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Discussion Starter #1
First an explanation

I arrived in Vietnam in January 1966. I was a crew chief door gunner on a UH-1D troop transport, a "slick", with an assault helicopter company. My unit had two platoons of slicks and one platoon of armed UH-1C gunships.

My aircraft had an M60 door gun mounted on each side, ione for me and for the doorgunner, We were also issued M14 rifles as our personal weapons and the two pilots had S&W Model 10 .38 special pistols. Our M14s were hung on the pilots seats and it was generally agreed that the pilots would use the M14s (if we went down) while the doorgunner and the crew chief would use their M60s.

That pretty much sucked because all of us quickly learned that wghen you went dow, if something wasn't already strapped to youi, it probably wasn't coming with you. This, by the way, spurred the invention of the bailout bag now known as a bug out bag.

Vietnam, at least in the early days, was like the wild west when it came to equipment. Many of us painted our white flight helmets green long before they were issued that way. I have a close friend who painted his day glo orange and had a cryptic comment painted on the back of his which is not suitable for a family oriented website.

This practice extended to our aircraft and they were dolled u both with unit markings and personal nose art.

And because everyone knew about the problems with being shot or forced down in enemy territory, everyone was pretty mcuh allowed to carry their own weapon. I started out with an M2 .30 carbine that I scriounged from the South Vietnamese Army but I considered that too big to run from the aircraft with so I traded it away for a Browning Hi Power. Someone had chromed it which was kind of neat and close examination showed it had the German Army markings that showed it had been made in the Fabrique Nationale plant in Belgium after the Nazis had overrun the county in 1940.

It was my first pistol and I carried it on every single mission I flew for the entire 32 months I spent in Vietnam.

In September 1968, I got hurt really badly and was being med evacedf eventually out of the country. I had no time to to register the pistol with the MPs to get an export license (in my defense I was bleeding really badly) so I passed it on to another crew chief and never saw it again..Not until last week when he found me (he's in SC) and he's sending my Hi Power back to me as soon as i return to Illinois.

How cool is that?

Right_side.jpg
 

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AMAZiNG story! Thank you for your service and this great post.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is cool! Also... I'm in SC and will be driving to Illinois in July. Lemme know if ya need some help.
Thanks for the offer but, why would anyone go to Illinois voluntarily?

<GRIN>

I am halfway out. I am currently living in SW Missouri. We are heading back to Illinois at the end of the month to finish getting our other house ready to sell.....and to get my pistol back.
 
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That's today's feel good story, every one remembers their first. Only the fortunate ones get to keep them!
 

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That's awesome!!! Really really cool!! Thanks for sharing!!

What was the cryptic comment? Curiosity getting the better of me... PM if you prefer.
 

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Thanks for the offer but, why would anyone go to Illinois voluntarily?

<GRIN>

I am halfway out. I am currently living in SW Missouri. We are heading back to Illinois at the end of the month to finish getting our other house ready to sell.....and to get my pistol back.
Hehe... well I still have family there, so we're going back to visit.
 

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Hey Bud you are a great example of why good things happen to good people! Congrats on getting your pistol back and reconnecting with your friend! Enjoy!


Regards,
BigBuckeyeGuy!
 

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Though it was before i was born, thank you for your service.
Very cool story. I love it when lost loved ones are reunited.
I wonder if it ever settled down and had children of it's own.
 

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Awesome story!!! Glad to hear you are getting her back home safe with you! Thank you sincerely for your service.
 
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