38-10-68/001 Battle damage rpt 62-4560 16 Feb 65
38-10-68 /002 change 5 to 3rd GP
Programming Plan 1
Nov.29 Arrived in Vietnam at Binh Thuy AB RVN 78 mi SW of Saigon - Have to sleep 3 to a room and CO stays up all nite with lights on-
Dec.2 First ride in HH43F. Good grief, is it heavy. No reserve power to speak of- lead sled-
Dec.3 Had second ride today- am now Officially checked out as rescue pilot. I go on alert tomorrow-
Dec.11 First night flight - had 3 tracers fired at us while turning base leg - didn’t go out quite as far on next pattern-
Dec.12 First time to do something- took a water pump out to a Thailand freighter it was really low in the water- it was riding 12 feet lower than it was supposed to - 32 souls on board- it was so old I don’t see how it would float anyway-
1925 built- 12’-15’ waves- I was glad that one was over- 35 miles out to sea-
Dec.13 first ACR- picked up F-4C pilot that ejected- Sea Wolf flew fire suppression - man they fired all kinds of stuff nice to see someone there to help a little pilot was ok except for hurt leg He was really thankful to be picked up took light ground fire on take-off
Next a C-7A crashed off the end of 06 we picked up 5 crew members all hurt none serious This has been a long day but its better than just sitting
Dec.14 LBR F-100 with fuel leak he landed without incident He sure took his time in Getting out of the acft. with gallons of fuel running out of the fuselage
Dec.22 Good Grief ALR flew out to an island about 55 miles off the coast to check on distress signals - found it & landed PJ & mechanic searched area I got out of acft. with rifle in hand & charged into the jungle - after going about 50’ into the brush I stopped & said what in the hell am I doing - So I just walked around a little in the jungle was I scared? YOU BET.
Jan.1 2 LBR’s today AIE’s both had hydraulic failure but both got down without incident I’ll swear they never call an emerg. until they are about to land & we never get up in time
4 Jan. Med. Evac. 2 saves - both navy PBR troops hurt by mortar when they were ambushed. One had a bad leg wound but the other had a bad head wound you could see his brain through a 2” hole The PJ had to hold his mouth open with his thumb so the fellow wouldn’t drown on his own blood & vomit his eyes were swollen shut & whole face was purple worse one picked up as yet PJ did a fine job
Jan.5 - LBR AIE fuel leak & vibrating prop landed without incident They never call an emergency til they are on final approach.
Jan.8 - LBR AIE
Smoke in cockpit nothing else had a few bullet holes in wing
Jan.14 - LBR F-100 battle damage fuel leaking all over the place - he got down ok but he never shut the engine down I figure he just tried to look as if it was nothing but he moved when we told him of the fuel all under him
Jan.17 - another nite local flight we got shot at again reported it to security -
Jan. 18 - C7A (caribou) crashed just off the end of the runway 2nd one in a month no one hurt again Sure made a mess of a nice rice paddy
26 Jan. - LBR AIE vibrating prop landed without incident also an ACR F-4C pilot hit & ejected along river pilot got out & into dinghy, co-pilot drowned we never found him he may have been out when he hit the water
30 Jan. - Good Grief my first mortar attack man I don’t like these at all none came very close but to look at the damage really ruins your whole day
2 Feb. - flew nite Patrol around base I don’t like this at all - lights on, 300’ up at 60 kts -
VC could even hit us
Cantho field hit by mortar started fire & they ask us to come over to help put it out ridiculous but we tried
3 Feb. - By the grace we didn’t get killed tonite Flew patrol around base Flew up a river & made a right turn up a canal as soon as I rolled level the entire sky in front of me lit up with more tracers than I could count. I could think of nothing except squeeze down further into my seat then I quickly turned right again I figure 3 to 5 automatic weapons fired at least 100 rounds at us in 4 secs Returned to base & landed & found 4 bullet holes 3 feet in back of me & 3 holes in one rotor blade only reason they didn’t get us was that they lead us 10 ft. too much Well if this wasn’t enough they just got thru mortaring us again closet one was 75 feet-
Please Lord let this day end soon
*AT THIS TIME THE LOG GETS REAL PERSONAL AND THE MORTAR ATTACKS ARE RELENTLESS. Leaving out personal entries on purpose.
