Posey1

 

By then WO Bob Posey - now Capt. American Airlines

"Frustrated Gun Pilot"

I was a Stinger Pilot from the 116th . We came up to Marble Mountain from Chu Lai in late 71. We stood down and flew the old UH1/C/M’s back to Saigon to be returned to the States. I flew with Hornet pilot 1lt.Rudy Csadenyi (died in plane crash in Snomass Co. 1980) In the other ship was 1lt Garry Kessler (whereabouts unknown) and WO Phil Eladies currently in Thailand working for Union Oil. We all joined the 48th. I was assigned to the Jokers but no previous snake time. Flew front seat with them a couple of missions. There really wasn’t a slot for me. Then they made a Slick pilot out of me. The other Slick drivers used to laugh calling me a "frustrated Gun pilot."

One night could have been March of 72, I was assigned to fly the perimeter bird full of flares around Marble Mountain. We had one crew chief. His job was to kick the flares out. He had only a M-16 loaded full of tracers. The AC was fairly new only been in country 5 months. and I had been in country for 9 months. I was new to Slicks. While doing a normal flight around the perimeter looking for sappers, we took fire while flying close to Monkey Mountain. We were only 200 feet from the mountain when all hell broke loose. We got lucky no hits. We landed to change our shorts. As a Gun Pilot I usually set the throttle and the fuel switch on for a scramble departure. So all we had to do is turn the Battery on and pull the start trigger. We ran out of operations when 24th Corps HQ was being targeted with 122’s from a location south of Da Nang airfield. I put on my chicken plate started the bird and was hovering calling for a scramble departure before the AC had his helmet on. The tower told us that the fire was coming from the west. We looked around and couldn’t see anything. The tower said that it stopped and that we were cleared to land. As I was in a turn back to Marble. I saw the flash. I said "I have the 122 in sight and I’m going to get it". I was still thinking like a Gunnie. I called for the Jokers. They scrambled. As I headed toward the location. I turned out the running lights, and climbed up to a good flare altitude. The Jokers got on the radio and asked what direction to head. I told them 255 off Marble for 5 klicks. Just then I saw another flash below us I turned over the site and told the crew chief to "Get Em" The crew chief unloaded a clip of tracers marking the spot for the Jokers. They laid about 3pair of 17 pounders on the spot and took out the 122. The Joker’s thought that there was a Air Force Gunship over the area when they saw the tracers from the M-16. My AC knew that I had the experience so let me run the show. We continued to drop flares so the Jokers could get down and look at the spot. They couldn’t see much. But the rest of the night was quiet. No more incoming. We returned to operations and the conversation was. Who was that guy in the flare ship. Then someone said " Oh that’s that frustrated Stinger Pilot."

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