I will add a link to your site on mine. Excellent work. There are few people, even Vietnam Veterans, who know anything about the '72 offensive. I learned a little from Neil Sheehan's book "A Bright Shining Lie". If I remember, Vann was killed up there when his chopper flew into a mountain in bad weather (i.e., the normal Highlands weather).
You have my thanks. You and every door gunner, crew chief, and medic who did so much for the guys in the field. To this day I can identify a Huey just by the distinctive sound of its rotor blades. That sound still brings back memories, almost all of them good. We waved at every Cobra, Loach, and Huey that flew low over Highway 19. It made me feel good to know we had total strangers willing to risk their lives to help us and the infantry, if we got ourselves into an ugly situation. You guys never let us down and I for one will never forget that. And I'll never forget the CH-47 crews who brought me my chocolate chip cookies out in the middle of Indian country, and the blivet full of diesel fuel when we were running on vapors in a place where running out of fuel would have been unseemly.
REFLECTIONS: This was an early e-mail from someone who had already created a great Vietnam web site and I truly appreciated his encouragement for what I was doing. For those of us who flew, the commitment to the men on the ground was absolute. I don't know a single pilot who would not risk his life in an instant to try and save a soldier in trouble. It was the confidence that we would come, no matter what, that gave so many troops on the ground the confidence to push on even though it looked pretty bleak. The ubiquitous sound of thundering blades across the battlefields of Vietnam was music to the ears of our soldiers and struck terror in the hearts of the enemy. I remember the day I pulled a badly hurt Special Forces team out of the field and brought them to the 71st Evac Hospital in Pleiku... I remember the young wounded Sgt who came up to the window of my helicopter, he grabbed my gloved hand and kissed it... They knew we would not leave them...