Shot Gun Rider
Helicopter Door Gunners in the Vietnam War
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One of the iconic images from the War in Vietnam is of U.S army door gunners firing M-60 machine gun bursts from a low flying Huey into the jungle below. Originally, Hueys had three man crews, with one doing double duty a a door gunner, but it soon became apparent that adding a dedicated fourth crewman for that role had numerous benefits. Door Gunner trainees were volunteers. This fascinating film shows all aspects of door gunner duty, from training through deployment in front line units in Vietnam. And the film isn't just about these 'Shotgun Riders," it's also an informative look at all aspects of Huey Attack Helicopter operations & tactics in Vietnam.
Training in Hawaii included firing an M-60 from a moving helicopter, weapons maintenance, visual search techniques, range estimation, leading targets from various altitudes, emergency 1st aid for combat casualties, jungle survival school and tree top maneuvers in Makua Valley. Then the action moves to deployment in Vietnam, from initial orientation through the first mission. Just some of what you'll see: mission briefings, various roles of Huey crewmen, pre & post flight checks, arming and disarming the chopper, evacuating wounded, fire support missions, securing an LZ, escorting transport helicopters, and various attack helicopter tactical formations for different missions.
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