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combat assault huey

Daisy Cutter Combat Assault Story
- From The Cavalair, July 30, 1969

10,000 Pounds Creates Instant Assault Position

By Sp4 Dave Wolfe

Blackhorse -- "Squire 899, you are left of track," said the voice over the plane's radio. "Come right to two degrees to a new heading of 108 degrees." After the words came into the ears of the crew, the giant C-130 made the change and continued on its way to the target area, a heavily wooded strip about 30 miles north of here.


shotgun wielding skytrooper

The plane made several additional corrections in its course, then the voice blurted out "!" At that moment a parachute opened at the rear of the giant aircraft, and an enormous bomb slid out the tail of the C-130, drifting toward its target below.
A few feet above the triple-canopied jungle floor, the 10,000 of destruction exploded, sending a huge red and yellow fireball approximately 200 feet into the air.
The blast cleared an area big enough for two helicopters to land safely. Another instant landing zone (LZ) had been constructed through the teamwork of the Army and the Air Force, this one for the First Cavalry Division's Third Brigade.

The dense trees which had covered the area 5 minutes earlier were strewn about symmetrically in a large circle with their trunks pointing toward the center of the blast.
When all was in readiness, the first UH-1H Huey of the 227th Aviation Battalion dropped into the small landing zone, evading remnants of the previous days bomb drop.

Gnarled trees, burning stumps fanned by the wind blast of the helicopter, crumpled rocks and tropical vegetation created an awesome sight for the soldiers as they entered. Approximately 75 meters in diameter, the area was nearly circular.

skytrooper leaps from huey

Skimming the trees surrounding the perimeter, the helicopters dropped sharply into the ready made pad. Only one spot was clear enough to accept the assaulting soldiers. Each ship nearly touched down as the experienced skytroopers of the 1st Bn. 8th Cav rode the skids, or awaited quick exit near the ships doors.

Immediately jumping to the ground while ship hovered, each soldier assumed a combat ready position around the perimeter. Any enemy soldiers in the area would have their work cut out for them if they chose to attack, as a tight defense was asserted once the first ship was on the ground. Buffered further with each landing troop, the new landing zone was quickly secured.

m-60 leaves huey

Radios, heavy packs and equipment such as chain saws clamored off the ships on the backs, or across the hips of the assaulting troops. A 90 mm recoilless rifle was shouldered by a young soldier, who faltered slightly as he jumped from the ship. He recovered and moved to his position on the perimeter.

A tall, charred tree remained standing near the center of the blast, some how having withstood the impact of the bomb. Nearby were trees lying on the ground, their roots yanked from the ground by the ferocious explosion. A slight indentation in the ground surrounded by shattered rocks, marked the center of the explosion site.

The Last Skytrooper was on the ground, and it was time to move toward their objective. A long trek through the heavy jungle awaited them, but now they were on the ground in what had become their natural habitat in Vietnam, the soldiers grimaced and smiled at the same time.