Vietnam War Helicopter Door Gunners: "Shotgun Rider" circa 1967 US Army UH-1 Huey 29min

more at http://quickfound.net/links/military_news_and_links.html

"This film is about the helicopter door gunner, nicknamed 'Shotgun Rider.' He was a new addition to the helicopter crew, and the film shows him as he performed some of his various duties in Vietnam, after a rigorous training program."

also see: Shotgun Rider Training

Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and 1-pass exposure & color correction applied (cannot be ideal in all scenes).
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).


A door gunner is a crewman tasked with firing and maintaining manually directed armament aboard a helicopter. The actual role will vary depending on the task given on a particular mission...

The role of "Door Gunner" originated during the Vietnam War, when helicopters were first used in combat in large numbers. The original personnel who served as early Door Gunners aboard CH-21, UH-34, and UH-1 helicopters in Vietnam, were enlisted men, with a designated and specially trained 'Crew Chief' serving as both the aircraft's maintenance manager and a Door Gunner. And normally, a second enlisted Soldier served as a second Door Gunner (such as on a UH-1, and UH-34, which both used two gunners (one on each side of the aircraft)). Later, as the War progressed, the Door Gunner position sometimes used a non-aviation rated/trained Soldier or Marine, that volunteered for Door Gunner duties.

For the majority of the Vietnam War, the principal weapon of the Door Gunner in Vietnam was a Medium Machine Gun (MG), initially, a M-1919A4 .30 Caliber MG, and soon thereafter, the M-60 7.62mm MG became the standard helicopter door armament system. However, when a helicopter was not armed or outfitted with a dedicated MG for door armament, the Door Gunner was forced to use a rifle, or a carbine, as a defensive weapon. (Thus, some Door Gunners in Vietnam are sometimes seen using an M1 Carbine, an M14 rifle, or an M16 rifle, as their only weapon.) (In the very first U.S. Army helicopter units (flying CH-21 helicopters) that began flying combat missions in Vietnam in 1962, some helicopters were not armed with a door MG, and the Door Gunners thus carried an M1 Carbine, or an M14 rifle, as the sole door weapon.)

Initially, the Door Gunner's MG weapons were mounted on swiveling mounts (on a pintle mount) in order to retain and steady the door armament weapon, which was usually an M60 machine gun. As the War progressed, using bungee cords to suspend/retain the MG weapons became a common practice for Door Gunners, as the newfound maneuverability of these 'bungeed' MG weapons allowed for increased angles to shoot from. Further, some Door Gunners simply did not use any retention device with their MG weapons (such as a pintle mount, or a bungee cord), and instead, they simply hand-held the weapon for a maximum level of maneuverability of fire. This practice was commonly termed as using a "Free 60", referring to the directional freedom of an unrestrained M-60 MG.

Door Gunners were normally restrained for safety within the aircraft, by either using a standard seat lap belt, or if the Gunner wanted freedom of movement within the aircraft while still being retained, he used a "Monkey Harness", which was a GI safety harness worn on the torso, and anchored to the aircraft floor, or cabin wall. The "Monkey Harness" allowed a Door Gunner great movement, while preventing them from from falling out of the helicopter completely, i.e. if they leaned outward on the helicopter skids, to get a better firing angle.

The Door Gunner position was not a particularly popular one, due to the inherent vulnerability of manning a machine gun in the open door of a helicopter. According to popular legend, the door gunner on a Vietnam era Huey gun ship had a life-span of 5 minutes... Today, helicopters like the UH-60 have two machine guns firing out of two windows located behind the pilots. The CH-46, CH-47 and CH-53 have an additional gun that is fired from the rear ramp. The UH-1 (still in use by the U.S. Marine Corps) is still manned as it was in the Vietnam War, actually firing from an open cabin door...


The Bell UH-1 Iroquois is a military helicopter powered by a single, turboshaft engine, with a two-bladed main rotor and tail rotor. The helicopter... first flew on 20 October 1956. Ordered into production in March 1960... more than 16,000 have been produced worldwide.

The first combat operation of the UH-1 was in the service of the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. The original designation of HU-1 led to the helicopter's nickname of Huey...

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Автор mentalphysicalism (2 месяца)
In 1968 they had large draft quotas so anybody who was able to walk into
the medical evaluation center and could see good enough to not bump into
anything passed the medical exam.

Автор HaROFLMFAOhA (1 месяц)
Aw I wanted to be a door gunner for a Blackhawk, too bad I can't enlist
anymore because of suicidal thoughts from child abuse and trauma. It really
sucks. This video makes me yearn for it even more... One can only dream :(

Автор Boris B (2 месяца)
"your country needs you! (to slaughter people till you get slaughtered
yourself)" Terrible, ain't it? (this propaganda) 

Автор Chase Fite (3 месяца)
Lol Hawaii was definatley the selling point on this ine. 

