174th Assault
Helicopter Company


WO1 Rick Dodge and WO1 Jim McDaniel were flying in Shark 165 in February 1968. Rick was flying as aircraft commander (AC) and Jim was "Peter Pilot" on a gun mission in the mountains west of Chu Lai. Jim was in the left seat (firing the miniguns) when a VC bullet penetrated the windshield and passed within one inch of Jim's head. Jim had just put down the clear visor on his helmet the gun run before the bullet hit, and he took many small plexiglass fragments in his face, neck, and shoulder. Had he not put down his visor, the fragments would certainly have hit him in the eyes, blinding him. This took place on 6 February 1968, which happened to be his oldest son's birthday two years to the day BEFORE his son was born. Pictured below is Rick on the left and Jim on the right.

(Photos property of Jim McDaniel, 1968.)

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