"Fat Al" and "Raquel's" Ga Noi Island Incident

"Fat Al" Robillard and I had just finished a day of flying something or other and made a pit stop for fuel at LZ Baldy before returning to Marble Mountain.  Someone at Baldy asked us if we would take a bunch of Marines back to Da Nang who had completed their tour and were headed back to "the world."  We agreed, loaded them, suitcases and all, minus any personal weapons, and departed the LZ.

Climbing out over Ga Noi Island - definitely bad guy territory - we took a hit and lost one of our hydraulic boost systems.  Fearing that possibly the second boost system was also damaged, Al elected to sit the bird down in an open area in the middle of the island.  After shutdown Al got everyone off the aircraft and formed a defense perimeter using our crew chief, gunners, and a bunch of Marines with suitcases.

In the meantime, I being the Junior Officer, was appointed to stay with the aircraft, monitor the radios, and try to establish radio contact with someone to advise them of our plight and get assistance.  There was dead silence on the UHF and FM radios so I tuned in the ADF and was able to get the Yankees and Orioles game on the Armed Forces Radio.  When Al was finished building the  Berlin wall around the aircraft he came over, and using the outside handset, asked me what the story was.  Without thinking I told him, "The Yankees were leading 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded."  The unbelievable look of astonishment on his face was worth the entire year in Vietnam.

Crew of YK-13

1stLt. Alan T. Robillard Pilot
1stLt. Jared J. Welsh Copilot
Cpl. Stephen W. Mills Crew Chief
Unknown Bauerlien Gunner
Cpl. Ronald J. Lamoree Gunner

After Action Report

Submitted by:
    Jerry "Raquel" Welsh, former 1stLt. USMCR

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