Anthony W. Pahl

COMBAT…

My M60s in Vietnam – ID Numbers 18 and 53
My M60s in Vietnam – ID Numbers 18 and 53. Royal Australian Air Force UH1H Gunship, call sign: Bushranger 71. Photograph ©Copyright 1969 by Anthony W. Pahl
… that’s when reliance and faith become tangible rather than mere concepts! And it’s a two way street… both lanes pitted with camouflaged punji pits… both lanes dirty with one coming back for more… until the road is completely paved with clouds…

There is no such thing as a good intention in such situations. There is neither yes nor no… there’s only IS and DO!

We got the call for Bushranger’s (RAAF H-model Huey Gunships) to support an Aussie Army patrol which was in contact. Couldn’t see anything except jungle canopy… from above: but my girls, my twins, 18 and 53 spewed out their 100% tracer at a pretty good rate (after all, they were mine and they were modified). 10 yards north of the smoke was where the girls pointed and where I aimed… that’s where the rounds went. The smoke and south were ours…

Trust and skill? Luck and guts? Probably all! Three passes – finally the radio… “Secure. Thanks!”

A breath again; the first since the call!


This piece was inspired by the poem, “Still” ~ ©Copyright May 13, 2005 by Tim Bone