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Choppers are Better

Much preferred being a crew chief/door gunner on a UH-34D (“Dog”) than humping on the ground. Good thing is that the bad guys usually didn’t lead us enough while we were flying so rounds hit the tail section without causing much harm. Bad thing if they had auto weapons or we were stationary on the ground or taking off. As for tanks… we came into a hot zone for a medi-vac and a guy was sitting on top the tank taking pictures of us, guess he thought the VC didn’t have the balls to open up on him or us.
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Sgt Robert L Sisson - April 8, 2020

Your story sounds so much like my GOOD FRIEND DOC RAINEY. Doc hated to hump so he volunteered to be a door gunner. Always loved to hear his stories when I saw him. Great guy I think of him a lot. We both extended and came back to the states with in a month of each other ( 29 Palms ) Doc could not handle State Side duty and volunteered to go back. My wife cooked him a BIG steak dinner before he left I often think of him. Semper Fi

George L. Kudlinski - April 8, 2020

You were my replacement in 1964!!! This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone from this ERA still able to communicate. We were mounted out for the Gulf of Tonken incident and you would have been our replacement Battalion. 1/3 Camp Schwab 63-64.

Bob - April 8, 2020

that sounds familiar. I was at Camp Hansen with Hq 9th and we were mounting out..I was going back and forth to the brig picking up brig rat and taking them back to the area. After 72 hour they called us in and said the orders were changed. I went in July 1960 went to MCRD San Diego plt 372 Gunny Soltysiak was Senior D I and Gunny Dick Latimer. Then went to 2nd bat 1st Marines at Camp San Mateo. March 1962 boarded the Mann heading for Okinawa. 63 they went back and that is when I went to Hq 9th. Went back to states in March of 64, Semper Fi Bob Hanna

JOHN E. VORACEK L/CPL - April 8, 2020

You all have to visit the Marine Corps Museum in Virginia now. 2 years ago when I was there for Memorial Day and R. Thunder walk in and there to the right is a Real UH34 with Life Size Grunts… [ Fire Team + ] with weapons Existing at some L.Z. [ this one has already landed as compared to how many of us had to jump out ? feet up because of incoming..?] I stood there with Tears in my Eyes for a few minutes..then Saluted and continued into the Museum……I Saluted again on the way out..! IF THAT WAS THE ONLY DISPLAY THERE… I WOULD HAVE BEEN SATISFIED…!!! The Marine Faces are supposed to have been molded from real faces. Nam – May 7th 65 — March 7th 66 B-1/4 Chu LAI A – 1/3 DaNang ” 03 Grunt ” I took photos if anyone wants to see them just ask… I think I put them on Sgt Grit that same year..??

S/Sgt. R. A. Mitchells - April 8, 2020

I was with HMR-161 in Korea in 1951. We were the first ones to prove that choppers were a useful machine for combat. We experimented with everything that would make it better for the troops that were on the ground from supplies to medi vacs. The HRS-1 were experimental back then and were the forerunners of all that came later.

Russ McCrimmon - April 8, 2020

I was about the Tenth person forming up HMR-161 in February of 1951. I remember the aircraft as a Sikorsky HSO-6 or something close. In August of that year we wrapped up all the equipment needed to load on the USS Sitkoe Bay in San Diego bay and head west for Korea. The Baby Fat Top was still half Moth Balled. It took 16 days till we pulled into Pusan and transferred our equipment to a LST. The aircraft were off loaded in Pusan and were flown up to K18 several days later while the basic living utensils and men went north on the LST to be landed about a dozen or so miles north of a Korean town named Kang Nung. the landing was being used at the time to load Two LST’s with unknown stuff from the rear of Six By’s fully enclosed with Secured Canvases. We had some Guadal Canal guy’s that soon began telling us kids “Welcome to the smell of war”. The truck traffic stopped mid day of our second day of off loading our gear. The smell of death disappeared as the LST’s backed out and got underway.

Russell MCCRIMMON - April 8, 2020

I think R.A.Mitchells is correct in the identification of the Choppers 161 Started with. If he is who I think he is he was from Michigan and was called “Bear Killer”. I would enjoy hearing from him. He can tell where the aircraft number 69 orriginated and will remember many of the young guys Joy of riding back to the Kang Nung and K18 air field we called home before changing Korea locations. Ascom City and north of the Han river.If Mitchells is the right person I would ask you to give him my email address so He can email me and we can share some of our life after Korea. Semper Fi,

Randy - April 8, 2020

In reply to JOHN E. VORACEK L/CPL.
That’s not a 34 in the museum; it’s an HRS-1.

Fran Long - April 8, 2020

In reply to S/Sgt. R. A. Mitchells.
I had it easy, was in from 9/60 to 9/64. one main stop, cuban missile crisis. Thank you for serving, played football for Camp LeJune about six months a year. Also played at P. I. thru boot camp. The DI’s busted my chops while there. Temper Fi. Cpl. FJ. long

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