Saturday, January 16, 2010

Friday, 16 January 1970

Friday night
16 January 1970

I had a most frustrating day!  Nothing went right today.  We took off from Camp Hansen in a helicopter to fly up to what they call the northern training area, in the north part of the island.  About half way the helicopter lost one of its two engines and we had to make an emergency landing at the nearest heliport, which just happened to be an isolated Army Corps of Engineers construction site on top of a hill! 

We landed there, but couldn’t take off again, and they didn’t have another helicopter available to come pick us up!  This was about 0900.  We were stuck on this hill with it raining intermittently and the wind blowing and the temperature about 50 degree. 

The airplanes that were supposed to participate in the CAS demonstration came to this site and made several low passes just to kill time.  We ate lunch in the little snack bar they had there - all 45 of us - and finally about 1400 they got a UH-1E (Huey) to take us four at a time to the place we were supposed to be.  By the time we got there the whole CAS demonstration was ruined, so we just had a short map reading problem.  Then they finally got another chopper up there to bring us all back. 

The whole mess was just one big mistake after another.  We’ve learned two things in this school - artillery is very inaccurate, and helicopters are not very dependable!  Ha.  Of course it was raining practically all the time and we were walking in the mud all the time, so it was quite similar to Basic School.  I was smart however, and wore my long handle underwear and gloves so I didn’t get as cold as the other guys did.

I’ve been reading in the paper about the record cold spell in the states.

Tomorrow we take our final exam and get a certificate and a secondary MOS as FAC.  They say that no matter how bad we do on the exam, we still graduate!  Ha.  So, I haven’t even thought about preparing for it.  Frankly I could care less!

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