Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971
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Long Thanh North
October 13, 1971
Didn't get a chance to write yesterday. I was flying. I was supposed to be on detail, but the Sgt. in charge of the hanger said I had to sit in the shop even if I didn't do any work. So I sat in the shop till about 10 am then I got a chance to leave. I went with 009 on a test flight to try out that radio telephone deal. It worked out real good until we came across this woman telephone operator. She didn't understand what was going on and wanted to know why she had to say 'over' whenever she finished talking. All in all it was a success. The gadget works.
On the way back from the radio mission we made a few practice landings. Each landing counts as a mission so I logged nine missions for that flight.
We finished about 11:30 am and I had lunch and at 1 pm went back to the shop. I stayed about an hour and then SP/5 Brewer who is now in charge of Avionics told me to take off because he didn't need me. So I went back to the company area and sat out in the sun for a while. Along came Sgt. Skaggs who put me on detail in the morning. He asked if I had finished and when I told him that the other Sgt. wouldn't let me do it he said he'd have a few words with that Sgt. He even told Capt. Kinzel, the XO about it. We have a few conflicting interests here in case you haven't noticed. I don't really care. I'll still keep trying to get on detail and let the lifers fight it out among themselves.
So I had the afternoon off till about 3:30 pm. Kadramas came in my room and said we had to rig 073 for radio relay standby. It poured rain and we got soaked. The mission went hot at about 7 pm. I flew the first mission from about 7 pm to 11:30 pm. It was to Tay Ninh. We're supporting the 3rd Brig. of the 1st ACD. I haven't figured out what the ACD is yet. I think it stands for Air Cavalry Division. We flew through thunderstorms all night. It was a pretty rough ride. The first time I've ever had to wear a seatbelt the whole time I was flying.
I got to sleep about 12 midnight. Had to get everything ready for my next flight by candlelight. The electricity has been out around here since yesterday afternoon and it's still out.
I got up this morning about 5:30 am for 7 am takeoff. We had nice weather this morning and I got to fly the plane for about an hour. We stopped at Sanford Field in Long Binh to refuel because of the electro being out here. So I logged 2 missions for that flight.
According to my count I now have 53 missions and about 120 hours. That's not counting anything double for combat assault. That's well enough for an air medal. Whether I get or not is another question.
I asked one of the guys who work in flight operations about getting orders for wings. He said he thinks I was put in for them, but he would check and if I hadn't he'd put me in for them. I haven't checked with him since then. It's been a day or two. I'll have to see what he found out.
I'll probably fly tonight. This mission is supposed to last about 4 or 5 days. I got the first letter you wrote addressed to 1st Signal. I'm glad to see you used the right APO.
Missed lunch today so I had two cokes, Vienna sausage and potato sticks.
That's it for now.
(read the next letter home)