27. Running Out Of Gas By Joel Harris
One day in 69 we were directing artillery fire on an NVA underground complex not too far away from Tuy Hoa in the mountains. I had some MACV types onboard who were FOing the fire and we were giving it to them pretty good. I guess I was kind of caught up in the heat of battle and, as I recall, the fuel gauge proved somewhat inaccurate. All of a sudden we got a low fuel light and I turned to head back to base at best range speed but we didn't quite make it. At 500 feet AGL off the end of Tuy Hoa airbase runway she flamed out.
I managed to do a nice autorotation with no damage to the aircraft or anyone onboard (thank God for great Army training!). As soon as we touched down the crew chief came forward, opened my door and planted a kiss on my cheek. I guess he liked the auto.
We established a perimeter around the ship. We had landed in a rice paddy and there were quite a few "civilians" around. All of sudden, who walks up but my hooch maid! We had landed near her home.
Hello "Tajoea" she said with a big grin (she couldn't say Joel). "Ah, hi, nice to see you."
We radioed Operations and they sent some fuel out and we flew back. I kind of got in trouble for that one.
Last modified: Monday June 27th, 2022