A Minnesota PBS Initiative
I was a door gunner in a unit of the First Infantry Division known as the Rebels. (1967-1968) Our unit consisted of eight UH1B and UH1C helicopters, sixteen pilots, eight door gunners and eight crew chiefs. Each ship was equipped with two 7.62 mm mini guns which fired 4000 rounds per minute each, 16 rockets and two M-60 machine guns. We carried 10,000 rounds of 7.62 ammo for the miniguns and 1800 rounds of 7.62 ammo for each door gun.
I am proud of my unit and the work we did, but the war was a useless waste of American and Vietnamese lives.
Our only missions were combat missions for close-in air support for First Division Infantry units, ARVN units and Special Forces "Green Beret" units in the Iron Triangle area of Vietnam from Saigon in the south to Song Be and Bo Dup to the north.
I am proud of my service in the Nam, I am proud of my unit and the work we did but the war was a useless waste of American and Vietnamese lives. We could not and did not win the war because our government was supporting a corrupt South Vietnamese government.
Story Themes: 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, Army, Combat, DAV, Disabled American Veterans, Dissent, Larry Vladick, Phu Loi, Watch, Zimmerman