By Chuck Gross
Rattler One-Seven places you within the helicopter seat, to determine the warfare in Vietnam during the eyes of an green pilot as he transforms himself right into a pro wrestle veteran. while Chuck Gross left for Vietnam in 1970, he was once a nineteen-year-old military helicopter pilot clean out of flight college. He spent his whole Vietnam journey with the 71st attack Helicopter corporation flying UH-1 Huey helicopters. quickly after the struggle he wrote down his adventures, whereas his reminiscence used to be nonetheless clean with the occasions. Rattler One-Seven (his name signal) is written as Gross skilled it, utilizing those notes in addition to letters written domestic to thoroughly guard the attitude he had whereas in Vietnam. in the course of his journey Gross flew exact Operations for the MACV-SOG, placing mystery groups into Laos. He notes that americans have been left in the back of alive in Laos, while reliable coverage at domestic acknowledged that U.S. forces have been by no means there. He additionally participated in Lam Son 719, a misbegotten try by means of the ARVN to attack and lower the Ho Chi Minh path with U.S. military helicopter aid. It was once the most important airmobile crusade of the struggle and marked the 1st time that the helicopter used to be utilized in mid-intensity wrestle, with disastrous effects. Pilots of their early twenties, with younger gunners and a Huey packed with ARVN squaddies, took on skilled North Vietnamese antiaircraft artillery gunners, with out significant intelligence briefings or a rational plan on easy methods to lower the path. multiple hundred helicopters have been misplaced and greater than 400 airplane sustained strive against harm. Gross himself was once shot down and left within the box in the course of one attack. Rattler One-Seven will entice these drawn to the Vietnam warfare and to all defense force, specifically aviators, who've served for his or her state.
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Extra resources for Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story (North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series, No. 1)
My aircraft commander (AC) was listening to two, sometimes three radios at the same time. He had no problem understanding it at all. He had developed the knack of knowing what to expect and when to expect it from each channel. To me, it sounded like one loud garbled blur. As I sat there listening to this commotion, I was truly amazed that my AC had no problem talking on both radios simultaneously, switching back and forth between the radios as he spoke. In the 71st Assault Helicopter Company there appeared to be three groups of pilots, or should I say cliques.
There could be no worst feeling than to have the runs while flying helicopters in Nam. You could not just pull into a Seven Eleven and run in to use the john. We got this new warrant officer assigned to our company, named Robert Terry (name changed). I guess no one bothered to tell Robert about the effects of taking the malaria pills, or else he chose to ignore the warning. Being a good soldier, Terry took his malaria pills and went flying. What a big mistake! Sure enough, he got diarrhea. There was only one thing worst than having the runs while flying, and that was to be a newbie with the runs.
We took the supplies and flew them out to the company’s main unit, located in our area of operations at a fire-support base. A fire-support base was a small base strategically located on the top of a hill or high ground for good defense. The typical fire-support base had several bunkers built into the hill, with a strong perimeter set up to keep the sappers out. They would have several artillery pieces set up to give artillery support to the infantry troops in their AO. The fire-support bases always had a helicopter pad to send and receive supplies by air.
Rattler One-Seven: A Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's War Story (North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series, No. 1) by Chuck Gross