While serving as a door gunner with the 227th AHB in 1966/67, we were operating in the Bong Song area. A particular day, a Chief Warrant Officer wanted to fly around and have us practice with our M-60s target shooting 55 gallon drums we through out in the ocean. That's all we needed. We were tired from the 20 hour days, 7 days a week, but orders are orders. Both of us gunners were not interested nor tried hard to hit the cans. All we wanted to do was go back and sleep. Anyway, the AC pilot was going ballistic because we weren't hitting the cans. He was swearing and saying things like, "You guys couldn't hit the ground if you fell out of the chopper." Also, he related that we'd "do better throwing rocks."
We immediately fell asleep on our return to camp. Later that day as we and about 20 other choppers went on a CA mission, I and my co-gunner had filled our pockets with, you guessed it, rocks. As we approached the LZ, the command to commence fire was given. Silence... Again he gave the command. Still silence... As he turned and looked around, my partner and I were throwing rocks instead of opening up with our machine guns. The grunts on board looked stunned. Their eyes were wide open, mouths agape, looking at us like we were a couple of nut cases. They exited the chopper at about 10 feet off the ground. As we pulled out of the LZ, the commander was still cursing us, so we just reminded him of his former wishes, that we'd do better with rocks. We didn't do so badly either. We received no enemy fire and I never saw grunts exit a chopper so fast!
Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association Guest Book,
April 14, 2003
by, and included here with permission from R. Thom Jefferson.
İR. Thom Jefferson, 2003-2009, All Rights Reserved.