MORTAR ATTACKS ; 4 FEB, 5 FEB, 7 FEB (Lt. Col. killed in room under 2 mattresses-PSP doesn’t stop shrapnel either), 8 FEB,
12 FEB, 13 FEB- (0250-0350-2320 HRS), 14 FEB
15 Feb ACR F-100 pilot OK
MORTAR ATTACKS; 16 FEB, 17 FEB (some people are getting trigger happy), 18 FEB (our bombs & rockets do no good - A Viet Colonel will not send troops out to get Charlie),
22 Feb. - my birthday a little sleep 3 martinis & 4 manhattans let the little SOBs come Happy Birthday
MORTAR ATTACKS; 23 FEB (hit ammo dump it blew and blew from 2 am to 0830 what a mess ), 25 FEB(GOT OFFICER QTRS ZERO’D IN SLEEP IN BUNKERS- one mortar hit 10’ in front of bunker door)
1 Mar. - ACR picked up 3 navy guys off a PBR on river - one wounded bad & other two had leg wounds
2 Mar. picked up AVRN troop off river - he had a bad head wound but was conscious & knew what was going on landed in soccer field in Can Tho where an ambulance took him to a hospital-
4 Mar. - 120 rds. of mortars both acft. are out but one should be in tomorrow
7 Mar. - Took 2 Vietnamese & an OSI agent on a flight to spot a VC supply point man they don’t pay me to do this kind of work the day wasn’t boring anyway
9 Mar. - PBR pick up north of Vinh Long - 2 wounded - 2130 hrs made anther PBR pickup down river - bad head wound ground fire but sea wolf kept it down
12 Mar. - PBR pick up- heavy ground fire sea wolves took several hits we nearly bought the farm PBR would not disconnect the stokes when they finally did it caught under the boat & pulled copter 30degs bank 3 times cable broke thank God or we would have hit the water never got the wounded- boat took him to Cantho ambulance got him took him to soccer filed- we picked him up & took him to Dang Tran (sp?) 40 miles away bullet wound in back next to spine
14 Mar. Mortars 85 rounds guess room next to mine direct hit
MORTAR ATTACK; 17 Mar. He never seems to get tired but he isn’t getting any better a shot we have been lucky
19 Mar.- PBR pick up - 2 wounded no problem on pick up
MORTAR ATTACK; 22 Mar. 2 Vietnamese killed that’s 8 and 3 Americans
MORTAR ATTACK; 25 Mar. 2 Vietnamese killed can hear the shrapnel hitting the buildings & roofs-
28 Mar. - called out on a downed helicopter flew 25 miles south of Binh Thuy had two Huey gunships for cover at 4 AM found burned out helicopter & went down to check for survivors no beepin, no stoke litter when we got to 300’ all hell broke loose VC were all over the place it was a trap & we just barely got out in time
from now on, no radio, no rescue-
31 Mar.- O-1 crash but pilot wasn’t hurt took him to Dong Tam
4 Apr. - been slow but lately but made a navy pick up about 45 miles from here 2 personnel wounded, both ok-
MORTAR ATTACK; 9 Apr. 80 rounds no one hurt but scratch 1 A1E
MORTAR ATTACK; 13 Apr. Laundry hit- several severely wounded
18 Apr.- PBR pick up 10 miles downriver boat sunk and two badly wounded
24 Apr. Business has really slowed down only an LBR today
30 Apr. evacuated 4 Vietnamese from outpost ol’ Charlie was within 1000’ but did not shoot I was glad for some reason
3 May - picked up navy man off LST about 60 miles away he was hit internally but seemed to be in good shape
MORTAR ATTACK; 6 May - not bad only 20-25 rounds maybe Charlie is running out of ammo
12 May - Picked up a navy guy LST
18 May Picked up 4 Army personnel off downed helicopter one was a Full Colonel Vietnamese type
MORTAR ATTACK; 21 May ol’charlie hit us with about 60-70 rounds of 75 mm recoilless- they nearly got the ammo dump
22 May - 6 Months - only 6 years to go
LOG ENDS ABURPTLY.
Dad made no further entries at Binh Thuy AB. I believe he had had his fill and concentrated on his duties, staying focused on the missions, and not re-living them in a log book.
Dad was exhausted from missions and no sleep. (many Blues too)
I omitted entries of a personal nature as he was talking to mom and us kids.
Not to mention his opinion of Charlie
Dad came home.
This data was recorded by me, Leslie E. Johnson III, 1st son of Major Leslie E. Johnson Jr., from
Major Johnson’s personal Pedro Log Book from Binh Thuy AB, Vietnam, 1967-1968.
I have it in my possession. 19 March 2015.