The war as seen through the eyes of a Combat Helicopter Crew Chief. Don't judge this book by its title -- there is a lot to learn. This is not your typical war story but a lesson in maturing under difficult circumstances.
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Samuel K. Beamon
The worst kept secret on the base was that in December the entire squadron was going to South Vietnam. I was a reciprocating (piston driven) engine mechanic and knew nothing about these jet engines. I was told that the Corps would take care of that. How was I going to tell my mother? What was she going to think? I was going to Vietnam and to war.
Bingo ----- Reality Check ----- The Marine Corps!!
We were flying both day and night missions in support of the Marines battling for the Hills. We were flying into the face of death and had been lucky. On May 10th, 1967, I was aboard the carrier. We were scheduled for a morning launch to Khe Sanh. We received word that Captain Paul Looney had been killed.
REALITY CHECK -- “You could get killed doing this job!”
No battle lines and the enemy could be anywhere. Our friends were being wounded and dying. We were not the Generals or the policy makers, but our job was the dirty one. We did the job that we were trained to do. Too many died doing their job. This was war.
Our troops died from the enemy, they died from our own troops (good old friendly fire) and they died from equipment that was defective. You prayed that you did not make a mistake that might cost an American his life. Nobody is perfect and there are mistakes that were made in every war.