THE UNFRIENDLY SKIES
Maybe the 7th time was the "unlucky" charm?
Friday, 21 April 1967
Diary Entry of Lt Springer
Somebody, somewhere must like me. I had quite an exciting Caribou ride on this particular Friday. I hopped a Caribou (twin engine Army transport plane) to LZ Montezuma from Pleiku. Lt (FO) Bill Farmer (KIA) was with me at the time. I don’t remember why he had been in Pleiku but we were both headed back to the 3rd Brigade base sitting opposite each other toward the rear of the Caribou. As we were making the approach into Montezuma (aka FSB Bronco) all of a sudden we heard a “pop…pop…pop” kind of sound. We looked down and right between us, and about a foot away from my foot, there was a fresh hole in the floor of the aircraft and about 4 feet further down there was another one and more continuing out the rear of the plane. Some damn dink had obviously fired up at us with small caliber automatic weapon. It was probably an AK-47. Bill and I just looked at each other. To make matters worse, there were about 6 new guys (replacement personnel or perhaps better known as "FNG's") riding with us who had just arrived in country and heading over to join their newly assigned units. I noticed one of them, who was sitting next to Bill, had this pale look on his face and his eyes were about to pop out of his head. I said to him, “Welcome to Nam, buddy” and Bill said: “Don’t worry about it...this time they missed.” About that same time the crew chief of the Caribou had walked up to check out the damage and chimed in with “Yep...they usually hit just about where you are sitting.” Upon landing and getting out the rear of the aircraft, I counted 6 holes in a line starting with the one about a foot in front of me.
I didn't get a comment from any of the six FNGs; they were probably speechless anyway.
Lt Gary Dean Springer