View Single Post
Old September 28, 2012, 08:26 AM   #32
Senior Member
Join Date: November 2, 2007
Location: Northern Orygun
Posts: 4,923
Originally Posted by carguychris
I recently read a memoir by a Vietnam War OH-6A scout helicopter pilot; he managed to bring a personally-owned 6" Colt Python to the front lines and sometimes used it to take one-handed potshots at the VC when he didn't need both hands on the controls. The doors of these helicopters were usually removed in combat, so he could shoot out either side, but he usually fired right-handed because they circled targets clockwise. This was primarily done so hot shell casings from the rear seat gunner / crew chief's M60 machine gun wouldn't blow back into the cabin, but it also helped minimize the muzzle blast from the Python (the pilot in Western helicopters usually sits on the RH side, so a right-handed shot would involve holding the gun out the door).
The loch was pretty much unarmed initially. We used them as "bait" for the circling gunships. Arming with the a mini gun pac or grenade launchers came later.

Of course, the helicopter was also armed with the rear-seat M60, and most of them were also subsequently equipped with forward-firing Minigun packs; the writer readily confessed that he mainly used the Python for shock value, and he doubts he ever hit any VC with it.
The UH1 C's and H's used the side mounted M60's, the C's would be used as gunships with different combinations of mini guns and rocket launchers, 20mm cannon.

Fairly common for Army Aviation unit members to have personal side arms. The problem was no .357 ammo in the system.

FWIW the US Army needed helicopter pilots so badly during the Vietnam War that they bypassed normal officer training and created a warrant officer program; these folks went through the same flight school as commissioned officers but didn't get the same administrative and leadership training and were given the option for shorter deployments. Since the typical warrant officer was a "short timer" who just wanted to fly helicopters for 2-4 years and then leave the military- rather than use the deployment as a stepping stone to a promotion to Colonel, command of a battalion, 20-year career, etc.- the warrant officers didn't have the same incentive to do things "by the book" and often got away with things that no 2LT would attempt.
The WOC program pre dates the Viet Nam war significantly. It was substantially increased in the mid 60's to deal with the increased need for fodder. WOC's would go the flight school from basic training. Commissioned officers would not go to flight until well after receiving there commission. Many a Captain and Major earned their wings alongside WOC's.
madcratebuilder is offline  
Page generated in 0.03519 seconds with 7 queries