By Wayne Mutza, Ernesto Cumpian, Don Greer
''''''AH-1 Cobra In motion
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Extra resources for AH-1 Cobra in action
I had a very high opinion of man when I came to Vietnam, but as my tour passed, I was to form an entirely different opinion. I am sorry to say that it was not a very good one. NEWBIE 31 We got awfully tired of being called newbie all the time. Besides playing tricks on the newbies in the company area, the crews also liked to play tricks on them while they were flying. When I first arrived at the 71st AHC, the gunners were allowed to disconnect their M60s from the aircraft’s fixed gun mounts. They then mounted their guns to big bungee cords, which removed the limited degree of movement built into the gun mount and allowed the gunners more versatility when firing.
I thought that they were neat and I really looked forward to getting mine. Unfortunately for me, by the time that I got to this point in my tour, our commanding officer (CO) had done away with the wings. At these awards ceremonies, there was always a lot of drinking in celebration of the old guys completing their tour. After finishing the ceremonies, the pilots would always grab a new AC or copilot and “aircraft carrier” qualify him. It was at this point in the evening that Garrett and I would start heading for the door.
As I lay there listening to all the commotion from next door, I looked at my watch. It was already after 0130 hours. I decided that I was too tired for this crap. I did not go in for this kind of harassment, since I didn’t drink that much, and besides, I was scheduled to fly in about four hours. So I picked up a ball-peen hammer that I had noticed earlier under my bunk and tucked it inside my sleeping bag. I decided that I would nail the first person that came through my door. I figured they were all so drunk that they would never know what hit them.
AH-1 Cobra in action by Wayne Mutza, Ernesto Cumpian, Don Greer