Discussion in 'Vietnam' started by David Layne, Feb 10, 2012.
excellent posts and pics. are there any books about the pipesmoke c/s out in Vietnam?
Capnkirk how enterprising of you! Look forward to seeing your photos.
David, I have sent requests to have my pictures uploaded. I do not have rights to load pictures I am guessing. Awaiting a response.
Perhaps you need to make a certain amount of post to enable you to upload pictures. Hopefully a mod will we here soon to clarify matters.
Capnkirk, you should be set up fine, mate.
(Hit 'more reply options' bottom right of the posting window, and that brings up the 'attach files' button - below, left.)
Oh, I am so sad. I paid respects yesterday, Remembrance Day in Canada, and forgot the most important. Thank You for this reminder.
From Akron Ohio, Lost on a Search and Rescue Mission..
From the official “Official Report of Casualty” prepared 10Jun65, Department of the Navy:
Cpl. Frank W. Wilson “Died 6Jun65 near Chu Lai Republic of Vietnam result of injuries received when the helicopter in which he was crew chief collided with another helicopter shortly after take off from the USS IWO JIMA and crashed into the sea.”
Corporal Frank W. Wilson was involved in the preparation for the initial invasion of South Vietnam by the USMCR as a crew chief of a UH-34D (Sea Horse). Prior to the landing, his squadron was a part of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (3rd MEB) assembled in Okinawa. The amphibious flagship was the USS ESTES. HMM-161 boarded the USS PRINCETON in Okinawa.
"HMM-161 supported RLT-4 from the USS PRINCETON until 7 May 1965. On May 7th 1965, at 0800, the squadron flew two companies of troops from the USS PRINCETON (LPH-5) (Cos. A and B, 1st Battalion/ 4th Marines) to Landing Zone ROBIN after Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/4 – Cos. C and D and BLT 2/4 began an amphibious landing over Red Beach near Chu Lai. This was the initial landing of Regimental Landing Team 4 (RLT-4) to establish the airfield at Chu Lai. On that day, the Navy changed amphibious assault ships (LPH's) substituting the IWO JIMA (LPH-2) for the USS PRINCETON. Lt.Col. Gene W. Morrison's squadron (HMM-161) moved to the USS IWO JIMA, which remained positioned off of the Chu Lai coast until 7 June 1965. During that period, the squadron provided helicopter support for Col. Dupras' Marines (RLT-4) in the form of resupply and medevac.
Pipesmoke recovery was part of the 605th trans company in Phu Loi Vietnam. I was part of the small team from January 1968 through September 1969. Our communications trailer had to be manned 24 hours a day, which meant that someone had to be sitting at the radio through the night. We were located on the end of flight line by the outer perimeter, leaving us vulnerable to sniper fire into the trailer and being on the flight line, exposed to incoming mortars and rockets. So you did not have to be on radio watch alone, someone would sit with you; in turn you would do the same. One night in July 1968, Barry Campbell was on watch so I spent the night in the trailer as well. Around 10:30pm we took a couple of thuds from sniper bullets, so be both sat on the floor. Just after 1am a mortar hit 31 feet away spraying the trailer with shrapnel as well as the sounds of more incoming. I jumped up and ran out the trailer, down the steps and sprinted 20 feet to the bunker. Barry crawled the whole way, including down the steps and he was in the bunker before me. To this day I have no idea how be beat me in the bunker.
Here is a view of the Pipesmoke rigging crew prepping a down craft for the chinook lift off. Many times the rigging crew were open targets being exposed on top of the downed craft making the final hook from the sling from the Chinook.
Final lift off of a downed craft, the Chinook hovers over the down craft and rigging crew must withstand the down draft of over 120mph; wait for the sling to get taught and then jump off; sprint back to the rigging ship and lift. These were the times the ships and crews were at their most vulnerable.
In August of 1968, we added dual M-60’s to help with the coming into and out of the LZ’s. I called my pair “Bonnie & Clyde” but after a couple of missions, the crew sprayed over the name. On the last mission with the name, we took a lot of heavy fire with a couple rounds close to crew members. Superstitious, maybe. But we could lay some firepower, with tracer rounds every 5th round, you just had to aim the orange trail and suppress some of the enemy fire.
Great stuff Captain, keep it coming. Our time overlapped for a few months but I do not remember you.
OK Capnkirk, here are some photographs of Pipesmoke from around your time, I an curious as to whether you will recognize anyone, or even yourself!
The first one is the N.C.O.I.C. SFC Stanley A Nuemann.
Pipesmoke's O.I.C. Cpt Leon A Phelps.
Separate names with a comma.