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Empty Tubes and Back Seat Memories: A Life Changing Experience Paperback – January 15, 2010
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Review written by William E. Peterson
Author of Missions Of Fire And Mercy ~ Until Death Do Us part Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do Us Part
Russ Warriner has a great memory as proven by his writing this book without notes or letters home. The author enlisted to be a crew chief/gunner on a Huey gunship in Vietnam for one and a half years. He crewed his gunship while flying with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Artillery (ARA), lst Cavalry Division (AM).
The Huey that the author crewed was originally a Huey "slick" which was used for aerial combat assaults and for re-supplying the troops in the field. Normally this slick was equipped with two M-60 machine guns. However, as a part of the ARA (Aerial Rocket Artillery), Russ's particular aircraft was equipped with only one M-60. In addition, a rocket pod was mounted on the left side of the bird (The Maxwell System) for additional punch to keep the enemy at bay while supporting the troops on the ground.
This system included the M3 rocket system with 2.75" rockets and an SS Missile for busting up enemy bunkers.
Russ tells the story well enough to put the reader in his gunner seat. It's a great ride if you like a good adrenaline rush and brown undies. He tells of a night flare mission when a magnesium aircraft flare detonated on his ship. Though injured, he was able to kick the flare out of the aircraft, only to have it hang up on the skid. This could have been a very bad night for the crew, but his pilots were able to fly the ship to the medical pad without further problems.Read more ›
And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller: Adventures of a Marine in the rear, to combat in Vietnam