We were out on LZ Barbara. The Holy Mountain was off in the distance. It had been raining a lot. The LZ had been abandoned and we were back to rebuild it. The PSP runway had lots of mortar holes in it, filled with water, and the whole place was a mess. There was lots of trash and nothing was of much use.

We'd been there about an hour, Hueys and Chinooks bringing in supplies, one landing about every ten minutes. We had some RVNs with us. They were mostly spectators.

Two of the RVNs were standing on top a row of sandbags near the slingout pad when a Chinook came in, with a load slung under its belly. The area already had a lot of materials in it. As the chopper eased down to the pad, the prop blast picked up one of those big 10'X10' aluminum pieces of metal that were usually found in the C-130 cargo loads. They had been brought in with supplies on them and were stacked, ready to be taken back to a supply point.

The blast picked up one of the big sheets of metal, and hurled it like a Frisbee. It took off instantly and flew right at the two RVNs standing on the sandbags. It happened so fast, neither of them had time to get out of the way. It killed one of them instantly and they medivaced the other guy out with broken back and internal damage. His chances of living were low. It all happened in less than a few seconds..... Viet never knew what was going to happen next....and what happened next was just amazing.

The Chinook dropped its belly load, and landed..and instead of supplies being offloaded from inside, out came the 1st Cav band. Yep, came out, formed up, started whipping out some snappy John Phillips Sousa marches....brass instruments shining in the sun, the band leader, whipping his baton through the air.... and over to the side of the LZ, they were carrying the two RVNs onto the helicopter on stretches. Viet never knew what was going to happen never knew.





Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association Guest Book
by, and included here with permission from Steve Richey.

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