Cold LZ
... Sorry'bout that
Northwest of Cu Chi - 1970,
118th Assault Helicopter Company

© 2000


Northwest of Cu Chi - 1970, 118th Assault Helicopter Company

Hueys inbound In the fall of 1970, I was a CWO recently reassigned in country to the 118th Assault Helicopter Company as a pilot in a slick platoon. Until recently, I had been in the 190th AHC gun platoon but it had stood down, hence my new assignment. As an aircraft commander I was flying with a newbee co-pilot on a typical troop extraction mission for the 25th Infantry Division somewhere Northwest of Cu Chi. This was not advertised as a hot PZ so I was somewhat surprised when on short final to the zone there were several explosions and I saw smoke out to the side of the helicopter.
      Immediately we felt the hits as our aircraft touched down. After picking up a load of grunts who seemed anxious to leave I applied power and lifted off. Simultaneous with my co-pilot advising me that we had some warning lights showing loss of transmission and engine oil, I felt a loss of power.

Hueys outboundThere was nothing to do but land and wait for assistance. After making the necessary radio calls and being assured that gun support was on hand and that we would be extracted ASAP I landed about 1 to 2 klicks from the original PZ. Because of the activity which had brought us down I was somewhat anxious about being on the ground, even with the warriors from the 25th to set up a perimeter. Claymore siting

      After unassing the Huey I inspected it for damage. To say that what I found did not make me happy would be a mild understatement. The entire aircraft from just aft of the crew compartment to the tail rotor was perforated by over 200 perfectly round small holes. We had been the victim of some grunt's placement of a pressure activated claymore pointing inward toward the PZ.

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