"This film is about the helicopter door gunner, nick"This film is about the
helicopter door gunner, nicknamed 'Shotgun Rider.' He was a new addition to the
helicopter crew, and the film shows him as he performed some of his various
duties in Vietnam, after a rigorous training program."
Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven
edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and 1-pass exposure & color correction
applied (cannot be ideal in all scenes).
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction,
clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not
perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
A door gunner is a crewman tasked with firing and maintaining manually directed
armament aboard a helicopter. The actual role will vary depending on the task
given on a particular mission...
The role of "Door Gunner" originated during the Vietnam War, when helicopters
were first used in combat in large numbers. The original personnel who served as
early Door Gunners aboard CH-21, UH-34, and UH-1 helicopters in Vietnam, were
enlisted men, with a designated and specially trained 'Crew Chief' serving as
both the aircraft's maintenance manager and a Door Gunner. And normally, a
second enlisted Soldier served as a second Door Gunner (such as on a UH-1, and
UH-34, which both used two gunners (one on each side of the aircraft)). Later,
as the War progressed, the Door Gunner position sometimes used a non-aviation
rated/trained Soldier or Marine, that volunteered for Door Gunner duties.
For the majority of the Vietnam War, the principal weapon of the Door Gunner in
Vietnam was a Medium Machine Gun (MG), initially, a M-1919A4 .30 Caliber MG, and
soon thereafter, the M-60 7.62mm MG became the standard helicopter door armament
system. However, when a helicopter was not armed or outfitted with a dedicated
MG for door armament, the Door Gunner was forced to use a rifle, or a carbine,
as a defensive weapon. (Thus, some Door Gunners in Vietnam are sometimes seen
using an M1 Carbine, an M14 rifle, or an M16 rifle, as their only weapon.) (In
the very first U.S. Army helicopter units (flying CH-21 helicopters) that began
flying combat missions in Vietnam in 1962, some helicopters were not armed with
a door MG, and the Door Gunners thus carried an M1 Carbine, or an M14 rifle, as
the sole door weapon.)
Initially, the Door Gunner's MG weapons were mounted on swiveling mounts (on a
pintle mount) in order to retain and steady the door armament weapon, which was
usually an M60 machine gun. As the War progressed, using bungee cords to
suspend/retain the MG weapons became a common practice for Door Gunners, as the
newfound maneuverability of these 'bungeed' MG weapons allowed for increased
angles to shoot from. Further, some Door Gunners simply did not use any
retention device with their MG weapons (such as a pintle mount, or a bungee
cord), and instead, they simply hand-held the weapon for a maximum level of
maneuverability of fire. This practice was commonly termed as using a "Free 60",
referring to the directional freedom of an unrestrained M-60 MG.
Door Gunners were normally restrained for safety within the aircraft, by either
using a standard seat lap belt, or if the Gunner wanted freedom of movement
within the aircraft while still being retained, he used a "Monkey Harness",
which was a GI safety harness worn on the torso, and anchored to the aircraft
floor, or cabin wall. The "Monkey Harness" allowed a Door Gunner great movement,
while preventing them from from falling out of the helicopter completely, i.e.
if they leaned outward on the helicopter skids, to get a better firing angle.
The Door Gunner position was not a particularly popular one, due to the inherent
vulnerability of manning a machine gun in the open door of a helicopter.
According to popular legend, the door gunner on a Vietnam era Huey gun ship had
a life-span of 5 minutes. This was obviously exaggerated but displays the
hazards of this particular military job at the time. Today, helicopters like the
UH-60 have two machine guns firing out of two windows located behind the pilots.
The CH-46, CH-47 and CH-53 have an additional gun that is fired from the rear
ramp. The UH-1 (still in use by the U.S. Marine Corps) is still manned as it was
in the Vietnam War, actually firing from an open cabin door...
The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft
engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter... first
flew on 20 October 1956. Ordered into production in March 1960... more than
16,000 have been produced worldwide.
