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Down Bird


Quick Reaction Force (QRF)

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As a member of the Blue team, our primary duty was to scout for the enemy on the ground after our reconnaissance helicopters found signs of enemy movement.

All too often a Scout bird would get shot down. In that event, the Blues would scramble down to the helipad and board our Hueys and head out to the crash site.

The crash site was usually marked by smoke rising above the jungle, as most of the birds crash and burn upon impact. Our pilot would hover the Huey above the trees close to the downed aircraft as we rappelled one at a time to the ground through the dense vegetation. We always carried rappelling equipment with us as standard equipment, which consisted of leather gloves, rope and d-ring.

Fortunately, with our vast air support, the NVA and Viet Cong usually stayed out of sight until we were gone. Unfortunately, we mostly brought back depressing and disheartening body bags…
Down Bird in Cambodia Audio (May 6, 1970)

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