DOLPHINS & SHARKS
Dolphin Door Gunner
I entered Viet Nam November 1969 and was assigned to the 3rd of the 1st Infantry, 11 LIB (Light Infantry Brigade) working off Hill 411 as an infantryman. Got tired of booby traps and walking, and extended my time to go into aviation.
Was assigned to the 174th in March 1970. Became the door gunner on Smokey (the Dolphin smoke-generating ship) with Ken (Walt) Wolters as crew chief. Burton was AC (aircraft commander) until he left , then King was AC. I flew with other pilots and crewmen before Smokey. I think I was in 1st flight platoon.
All of the pilots and crewmen were class acts on duty.
After I returned, I became a police officer in my home county in Illinois. I was shot twice in May 1976. Later I was elected Sheriff for four years, and spent a total of 17 years as a police officer before undergoing back surgery in 1990. I then started working for the Department of Natural Resources of Illinois, and am still there.
I really miss the closeness that pilots and enlisted men shared. I've tried to renew some old relationships, but I guess sometimes it's better to just let go of those memories. A special thanks to Shark4 (Jim) for being there to listen and to respond back.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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