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God's Own Lunatics...

What You See Is What You Get...

Mainly because - What We See Is What They Had - in spades.

Here's to Bill - and the men of the 162nd, who made Bill what he is every bit as much as he made them what they were.


What few Americans understand is how well the US military fought in Vietnam. Every generation of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are, to me, a "greatest generation" in their own right. They earn our collective freedom in their own times in their own wars, big and small. 

Bill's contribution to the countless tactical battlefield successes in Southeast Asia is just one of many examples of how, since Yorktown, Americans respond to the call and not only survive, but prevail. In that particular case, the strategic political effort failed miserably in matching the tactical effort on the ground. That isn't our soldiers' failing, but our "leaders'." Our grunts didn't fail. They fought well, successfully and were then told to leave. Such are the occasional failings of a civilian-led and politically limited military. But then there were the lessons learned of that war that have served us well subsequently. Alas, the cost of those lessons is obscenely high. But the consequences of not being willing to bear them are more dire...much more.

We will survive the Obamas, the Pelosis, the Reids, the Mahers and the Moores. The lowliest infantryman, the greenest chopper pilot, the most junior sailor and the newest fighter wingman have more potential for saving this country in their little fingers than the latter crowd have in their whole bodies. Despite all the negativity, defeatism, self-loathing, hate speech and sneering contempt many of our politicians and "elites" display, I believe the typical--not the special, but the ordinary, everyday--citizen still has the willingness to fight and win that the chattering classes will never understand yet will always reap the benefits thereof.

Thank you, Bill, thank you John and thanks to every one else who reads this blog and has serve the nation...there's a Special Place in heaven for you all.
John, that is a beautiful tribute. And so cool to hear Joe Galloway's voice reciting his words, and you applying them to Bill. I sent Joe a link to this post.

Here is a little something about those Vultures... from a unit history of the 162nd.

Cpt Bill Tuttle had the distinction of being the one of the first US troops in Cambodia—at least officially. He was flying a 2 ship Nigthhawk mission out of Moc Hoa supporting the ARVN 11th Armored Calvary when that unit jumped the gun and crossed the border on the evening of April 30th. It immediately ran into the 17th NVA Division and had a real fight on its hands. Cpt Tuttle did a night medivac in monsoon conditions and under heavy enemy fire in an attempt to save a US advisor who had life threatening wounds. Cpt Tuttle’s brand new Peter Pilot on his first in-country mission, turned the landing light on as they landed and attracted a hail of enemy fire. This act inadvertently allowed a second ship to land and rescue the badly wounded advisor. Luckily, they all made it out without any casualties although Cpt Tuttle did have a few choice words with his copilot.

 What few Americans understand is how well the US military fought in Vietnam.

The U.S. military fought magnificently in Vietnam. They were hamstrung by nonsensical rules of engagement and shoddy civilian leadership. And yet... they rose to the task above and beyond...

The helicopter units alone helped shape, among other things, the way we now approach CSAR [combat search and rescue]. And - thanks to a Certain Vulture - have reached beyond our shores to build the foundations of chopper ops in a far-off land...
Hipolito, that is the weirdest spam I've ever seen.  But you know what, it's worse being a Free Flight guy! Do you know how hard it is to get 4lb/ft^3 balsa, quarter-sawn, these days?  And no more Cox motors? And no DT fuse? And no decent rubber? You decadent spoiled kid, no wonder you are spamming people.
 Armorer, a nice tribute to those who defined the 'Nam war as the first "helicopter war".
 Few images from RVN. Some duplicates there, sorry.
Gad, Two-Niner, all y'all were soldiers once, and so very young. 

Nice hip rig there, too.  What were you packing?

Some of those photos have graced this space over the years.

Thanks for sharing.
 Big shots like Tuttle had a .45, the peon Warrants were issued .38s. I managed to *liberate* a grease gun which i carried every time out.

My father, who, as an artillery battalion commander flew as cargo in a Loach, carried a Swedish K with him whenever he was out gadding about in the bird. 

