A Door Gunner's Memories of the Vietnam War - by Tom Materene

In remembrance to those whom I served with, many no longer with us.

This is a copy of the original album on Flickr by Tom Materene, reposted with his permission.

OldGuy said:
My 5 year service started 58 years ago and I initially was a 11B10 Light weapons Infantryman and then moved onto the C/1st 506th/101st Airborne Division. I re-enlisted from Fort Campbell Ky and moved onto the Dallas Fort Worth Air Defense Nike Hercules, stationed at D-50 Alvarado Tx as a missile crewman. 14 months later Nike Hercules was beginning to shut down Nation Wide and I moved to a Hawk missile battery off the coast of South Vietnam. With so many Nike People roaming around and no where to go they did not need me... of course ?

I got a chance to choose what I wanted to do, since they broke my re-enlistment contract by sending me to Vietnam when I should have gone to Germany where the Nike remained in service. I could have asked for Germany where my first set of orders had reserved for me but they had reascended that probably due to having so many of us with no place to go. I asked for aviation and it was a very good choice. I was assigned the 1st Avn Bde 164th Group 13th Avn Bn and down to Soc Trang to join up with the 336th assault helicopter, I spent one year there flying as a gunship as a door gunner on a UH-1 A,B and C.

At the end of that year I walked down the flight line to the sister company the 121st Assault Helicoper who had arrived as the 93rd Transportation from Fort Carson Colo and spent 2 more years there on the same duty. I think that pretty much covers it but not all the fun and things to share.

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