The first combat operation of the UH-1 was in the service of the U.S. Army
during the Vietnam War. The original designation of HU-1 led to the helicopter's
nickname of Huey...named 'Shotgun
The Mosin Nagant Rifle in hands
of the Vietnamese People's Army / Vietcong and the Local Forces at the time of
the Vietnam War.
Súng trường Mosin Nagant (được gọi là súng K44 ở Việt Nam) là loại súng trường
không tự động từng được sử dụng bởi quân đội Đế quốc Nga từ năm 1891, quân đội
Liên Xô và các nước Đông Âu cho đến tận những năm 1960 và hiện vẫn được Quân đội
Nhân dân Việt Nam sử dụng. Súng dùng đạn cỡ 7,62 x 54mmR.
Loại súng này được đưa vào sử dụng tại Việt Nam từ giữa những năm 1950 và sử
dụng rộng răi trong Chiến tranh Việt Nam. Nhân dân miền Nam thường gọi là súng
bá đỏ, quân đội gọi là súng K44. Nhac/Music:
Hat Mai Khuc Quan Hanh
Highlights combat and other
activity in Vietnam from January to February 1966, including the 1st Infantry
Division, 25th Infantry Division and the conference at Honolulu. Historical
footage and viewpoint.
A compilation of operational
footage of the UH-1 Huey helicopter during the Vietnam War set to music from the
era. Also includes authentic operational radio 'chatter' from the iconic
helicopter. Dedicated to those who flew and died during the war.
French documentarian Pierre
Schoendorffer served as a combat soldier in Vietnam in the 1950s during France's
quagmire. In the fall of 1966, he returned with a cameraman and spent six weeks
with an American infantry platoon. This film, which won a 1968 Best Foreign
Documentary Oscar, is stark and riveting. Commanded by a West Point graduate,
Lieutenant Joseph Anderson, the 33-man platoon Schoendorffer traveled with was a
cross-section of America. Perhaps as the film was shot relatively early in the
war, the soldiers still seem motivated and even naive, though it seems to be
dawning on everyone that their task may well be hopeless. Exhausting patrols to
hunt the Viet Cong turn up nothing but deserted camps, and at one point when the
platoon is taking heavy gunfire, you can hear an American yelling that he can't
tell where the shooting is coming from. Schoendorffer refrains from making any
political statements and offers only the most minimal narration to the
black-and-white footage, none of which appears to have been staged for the
camera. When the body of a young soldier killed in an ambush is loaded aboard a
helicopter, the pain of the scene is palpable. At one point the platoon is shown
getting a detailed briefing on a mission, only to have the plans abruptly change
and the helicopters drop them into a battle where they have virtually no idea
what their role is supposed to be. The Anderson Platoon doesn't tell you, it
shows you, and this remarkable film resonates deeply. --Robert J. McNamara
have put together a very powerful, honest, gut-wrenching
portrayal of the Vietnam veteran
and let us tell it in our own words." — Howard
Sherpe, Vietnam veteran
emotional stories that haven’t been heard before,
Vietnam War veterans recount their experiences in this
one-hour television documentary.
Vietnam War Stories
presents a portrait of the war told entirely from the
perspective of veterans, who reflect on their memories
of the conflict from five decades ago. For many service
members, these experiences still feel like they happened
Members of the U.S. Army's
23rd Division share a moment of camaraderie in the field
100 veterans from all branches of the U.S. armed
services were interviewed by producer Mik Derks for the
program. They share moving stories of triumph and loss
in the field of duty, of sacrificing nearly everything
on the battlefield, and of the strong bond of
brotherhood and companionship in the ranks. Archival
video, historical photography and maps evoke the stark
imagery of the war alongside the veterans’ stories.
This is not the
story of the Vietnam War, but of the men and women who
went to Southeast Asia to serve their country. In the
voices of a few resonate the stories — each unique, each
profound — of the three million who served, the ones who
didn’t return and those who passed away before their
stories could be told.