"Arlie Deaton & My Wife Ruth"
Submitted by -1LT Robert Brewster, Headhunter 37, 1st PLT Pleiku Sep '70-Oct '71
All is fair in Love & War! From April to October 1970, my then finance’ Ruth Holbook, was an Army nurse assigned to 71st Evac Hospital in Pleiku. We had become engaged while I was still in flight school at Ft. Stewart Georgia and she was still assigned to the hospital at Ft. Gordon, GA.. When I was in the tactics phase at Ft. Rucker, I flew Bird Dogs and shared this information with Ruth. She told me there was a Birddog unit in Pleiku at Camp Holloway called the 219th Aviation Company. (At that time, we used the MARS radio system to talk with each other). I asked if she could meet the unit commander and find out if I could get assigned to the company if I received orders for Vietnam. Arlie Deaton was the 219th's company commander. The next thing I know I receive a letter from Ruth. In it is a list of names and units for the people in Vietnam who I would need to talk to when I arrived in country. They would help me get to Pleiku and the 219th. Armed with this information and before graduating flight school at Ft. Rucker I called the Officer Personnel Branch in Washington, D.C. My request was that I did not want any more schooling, no aircraft transitions, and no assignments to Germany, South Korea or anywhere in the states. I wanted to go straight to Vietnam! The officer I spoke to asked my name again. He stated "Well, Lt. Brewster do you know how many calls I am getting like this?" I answer back "No, sir I don't ". He then told me "None!" then asked me if I wanted to go straight to Vietnam or have some leave before I went. This was mid-September 1970. Two weeks later I was in South Vietnam.
Upon landing in Saigon, I pulled out my list of names provided by Arlie to Ruth. It worked like a charm. Only one officer questioned me by saying “Lt Brewster, we are supposed to assign you to a unit, you are not suppose to assign yourself”. I answered back quickly by saying “Sir, it must be important that I get to this unit, otherwise how would I have your name?” Without another word he stamped my orders and off I went to the next stop. Arlie arranged a flight for Ruth from Pleiku to meet me in Qui Nhon. It was in either a Beaver or an Otter. We both flew back to Pleiku in it. The date was September 29, 1970. Arlie Deaton’s assignment with the 219th ended on October 1 when he headed home to the states. We knew each other for only two days but he had changed my life forever. That was Arlie!
In early December, Ruth and I were both reassigned from Pleiku to Qui Nhon where I joined the Headhunter's 3rd platoon and she went to the 67th Evac Hospital. In February 1971, we were married in Hawaii while on RR . We have been happily married 42 years. This would not have been possible without Arlie Deaton, the greatest Headhunter of all. God bless Arlie!!
"My O-1 Backseat Adventure"
Submitted by -CWO Chuck Brainerd, Cougar 34, 57th Assault Helicopter Company, Pleiku 1970-1971
My name is Chuck Brainerd, I Flew with the 57th Assault Helicopter Company. When I arrived in country the Gladiators and Cougars were based at An Khe. Later that year we moved to Camp Holloway where this event happened in late1970 or early 1971
A 219th Headhunter pilot approached me at the Officers Club in Camp Holloway. He asked if he could exchange a ride during a bird dog mission for a ride in Cougars Revenge Night Hawk. So named for retaliation for the death of Cougar Jeff Coffin that was killed south of Pleiku.
I had seen these guys on missions in the AO and wasn’t sure I wanted to fly in one since they didn’t have the two door gunners that I was use to. Also it was a non-turbine aircraft and I didn’t have a fixed wing rating. But the 20 year old inside of me made the deal.
I had one condition, which he agreed to. I would be able to bring along a M-60 Machine Gun. He said yes to this request. After draping belts of Ammo every where I could, We took off to a strip that I cant remember the name of, landed and, pulled up to a conex, removed the smoke rockets and rearmed the Bird Dog with HE, 2.75 inch Rockets. Then we headed out to the AO. Enroute he asked me if I wanted to do a Split S, to proud to admit I didn’t know what that was, I said yes. When he finished the maneuver I still didn’t know what a split S was. I experienced G forces I have never felt and saw the horizon where it was not supposed to be. He asked, how did you like that?? I answered I’m not sure what you did but that was fun hoping he wouldn’t do that again.
