38's or 45's
by Tom Reed

A quick story that I heard from the legendary Festus.

He was leading a team down around Ban Me Thuot when they hit contact. Each of the team members blasted them with a magazine and then they took off into the elephant grass. The bad guys gave chase. To slow them down the team dropped gernades and tear gas and kept running. When they ran out of gernades they called in artillery on their own location and then high tailed it out of there. Finally the bad guys decided they would have better luck fanning out and surrounding the team. Luckily by that time gun ships had arrived and were holding the bad guys at bay.

After a while they spent their ammunition and one by one would peel off to return to base to rearm. Finally, only one Huey gun ship was left. He called down and told Festus that he was about out of Ammo too but thought he had enough left for one more pass. "What do you want," he asked, "point 38's or point 45's?" Festus had never heard of rockets or minigun ammo of that variety but point 45 sounded bigger so he said,"Give me the point 45's." The gun ship made it's pass, flying low with the pilot and co-pilot with their arms out the window firing 45 Colt Automatics. Those were gun ship pilots LRRPs could appreciate.

I recall an extraction where the helicopter that was to pick us up started drawing fire. The pilot flew right through the bullets to pick us up. I was never sure if the pilot was that brave or he didn't have a clue with the jet engine next to his ears. Either way, I try not to pass up a chance to say Thank you to Vietnam Pilots. - Warren Gallion

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