Sea Tiger article relates to mission of March 30, 1970

Rotten Weather, Enemy Fire
Make Medevac A Nightmare
By SSgt. Mike La Bonne

DANANG - Two  helicopter pilots will long remember a recent mission to the Que Son Mountains, 25 miles south of Danang.

First Lieutenant  Benjamin L. Williams  (San Jose, Calif.),  and copilot First Lieutenant  Roger E. Combs  (Stanberry, Mo.),  Marine  Medium Helicopter Squadron 364,  were flying night medevac from the  Marble Mountain Air Facility.

Their night began with an emergency call from a Marine outpost in the Que Sons,  north of Landing Zone Ross.   Four Marines were critically injured by a booby trap.

"The weather was rotten,"  commented  1stLt. Williams.   "The ceiling was 200 to 500 feet.  Normally we wouldn't have launched,  but we had to get the wounded out."

The  nightmare   began  shortly  after   they  were  airborne.    Between Marble  Mountain and  Hoi AN,  12 miles to the south, they were fired upon three times.

As they  headed inland towards  Landing Zone Baldy,  23 miles  south- west of  Marble Mountain,  they were hit by a solid line of blue tracers. Immediately following this, a rocket propelled grenade exploded above the rotors.

Once  over  LZ Baldy,  Lt. Williams  orbited  while  two accompanying AH-1G Cobra gunships reconnoitered the outpost area.

En  route  from  LZ Baldy  to LZ Ross  the  aircraft  again took enemy fire.   Lt. Williams  and his crew were  jarred by two  air bursts.  At LZ Ross  they circled  until a flare  ship arrived,  then headed  for the out- post.

As  the chopper  spiraled into the zone,  they came under heavy enemy fire.  The Cobras silenced the fire.

Due to the tight zone,  Williams had to make a two-wheel landing over a six  foot drop off.   The corpsman  stepped off  the chopper  and dis- appeared.   He was helped back into the aircraft  then pulled the woun- ded Marines aboard.  "We left the zone guns hot," stated Williams.

"I don't  know how we  made it to  that outpost and back,"  exclaimed Combs.  "That's one night I won't forget, and one performance I don't care to repeat."

Lt. Williams                              Lt. Combs

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