The Flight of 9-9-1972

Republic of Vietnam

We left LZ Crystal and were flying in the area southwest of LZ English. The AC was CPT Bruce Palmer, CP was Leland Hendrix, Gunner was SP4 Robert Carrizales and CE was me SP5 Robert Lee. We were in a valley looking for troops on the move when we started taking fire. Carrizales was hit in the leg and I was hit in the arm. A .51caliber round came through the lower part of the transmission and hydraulics and hit me going out the other side, breaking my arm. We were able to make it to LZ English and land without hydraulics. When we got out of the helicopter, CPT Palmer was cutting off my field jacket when he found the bullet. I told him to give it to me, but he said he would keep it for me. It was about the size of a .45 caliber round by the time it got to me. CPT Palmer was 35 years old and on his 3rd tour in Vietnam. I turned 21 while in Vietnam and had 58 days left before time to go home.

My left arm

My left arm

Communist 51 caliber Machine Gun

The bullet on the left is what is left of the .51cal. It was the same as the .50 cal on the right.

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