There was that one time, in band camp, where he was leaning out of the Loach, one hand holding the inside handle, one foot on the skid, and in the other hand blatting away at little brown people trying to get into Charlie Battery's wire...
Big shots like Tuttle had a .45, the peon Warrants were issued .38s. I managed to *liberate* a grease gun which i carried every time out.
Interesting, as I carried a 45 from my first day in 1968 to my last in 1971, and I was just a lowly Warrant.  I also had a Grease Gun for a short while, but I'll be damned if I can remember which year it was.  Worst POS ever made, or maybe it was just cause it was so old?  Beleive it or not, I had a box of tracer for it too!! 
Big shots like Tuttle had a .45, the peon Warrants were issued .38s.

Oh, like he's ever gonna let me forget he got me the extended mag for it, too...
 That was pretty awesome. :)
 My personal weapon as a Tanker was a grease gun. I liked it. I would rather have a had a Thompson, but the Grease Gun worked OK. Loved playing with it on the range too.

Bill, are the words you used on your copilot printable in a family blog such as this?
Yeah -- actually, I just asked him why he did it.

Or words to that effect.
Hey, Bill @4:01: Is that a Jared Loughner joke? 

(Backing off from the rudeness, I have read that Judge Roll knocked somebody else down out of the line of fire, which action may have had to do with his own demise.)

From what I have read at David Hardy's blog, Judge Roll was an absolute straight arrow on the bench, and thousands were turned away from his funeral mass.
Dang, Quartermaster! You write so smart on the Web I figured you for a Naval Quartermaster! The guys who can navigate the ship, and all!

And now you tell us that you were an inhabitant of one of those moving foxholes which attract the gaze, and also attract fire.
Bill, are the words you used on your copilot printable in a family blog such as this?"
Actually since Bill was napping he could hardly yell at the newbie for his questionable navigating skills. :)
We didn't have to navigate -- we just Fox-Mike homed on 'em until we saw where all the green and white tracers were converging.

And his flying skills were fine. It was his obvious death wish

"Gee, it's too dark and monsoony for the NVA to shoot at us accurately -- I think I'll turn on the landing light to give them a good aiming point." /close sarc font

that got me excited...
 I imagine "excited" is stated with a great deal of understatement.

JTG, I was in the Navy and was a Quartermaster. In fact I just recently changed my gravitar from the Doxie to the Navy rating emblem for QM. I was, however, a Tanker in the TNARNG both before and after I went to OCS. After OCS I just did the remainder of my time as the injuries from 1983 were having more effect and I was unable to pass a re-enlistment physical. If I had been able to, then I would have been able to make it through OCS. It wasn't really hard, just a lot of CS that was needless. Actually, by the time the second post AT weekend was done, I was disgusted with the program, but would have kept going if a very severe pain started in the wrist where I had broken the radius of my left arm. My Orthopedic Surgeon, also a friend from the Naval Reserve and still in the Navy Med Corps, strongly advised I quit. Glad I listened, although I was disappointed that I would get what I wanted in the end.

A great tribute and awesome pictures!
You are all so young...
thank you and (((hugs))).

So, Bill, I understand that you had lots of things to do at that time, but, did you find the time to hit him? I mean, even a little elbow punch up under the ribs?
P.s. I mean, I betcha Our Bill could thwack his co-pilot upside the ribs with his elbow without taking his hand off of the collective stick or causing said stick or its twist-grip to interfere with his intended course of flight in any way.
Yes.  Our Bill.  Every single soldier, sailor and Marine.  Ours, and that makes me proud of them, of being American and that we will have our freedom as long as we have our Captain Tuttles, our Amormer, and all of you who put it on the line then, and now.  Thank you, gentlemen.

PS.  Today, we were at the opening of a huge corporate endeavor whose sister company is known as Wal-Mart..  They had the Civil Air Patrol present the Colors, and I thought of our service men and women.  Then, that song.  The National Anthem.  I looked at that flag, and thought of what it means to me, and to someone like Betty Mahmoody.  Freedom.  Home.  The best people on earth.  It got me so choked up I had to use the Engineer's handkerchief (like Scarlett, I never have one when I need one) to mop up.