 Mar. He never seems to get tired – but he isn’t getting any better a shot – we have been lucky –
Logbook: 19 Mar.- PBR pick up - 2 wounded – no problem on pick up
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 22 Mar. – 2 Vietnamese killed – that’s 8 and 3 Americans
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 25 Mar. – 2 Vietnamese killed – can hear the shrapnel hitting the buildings & roofs-
Logbook: 28 Mar. - called out on a downed helicopter – flew 25 miles south of Binh Thuy – had two Huey gun ships for cover at 4 AM – found burned out helicopter & went down to check for survivors – no beeping, no stoke litter – when we got to 300’ all hell broke loose – VC were all over the place – it was a trap & we just barely got out in time – from now on, no radio, no rescue-
Logbook: 31 Mar.- O-1 crash but pilot wasn’t hurt – took him to Dong Tam –
Logbook: 4 Apr. - been slow but lately but made a navy pick up about 45 miles from here – 2 personnel wounded, both ok-
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 9 Apr. 80 rounds – no one hurt but scratch 1 A1E –
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 13 Apr. Laundry hit- several severely wounded –
Logbook: 18 Apr.- PBR pick up 10 miles down river – boat sunk and two badly wounded –
Logbook: 24 Apr. – Business has really slowed down – only an LBR today –
Logbook: 30 Apr. – evacuated 4 Vietnamese from outpost – ol’ Charlie was within 1000’ but did not shoot – I was glad for some reason –
Logbook: 3 May - picked up navy man off LST about 60 miles away – he was hit internally but seemed to be in good shape –
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 6 May - not bad – only 20-25 rounds – maybe Charlie is running out of ammo –
Logbook: 12 May - Picked up a navy guy LST
Logbook: 18 May – Picked up 4 Army personnel off downed helicopter – one was a Full Colonel Vietnamese type –
Logbook: MORTAR ATTACK; 21 May – ol’charlie hit us with about 60-70 rounds of 75 mm recoilless- they nearly got the ammo dump –
Logbook: 22 May - 6 Months - only 6 years to go –