Da Nang, Vietnam 1965

by:Enrique del Rosario
© Copyright 2001

After a few days we started to do combined eagle flights, that is go out until we got shot at, then launch off our 10 slick hueys with some Vietnamese troops on board. We would insert them and they would sweep an area where we had received fire. We used your H-34s as well for lift ships and resupply. We had very successful operations because the VC didn't expect us to react when we got shot at and bring down a bunch of troops on top of them...Jack Johnson, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired.

Da Nang, Vietnam 1965
by:Enrique del Rosario
© Copyright 2001

You may talk of war and glory, but listen to my story
of how it was in nineteen sixty-five.
In Vietnam's hills of green, where I was a young Marine
with Helicopter Squadron Three-Six-Five.


They were a motley crew, but the finest men I knew,
'though I've roved the wide world o'er.
Not a truer lot there be in all the Seven Seas,
from Newport News to Singapore.

I was on an eagle strike aboard a Yankee Mike
with a force of eager ARVN Rangers.
We knew there'd be a fight when we launched that eagle flight, but Marines have never turned away from danger.

From Da Nang's sunny field, twelve choppers climbed and wheeled
westward to a far L Z.
They're ugly and they're bad, but they were the best we had
-the indestructible U H thirty-four D.

With the stingers up ahead spraying the treeline full of lead,
the troop-laden slicks came not far behind.
Though loud the battle sound, the 'copters touched the ground.
"Twas not a place for the timid kind.

The bullets came like bees from beyond the trees.
The gunners answered with a deadly rake.
The pilots' nerves of steel just held the choppers still.
It was a time of give and take.

With a wave and a shout, the crew chief ordered, "OUT!"
and twelve determined ARVNs lost their grin.
They began to lose their wits - we were taking lots of hits.
The bastards had the L. Z. zeroed in.

A co-pilot, he got mad, 'cause the only things he had
was a revolver and a ka-bar in his suit.
But he didn't hesitate - he drew that .38,
with only six rounds, he joined the shoot.

He soon run out of lead, so he grabbed a C-rat can instead
and hurled it like a pitcher on the mound.
Then much to my surprise, he hit a Vee Cee 'tween the eyes,
and nailed that insolent bastard to the ground.

"Let's di-di from this place!" sez Charlie with the bashed-in face,
for our gunners were now getting the upper hand.
The place was all insane but Charlie's fire began to wane.
Still, we had those eager Rangers left to land.

With a helping shove, the ARVN began to move,
with a boot size twelve encouragement.
They let a fearsome shout as they started to jump out -
the men of the ARVN Ranger Regiment.

and that's the way it was - oh, yeah!

We would gun, gun, gun, from early dawn to setting sun,
'till our machinegun barrels were melting hot.
But it was fun, fun, fun, 'cause we had Charlie on the run,
and we always gave them more than what we got.


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