Автор MrSebfrench76 (22 дня)
At 26.01, 2 Vietnamese cabs,testimony from the former French occupation,
models are Renault 4 CV.

Автор escole48 (2 месяца)
This was a great video. I like the old style way the narrator presents the
documentary. I think the pilots and gunners were brave. I'd be terrified
doing such a job. It was a very messy and dirty business as is all wars,
but those who were conscripted to fight it, are brave men on both sides of
the equation.

Автор aquadragon1 (2 месяца)
American soldiers are second too non ? That must be a joke. The US forces
are richer then anyone else THAT is the primairy factor in their "succes".
Not individual skill or mental capacities.

Автор PlasmaCoolantLeak (1 месяц)
Ah, who got Hawaii for a duty station? Not I.

Автор walkyree honda (1 месяц)
This is about in Vietnam war 

Автор SuperStig23 (2 месяца)
I fondly remember a guy I met in the mid 80's who was drafted in 67' scored
high on his induction tests and opted to be a medic as he was a practicing
Roman Catholic.

He knew he was in trouble when they had their first Chopper ride, while
training the Pilot went up to about a hundred feet and cut the engine with
no warning , the new guys ALL started screaming and crapped their pants,
the Pilot was laughing the whole way down to a VERY hard landing, later
they found out the Pilot had already flown 2 combat tours, and he was so
crazy nobody would fly with him anymore, everybody on the base already knew
this, welcome to the ARMY !! :)

Very modest, he would never accept my stunned admiration, he always said
the Huey Pilots were the bravest men he had ever met.Yes he was proud of
the wounded guys they had saved but they never made up for hundreds they
lost and the dead who many times had to be literally shoveled into body
bags just like meat.

Despite constant ribbing from newbie big-mouth Macho Grunts he actually saw
MORE action than any of them except the special forces guys who in contrast
loved the evac pilots and medics, they knew if they got into the sh*t who
would come and get them even if it was too hot for anyone else.

He was shot down seven times, wounded 4 times, but by some miracle he made
it home in one piece physically but the horror of what he had seen lived
with him the rest of his too-short life, unable to cope he slowly drank
himself to death.

Let's THINK before we send our kids into stupid wars again, have we learned
NOTHING ?? Get all of our troops out of these bogus wars, Bush believed
his own BS, Obama knew it was BS but kept it going as both parties need the
$Billions from Wall St and Defense Industry to get re-elected and line
their greedy pockets, which is worse ?? a tough call.


Автор Lonnie Moore (19 дней)
looking for anyone from the 23rd inf div 1971 196 inf 72

Автор Cyberphobe (3 месяца)
This vid reminds me of a story that a Vietnam vet told me. He was a door
gunner of a Hue and on a few occasions his chopper transported NVA and
N.Vietnam prisoners off the battlefield only he would make sure not all of
the prisoners would make it back for interrogation. Mid flight he would
kick one or two overboard.

Автор MilwaukeeF40C (5 месяцев)
Anyone who runs is a VC!

Автор Daryl Buck (4 месяца)
Ahhhh The US Army version... Finally the truth...

Автор G. Scott Hughes (3 месяца)
11:51 "they told us that fighting in vietnam is a little like fighting the
japanese in the south pacific." uhh..NOTT!

Автор hobieslug45 (1 месяц)
they left out part two the antidepressants the methadone the xanax and the
nightmare meds . the waking up in the middle of the night to find that you
almost bit your tounge off and broke a tooth. and then there is part three

Автор takitimu08 (3 месяца)
do you feel any remorse??

Автор Conlan0215 (2 месяца)
Oh, propaganda....

Автор bcaulf (4 месяца)
"It's typical of the Viet Cong mentality that they make a special effort to
get us when we land on a medevac mission." Typical oriental mentality, so
sneaky. Makes you want to just carpet bomb their industry until their
society collapses.

Автор david sloan (4 месяца)
War is the roughest time for everybody. We men look back and see men
fighting since, forever. On the brightest future ,, I ,, pray for, is we
stop fighting and chill. #1 reality says to ,, me ,, says, can't bet a
future on that,, right? # 2 reality says to me so arm up.

Автор John Sieren (2 месяца)

Автор Adam Carr (1 месяц)
The Vietnamese were worse than Nazis they committed genocide against Champa
and the Khmer Krom. We should've bombed these bastards to the stone age
like LBJ said.

