by: Glen Cole
© 2003


It was mid February in Vietnam, Three Corp., approximately 1300 hundred hours. And as usual we were flying SCOUTS in a "HUNTER KILLER" team. I was flying backseat in an OH-58A KIOWA, with an M-60 machine gun on my lap. The 3rd of February I had just turned 19 years old. I had been "IN COUNTRY" since 12 Sept. 70, and had already been shot down once. I was with the 3rd of the 17th Air Cav.

The heat on the ground was almost unbearable as usual. We had finished refueling from a previous mission and operations radioed us for another one about fifty miles away. So we got our sierra together and headed out to the new one. They told us to expedite, because one of our Snakes (COBRAS) had went down with engine failure. The pilot had successfully auto rotated and landed safely in a rice paddy. He and the copilot had got out and were flown back to PHU LOI, our staging area at that time, without incident.

When we got there CHUCK CHUCK (COMMAND AND CONTROL) was circling the area and directed us to drop down low level as usual because there was three unknown Vietnamese all over the downed Cobra. We were at approximately 2500 feet AGL and did a wing over and rolled in fast. Two of the people ran towards the tree line at once and one had an AK-47 and sprayed some rounds in the air at us.

I announced to the the pilot "TAKING FIRE TAKING FIRE." I returned fire at once, my pilot got out of the way and our Cobra came "INBOUND HOT, he cut loose with a two pairs of 2.75 inch rockets with 17 pound warheads. But they got away. The other VC ran but we headed him off, I was going to grease him but C+C told us to land and take him POW.

We landed and I got out with only my sidearm -- a 45cal. automatic. I walked up to him and he "CHU HOI'D" and I searched him, and he had a plastic bag that he threw down. I looked in it and there was some wire and a detonator. I had my pistol on him and picked up the bag and walked him towards my loach. We were almost there and I made a bad mistake, I got complacent. I looked around to see if any of his buddies were around. That's when my pucker factor increased about a hundred percent.

The VC swung around violently and knocked my pistol out of my hand and dove on it. His fingers were about a foot from the grips of my weapon and was crawling fast for it! I was shocked to say the least. The only other weapon I had on me was a survival knife. Just as his hand reached the pistol, which was cocked and ready to fire, I pulled the knife and dove on his back. I don't know how many times, but I plunged it into his back over and over again. He was probably dead the first time I stabbed him, but I was scared to death, so I made sure he was "OVER KILL"! I got up and looked down at myself and I had his blood all over me, not to mention that I had wet myself. But I wasn't embarrassed about that and was just glad to be alive!

That was just one of many brushes with the "GRIM REAPER" that I had while flying SCOUTS in the RVN.