We staged out of Phu Cat. Had us on the driving range. All of the crews were picking up golf balls. The Koreans came through a gate from the Gp. Hq. JJ had written in tape, F-4's Ain't Shit, on the bottom of the aircraft. Every time we left the tower could see the bottom of the aircraft. Found the tape on post flight. We were originally in a flight of 10. Because the LZ was so small we divided into 2 flights. I was lead of the second flight. When all of the first five were shot down each of us took an aircraft and followed it down. The aircraft Super Duck was in was hit with AK fire. The CE of the other aircraft saw him, but did not fire because he was in a gray flight suit. He thought he was one of our Viet pilots. The VC was standing about even with the stinger when he fired. Starting about the battery compartment going up and forward. The rounds were 2-3 inches apart. The round that got Jimmy went through his right arm into his chest. There were 4 more in his chicken plate. One of the bullets took off one of the right side corners of the transmission and a hunk out of the right survo. A round hit the corner of the armored seat of the AC. The jacket of the round went into his left hand. The feller in the right seat was a newby. The B-40 went through the cargo doors of the second aircraft and exploded on the side of the hill. There was one of the wafer like pieces of shrapnel in the skid.
The hit aircraft dove off the top on the hill and headed for an island in the river below. Remember the newby is now flying. As they were on approach the hyd. went out. The aircraft hit the island and bounced back into the air and landed on the next island.
The CE in the other aircraft did kill the VC after he realized he was not one of ours. Don't know what happened to the 16 Koreans that were on the two aircraft. Came back the next day and they wanted us to land in almost the same place. Asked if they knew the max range of a B40? They did not. Told them I did not either but it was more than the 50 meters north they wanted us to land. We were moved north and no more aircraft were lost.
Cleaned everyone out in poker one night with the exception of $.50 Super Duck had. We started cutting cards and he took all the money. He liked to talk about his brother and the hotrod they had built. Did have a picture of him. Don't know what happened to it.
Copyright © 2001 by Dan Baxter, All Rights Reserved