Автор Kathleen Winters (1 месяц)
i was a pre-teen in 1960 didn't see all these documentaries, i knew
governments used alot of propaganda but i was so disappointed to see all
these lies
i have a cousin who bought into this bs 

Автор j lin (1 месяц)
lol i seen parts of this in esar wow 

Автор eacobra (4 месяца)
Anyone that stands still is a well disciplined VC

Автор william b Farr (9 месяцев)
To a close friend, STEVEN H. US ARMY, Door Gunner

Автор MrSebfrench76 (22 дня)
Same business as usual on Youtube.USA sucks,governement lies,poor VCs,bla
bla bla...
On the french Youtube it's the same:,in the comments regarding French
today's wars,we find the same cone-heads,talking of things they will never
understand,speaking like generals,behind their COD 's screens...
This film is a gold nugget.Thanks to share it with us.

Автор walkyree honda (1 месяц)
In 1965 I was born in Thailand 

Автор Daryl Buck (4 месяца)
Duty Post Hawaii... Where do I sign up?

Автор G. Scott Hughes (3 месяца)
2:33..smoke 'em if ya got 'em!

Автор Roy Rogers (11 дней)
........fucking ridiculous tactics........

Автор jktango064 (2 месяца)
Well America lost the war in Vietnam, and that's that. Get over it.

Автор Joe A Merican (7 месяцев)

Автор MrSkypony (5 месяцев)
There was no MOS for door gunner. I applied to the army board a few years
ago to get the MOS as a second MOS and was told there has been no door
gunner MOS since the bombers of WW2. Vietnam with C/159th ASHB 101st
Airborne 1969-70

Автор gschupfter (5 месяцев)
I have the biggest respect for you Veterans!
greets from austria

Автор takitimu08 (4 месяца)
How many innocent people did these door gunners mow down?

Автор Justin B Hill (11 месяцев)
What delicious propaganda for joining up and volunteering!--fly in
helicopters, shoot cool guns (the M-60 as prone, free, mounted,
free-in-chopper, bungi-strapped), and frolic in the waves with beautiful
tour guides, who obviously have immediate crushes on all American

Автор R VEDHAGANAPATHY (6 месяцев)
is m60 machine gun and m14 riffle uses the same 7.62 mm nato ammunition ?
can anyone tell ?

Автор MrTredBear (1 год)
The Big Picture is one of my favorite past television series, my true
favorite is the original The Twilight Zone series.

Автор Jimmy Morgan (10 месяцев)
Another thing he once said is that they could always tell the caliber of
the guns firing at them as they flew along a tree-line. 50 cal guns had
tracers that looked like glowing basketballs and that arced, whereas 70 cal
guns had tracers that looked like glowing barrels and came in a straight
line, much faster. You wanted to get the f... out of there when the 70s
opened up!

Автор Tin Trung Nguyen (7 месяцев)
We accept hanoi as the country's capital and the name of saigon has
changed. Though many of us still call it saigon. For the truth, south
vietnamese are still quite angry with the north, sometimes, we heard about
students want to overthrow the communist govern and bring back the old.

Автор Anthony Ferreira (1 год)
we call it "helicanhão"

Автор Deborah Bennett (9 месяцев)
you got that right, all my best guy friends I grew up with that served said
the Aussies fought like hell, much respect <3

Автор oldcw2 (1 год)
Trust me Kurtis, your cousin was NOT the average door gunner. I would, in
fact, challenge that he was ever a door gunner at all. Maybe a wannabe, who
knows. All the door gunners in my outfit were volunteers and did exactly
what you described, except it was NVA where I was flying and it took a big
pair of balls to do it...........Avenger II.......out.....

Автор lilvnaf (1 год)

Автор Ted Bundy (7 месяцев)
That guy isn't Greek

Автор TheMileaway (1 год)
I wonder what Julie Andrews said to the boys...."You lads give Charles what
for!!!!" maybe??

Автор Don May (6 месяцев)
i like to thank all of you that served in vietnam . and say how sorry i am
for the way the ppl did back home protesting against you and the war . it
may me sick as hell to hear them calling you names on the news. again thank
you may god bless you all

Автор pigle36278 (11 месяцев)
For all the flag waving, the music, the medals..I found war just one thing,
bad. The waste, the death, the sadness, I found no honor in that at
all.(VF-142, 1967-69, USS CONSTELLATION) So for all you armchair grunts
that think war is cool...ask a combat veteran what they thought.(PS-They
don't wan't to hear "thank you for your service", Most just want to be
treated like everyone else)

Автор frankandersson76 (7 месяцев)
Stalin claimed that 4½ German soldiers were killed in 1941 (real figure
some 200 000). In same way Americans were exaggerated the losses of enemy
in Vietnam. A study based on demographics of Vietnam has now calculated
that some 886 000 - 1 050 000 Vietnamese people of all kind: civilians,
military of all forces were killed during the war. Less than half million
of them were men 15-29 y. old (typical age of ARVN, VC or NVA soldiers).
And we know that s. 200 000 of them were ARVN.

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