Doc Hoppy - Dec 20, 2002
Ewwwwww old dinosaur.... they had put these to rest by the time this late bloomer landed (however I did see one in a "museum" at Lejeune back in '67 I think..... Field Medical Services School)
Doc Rod Hardin - Dec 20, 2002
Did you ever see one of these babies burn? The shell is all aluminum and magnesium alloy. It burns white hot like an arc welders tool. It doesn't stop burning until every ounce of metal has been consumed. I remember rappelling from one of these from about 200 feet despite being a devout acrophobe. I figured "Doc Hardin" had to do it or he'd never be able to look another grunt in the eye. So with a flair I kicked the wheel and set it turning before I went down the line. All set to go again once on the ground. What a rush. I remember someone falling about the last third of the rappel, so it wasn't always a cakewalk.
Where did you '65 dudes go on the USS Iwo Jima? That was our transportation back to Dong Ha from Okinawa in October '66. You probably know she used to pick up the "splash-down" astronauts before she was decommissioned and turned into razor blades along with the USS Henrico. The Navy commissioned a new "Iwo" in the late 90s. Thankfully, they never recreated the squalid horror of the Henrico.
Manuel Lopez - Dec 20, 2002
Sure I remember, Iwo took us to the shores of Chu Lai, where we were ferried to the sandy beaches of that place where no one knew where it was. Funny thing is I can't remember the month that we landed. I guess it didn't matter; we were going to be there for a while anyway. USS Iwo Jima, A lot of memories. Picture brings them back.
Larry Green - Dec 20, 2002
That old bird brings back memories, I remember the first one I rode on from the Iwo to Ba Long valley had to turn back to the ship with a blown jug. By the time I got on another and landed in "country" most of the "fun" was over. I felt more secure in one of these shuttering piston driven birds than I did in the CH-46. Ten of my Young Marines got to go to Pascagoula in June, 2000, board the new Iwo (LHD-7) and spend the night aboard. They steamed to Pensacola the next day. Trip of a lifetime for the kids. Got to see the Naval Air Museum, the USS Alabama, and a WWII sub. I didn't get to go with them, almost broke my heart.
Curtis Morgan - Dec 21, 2002
I remember riding in one of these over there. I think it may have even delivered me to Dong Ha from DaNang or from Dong Ha to Cam Lo upon arrival in 67. Probably the former. It was probably by truck to Cam Lo from Dong Ha. John Mick probably remembers better. We got there same day. What do you say John?
Craig Slaughter - Dec 21, 2002
Remember the Iwo? Ya' bet your K-bar I remember her.
We pulled up of the coast of Chu Lai the early morning hours of May 11, 1965. Dropped anchor and as I recall, every swinging _ _ _ _ was up on the flight deck trying to get their first visual of that place we called NAM. Dark as could be. No moon. Tracer rounds way off in the distance. An occasional muffled 'boom" of in the distance. We were going to be 'kickin some ass and takin' names" berry berry shortly.....Yeah---right.
Remember--- "Aoooooogah,Aooooogah-- Now here this- Stand clear of all horizontal- sliding- water tight doors."
Anyway-- the sun slowly came up and we saw it. Nam!
Chu Lai, South Vietnam. White sandy beaches, green terrain--- absolutely beautiful. never forget that first glimpse of Nam.
We got the word later that day. P/A announcement for 3/3 to fall out on flight deck..... going ashore----- NO WEAPONS.
What the f__ _?????? No weapons??? Bayonet being hidden under clothing. got topside and then informed 3/3 was going ashore for work party. " OH GREAT -- A PARTY!"
For the next 3 days 3/3 unloaded 1.5 million gallons of liquid asphalt that was to be used for thr runway in Chu Lai.
Bet those 55 gal. drums are still there. Was determined later that it was too humid for the liquid asphalt to coagulate. Ended up making runway out of erector set pads. (I forget what they were actually called)
Anyway--talk about sunburn--- shit---we looked like frickin' lobsters. Blistered, sore----and no suntan lotion in C-rats?
What's up with that?