Team of "Shark" Guns (UH-1C)
standing on the south end of Gia Vuc airfield
(taken from north to south)
December 1970/January 1971 , Photo courtesy of Fred Thompson,
CW2, Shark 7
In-fact, a trip to Gia Vuc
was not just a test but a treat for all of one's faculties.
The incredible beauty of the entire area,
matched only by the awe of mystery that enveloped it.
Our unit participated in many diverse missions other than the
and re-supply of units in the field. The LRP
insertion-extractions held excitement and challenge.
The mountain-valley spray missions and emergency medical
evacuations all kept the adrenaline flow constant.
We were situated on the coast, east of Gia Vuc and there was
an almost false security there that one felt only vulnerable
from three sides rather than four. While flying in the
slick platoons. I had the opportunity to fly into Gia Vuc on
and even once was weathered-in, forcing an uneasy R-O-N
(remain-over-night) The highlight being the wonderful
extended to our crew of food, shelter, scotch, whiskey and
security of the aircraft.
I didn't quite realize it at the time, but every one of our
crews took enormous pride in having been privileged to
the Special Forces in Any capacity at any time.
Picture one is taken looking north, from
the south end of the airfield . . note 174th
"Dolphin" slicks standing-by to load packs.
December 1970/January 1971
Photo courtesy of Fred Thompson, CW2, Shark 7
Gia Vuc was
not just a few mountain valleys west of the coast. It
was Out there. Like Kham Duc, this was what seemed
the very heart of Indian territory to us. It took nearly
45 minutes for us to fly one-way and with our armaments, we
deep into a "twenty-minute" fuel warning light upon
our return to Duc Pho. The mountain valleys contained
numerous well tended
crops and terraced rice paddies. Because of the lack of
air traffic over these areas, "Charlie" had the
luxury of tending some of these
fields in broad daylight. The more food he produced
here, the less that had to be brought south to sustain him.
On one such return
from Gia Vuc, we had three gunships that had been part of a
LRP operation. It was getting near dark and we caught
what we observed
to be four uniformed regulars in the open, up a draw, above a
rice paddy. They scrambled towards weapons but were
beaten to the draw.
My last visit
was as armed-aerial escort to the Dolphin slicks prior to a
combat assault into a neighbouring mountain valley to the
northwest. I took these few photographs as the ARVN
troops were being trucked to the airfield. We had shut
down for fuel
conservation to allow us to complete the mission as fuel was
limited at the location at the time we arrived. You'll
that no crew chief or gunner even considered tying the
blades down to enable a speedy departure. These
pictures were taken in late December 1970 or early January
of 1971. Within weeks of this, our unit would pack up
all essentials and move north to Quang Tri
for Dewey Canyon II - Lam Son 719.
My last visit was as armed-aerial escort to the Dolphin
slicks prior to a combat assault into