William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

COURAGE: THE CHOPPER CREWS IN IRAQ

Here’s a short video of a combat scout helo, o’er in Iraq
Full of incoming live round holes and shrapnel air flack
The bird brought its wounded crew in – still alive and well
After flying through enemy air filled with lethal pure hell

These flyers have courage and took hundreds of rounds
Arriving back wounded – but still safe on the ground
These two man crew members have lots of pure guts
Were they wearing their helmets to cover their butts?

Hope they got decorated for their actions up there
Besides Purple Hearts for this brave high flying pair
They should be applauded for their actions in the enemy’s air
By a very grateful Nation – who should show that they care!

Author’s Note: The pictures, which can be viewed by clicking the link below, add a whole new meaning to the respect that I hold for these helicopter pilots and crews! Talk about flying in harm’s way!

The photographs show a US OH-58D Combat Scouts helicopter after a contact in Iraq. Needless to say, they got into a little hostile territory. This thing took hundreds of rounds and yet returned its crew back to base, including direct hits into the engine, transmission, control systems, avionics, flight computers, and both main and tail rotor. The 2-man crew sustained multiple injuries, but survived. They were very lucky on the Main Rotor Lateral control Rod.

Amazing pictures: these helicopters can take some abuse. This shows that “damage tolerance” has a much superior meaning in helicopter world than in the fixed wing.