first published on April 24, 2018 by Josh
The first video you are about to watch is the recorded audio transmissions between UH-1 pilots as they fly a combat extraction for infantry troops who are engaged by Viet Cong forces in the jungles of Vietnam. While you are listening to this, take special note at the calm and collected demeanor of the pilots as they fly directly into the jaws of death to extract their brothers. Even when one of the pilots is directly hit, his tone barely changes, and his communications with the other pilots remains steady.
Talk about calm and bravery. These pilots sound like they’re out on a Sunday afternoon drive through the park. Here’s the real picture though: They’re flying low and fast, dumping rockets, mini-guns, and small arms fire into 2,000 angry NVA soldiers. Meanwhile slick pilots are landing nearby to evacuate soldiers on the ground who are in a pretty bad way. When you hear crazy stories from Vietnam, this is the kind of thing you often think about.
The pilot of the aircraft that was struck goes by the call-sign of Pigpen. His real name is Dr. Mark Garrison. Here is his recollection of the events that unfolded on this combat mission in the form of a YouTube video that his son helped him put together. If you are interested in reading more about this man, and the events that happened during the process of recording this audio, you can check out his book titled “Guts N’ Gunships” at this link to Amazon, where the book is currently being sold.