Hello, "Foxes". I live in San Diego and hope to see you all during REUNION 2000.
My Vietnam tour was all done in HMM-165. I was never a "Purple Fox" according to official military record, but I was an off-wing co-pilot on a HMM-364 18-plane strike mission near the DMZ in July of 1968. The pilot was a Capt Phillips, Mike Phillips I think. We had the number one engine shot out on final to a one-plane landing zone (LZ). We were the second plane in the formation. The single engine approach, with a heavily loaded helo, did not work out as we would have preferred and we wound up landing in the trees short of the LZ. Trev Sarles, the flight leader, had the only empty bird since he had just departed the LZ. He came in to pick up the crew for the trip back home. None of the Grunts were hurt. At least they all limped away to continue their assigned mission.
My next and last Vietnam flight with the "Purple Foxes" was with a Major whose name now escapes me. It was a week or two later and the "Foxes" were still short of copilots. I thought he was going to kill us by flying an external load of matting into the Razorback Ridge. I pickled the load before our turns went below 94% Nr. The Major was pissed, but the crew was relieved. The squadron never asked me back. Hmmmm. I wonder why?
I did fly with the reactivated "Foxes" from 1990 to 1995; as the CO of MAG-24 at K-Bay, and as the Assistant Wing Commander, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Safer stories during those five years. I even got to pick the squadron's Commanding Officer in 1991.
Great Memories! Semper Fidelis!
Terry "Skip" and/or "Horsenipple Sierra" Curtis