Arriving in the search area, he told me some one had use that trail last night, I could not even make out a trail. After following the trail for a short distance, we heard a short burst of AK fire. After firing the HE Rockets, He began circling the area; he reached for a M-79 and a laundry bag full of Ammo for it and began firing it out the left side. After he had his fun, he allowed me to shoot the 60 out the right side.
Now we were having fun. After expending all the ammo we headed back to the PSP runway at Holloway. During the post flight he exclaimed "Oh, Holy (expletive)". He showed me that the M-60 shells had damaged the leading edge of the right horizontal stabilizer. I said I had to go and left quickly never seeing him again.
This year this 60-year-old pilot soloed a Cessna 305 Birddog. Looking in the back seat I can’t believe I shot a M-60 out the back right window. I’m in love with the plane and have a great respect for the 219th Pilots and crews that flew them.
I thought he was Head Hunter 11 but I am not sure of that. If you are the pilot in this story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I would love to talk with you.
Chuck Brainerd Cougar’s Revenge (Cougar 34)
"LZ English to An khe to Pleiku to Cheo Reo"
Submitted by -SP/5 Robert Kroman, 3rd Plt., 1970-1971
When the 203rd went home Lt Jim Baker and I went to LZ English 1970 I think for only 3 months then to An Khe with Lt Baker again and when the 3rd Bgd of the 4th div pulled out in may 1970 we both went to Camp Holloway till March of 71 then I went to Cheo Reo till May 71 and I ETS'd to Saigon working on U21's for NHA, which took over LSI's contract. Lt baker is in the guest book # 96 2010 but not on the roster. I would sure like to get his Email to say Hi, the day we went to Holloway that night i had Guard Duty and he was OD. During inspection he looked at my M-16 and said this looks like the same dirt from An Khe and I said "No Sir "that's the same dirt from LZ English Ha! it brings back a lot of memories for me.
"Hey, You Got it....Give Me that M-16 "
Submitted by -SP/5 Martin Tremethick, 3rd Plt. Qui Nhon, 1970
This Ain’t No Shit!
In the latter half of 1970 in Qui Nhon, Charlie Ryan rotated home and was replaced by Bill Hutter. As a crewchief/observer I remember a particular flight with Cpt. Hutter in Happy Valley. We were on a VR mission when we stumbled upon what appeared to be the entire NVA army. From my perspective in the back seat it look like a Chinese fire drill below us. I don't recall if gunships or Phantom F- 4's were called, but Cpt. Hutter turned the Bird Dog around a 180 turn and started back up the valley. He said to get my M16 ready which it was, so I started preparing to get out of my harness and kneel on the seat. He then turned a 180 turn to head back down the valley. The next thing he did blew my mind. With all the flying I had done up to now I never saw this maneuver. He throttled the engine back dropped the flaps and trimmed the aircraft. I later found out it was called slow flying. And then he really blew my mind! He said, "take the controls and keep her straight headed down the valley...give me your M-16...you crew chiefs always have all the fun." With that, I handed him my M16 and held a death grip on the controls because I knew we were going to die. I was either going to fly into the valley wall or Charlie was going to pick off this slow moving airplane. Well, I successfully flew the Bird Dog down the valley and Cpt. Hutter got to blast a few magazines at some NVA. I never did see if he hit any...I was kind of busy at the moment. Anyway, it was an unforgettable and exhilarating experience. Thank you Bill Hutter...Your favorite crew chief...Trick
MY PERSONAL STORY -
JOHN A KUBIK,
I graduated from flight school on 29 August 1967 and was more proud of this accomplishment than receiving my commission as an officer.
While in flight school, those of us who were not married, pretty much were treated as “top gun” kind of guys by the local female population. I suspected that is why the schools were located in rural south Georgia and Alabama farm country so that we young “studs” would have few to choose from. I did manage to date a nice girl while in Georgia but I could not get past her “southern twang” (she was a bright attractive kid but her accent was definitely not for this Yankee Boy).
I did however, meet my first wife while I was in Alabama (she was originally from Oklahoma – much better).
Vietnam… (Read more...)
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