Where are you guys going???   Hey….WAIT!!!


The BN LNO’s (Battalion Liaison Officers) were required to check their area of operations to see if a Friendly village moved or a new one was created.  The only way to do that was to fly the general area, so we had to grab a chopper whenever the opportunity occurred. Unless you were in a UH1-H configured as a Command & Control chopper, the only way to talk to the Artillery was to take a PRC25 or the PRC77. In this case, I was invited to fly with 1/69th Armor BN Commander and provide Artillery support.  

Toward the end of the firefight at Ben Het, we were flying in an OH6, I was in the backseat and did not have a headset.  We were over a Mech Infantry unit in a firefight way south of Ben Het. Suddenly, we autorotated down and before the skids hit the ground, I rolled out to provide security. The next I hear, the OH6 is lifting 20 feet off the ground and headed back to Ben Het. Infantry was rapidly heading away. This was about 9 AM and I found myself the only person holding the LZ.  I tried using the PRC77, but was out of range. I had two choices: stay put or walk back.  I stayed put, walking back during the day with all the NVA activity was not a smart move.  I was prepared to walk back after dark. 

The Armor BN Daily briefing took place about 1700 hrs daily and the BN Commander asked where I was. They determined that I was last seen flying with him that morning.  The Armor S2 grabbed another OH6 and headed to where the Firefight had taken place. As they approached the area, he came up on the Artillery Frequency and asked me to pop smoke; I informed him I had no smoke I only had the radio. 

What happened was the Infantry had captured an NVA Lieutenant  and the BN commander agreed to take him to POW compound. So, when the OH6 touched down they threw  the Lieutenant in the back for me to secure and the pilot pulled pitch as soon has he was on board. The Armor BN Commander thought I had a headset and was aware of what was happening.    


Submitted by

Cpt Bob Baird


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