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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Длительность: 28:39
Комментарии: 268

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Автор Bill Turner (5 месяцев)
I door gunned for the 128th AVN and 187th Crusaders '69/'70. Loved it.
Best job in the Nam. It is air conditioned a couple of hundred feet up.
Beautiful country from up there. Occasionally the gooks shoot at you but
overall, too much fun. You get to shoot back! 

Автор knupder (6 месяцев)
I've never met a Vietnam War door gunner who enjoyed the job. The only
reason that they seem willing to tell me about their experiences is because
I hear them say "I was a door gunner in Vietnam" and I tell them "that
sounds like it must have been fucking terrible". Apparently it was.

Автор Jeff Rose (1 месяц)
My Wifes Father was a door gunner,he will not speak of it. Jerry is great
guy !

Автор Marlin Tubbs (6 месяцев)
Wonder if this was open for lower EMs.. (E1-spc4) was this ever an actual
MOS, or did most guys just get handed an M-60, and take a BOI on how to
fire from a UH-1 by buzzing NVA in over in Happy Valley?
Friggin horrendous job to have!
I have the utmost respect for, and thank all who had to endure service in
Vietnam. No fuckin' joke!

Автор Poison Toad (2 месяца)
This is bloody hilarious! Can anyone watch this and keep a straight face?

I can't believe so many good 'ole, God-fearin' American boys were stupid
enough to fall for this blatantly cheesy propaganda snake-oil.

Well, we can only hope that they've learnt their lesson and will never be
so silly as to fall for this kind of putrid, steaming crap again.

Автор james marshall (2 месяца)
i forgot what i was watchin looking at the beach and the surf

Автор HaROFLMFAOhA (1 год)
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 Stephen Zapantis (5 месяцев)

Hi Jeff, we are making a documentary called "Take Me Home Huey". Do you
know if the footage in this video is public domain? Do you have any
information we might need if we want to use a few shots in our project?
Thank you for posting! Please contact me by email info@takemehomehuey.com 

Автор Sarin VX (7 месяцев)
"Mae west" life vest...LOL

Автор George Theofanous (4 месяца)
I happen to have this documentary on DVD, as well as another on the OH-58.
Love 'em.

Автор R Fischer (1 месяц)
Am researching for an article in memory of a friend who was KIA in Bhin
Dinh province. Was part of 1BN 50th Infantry (mech.) regiment which had
been temporarily assigned to 1 Air Cav. from Sept., 1967 till February,
1968; then 50th Inf. reg. was assigned to 4th infantry division. He was KIA
following his air transport into action near Thuan Dao on March 2, 1968. Am
interested in communicating/talking with any who may have background
information regarding the above units and Vietnam air assault combat during
1967 to 1968. Please respond if you think you may have relevant
information. Thank you. 

Автор freedom (8 месяцев)
very interesting, love USA

Автор SD Morningstar (8 месяцев)
I was a volunteer door gunner with the 1stCav from late 1967 until May of
1969. The first part of this training in this film is probably true. But in
the world one afternoon back in base camp there was a sign outside the HQ
hooch which wanted door gunners. Don’t know why I did it but immediately I
walked up and signed the sheet (only name on the sheet by the way) thinking
the Army will take its usual sweet time. I was hanging out of a Huey the
next day before lunch. Started to occur to me I really fucked up but it was
too late then. My only training was some Captain asked me if I knew how to
fire an M60 and had a pulse. That was it but I made it through pretty much

Автор Kevin F (6 месяцев)

Автор Shield FleeT (11 месяцев)
LOL spongebob music at 12:13

Автор Cole Wynn (8 месяцев)
Hi Jeff, we are making a documentary called "Take Me Home Huey". Do you
know if the footage in this video is public domain? Do you have any
information we might need if we want to use a few shots in our project?
Thank you for posting!

Автор Dan Mulcrone (9 месяцев)
I liked the video, and its subject matter. Only, one thing caught my eye,
and I may be wrong. At approximately 14:20 in the video of troops entering
the KC-135, the engine in the picture was not the straight jet
(water-injected) J-57 of the Vietnam era.

Автор BoldUpload (7 месяцев)
Does anyone happen to know anyone in this Docu? This is a serious question,
it's in regards to my Dad and his best friend. Same unit. Thanks

Автор TheChuck624 (3 месяца)
They left out the part about shooting at every fucking living thing other
than an American G.I. that could even remotely pose the slightest danger to
your aircraft. 

Автор John Smith (9 месяцев)
10:44 Juli Andrews... tasty dish... Lol

Автор CaesarInVa (8 месяцев)
Is that Schofield Barracks in the background around 02:04? The last time I
saw that place was '82.

Автор mentalphysicalism (1 год)
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 Somnoient (8 месяцев)
Gun ho yanks pff

Автор aquadragon1 (1 год)
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 True Grit (9 месяцев)
I really enjoyed this video.

Автор Preusse64 (7 месяцев)
und charly hat sie trotzdem verjagd.

Автор MrSebfrench76 (1 год)
At 26.01, 2 Vietnamese cabs,testimony from the former French occupation,
models are Renault 4 CV.

Автор Robert Ransley (1 год)
What propaganda...."let the people of Viet Nam decide for themselves...."
Riiiight....LOL, what BS. I know a man who was a jet mechanic for Hueys,
he wasn't supposed to see action, his job was to repair the engines, right?
Wrong, it got so bad, he told me, door gunners were dying like flies that
he was ordered to fly shotgun on the huey he maintained.

Автор HUTCHfromBA (10 месяцев)
What joker posted this BS ?

Автор Cyberphobe (1 год)
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 ozzthorn258 (11 месяцев)
"two of hawaii's freindly guides' sure, i know they are prostitutes chum,
now get back to being a barracks rat

Автор escole48 (1 год)
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 M60gunner1971 (11 месяцев)
Are you fucking shitting me?!!?

Автор methylene5 (11 месяцев)
"Ever killed any women or children?"
"Sometimes !"

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

Автор JiG3 (9 месяцев)
Whether this is propagande or not.. I liked it lol

Автор hobieslug45 (1 год)
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 Stephen Fisher (1 год)

Автор datanerator (11 месяцев)

Автор John Sieren (1 год)

Автор Lonnie Moore (1 год)
looking for anyone from the 23rd inf div 1971 196 inf 72

Автор SuperStig23 (1 год)
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 Ryan Ehlis (10 месяцев)
you got to like the anti communist propaganda BS, now it is the fake war on
terror. Anything to keep the bankers making money on war.

Автор G. Scott Hughes (1 год)
11:51 "they told us that fighting in vietnam is a little like fighting the
japanese in the south pacific." uhh..NOTT!

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

Автор MrSebfrench76 (1 год)
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 Conlan0215 (1 год)
Oh, propaganda....

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

Автор Kathleen Winters (1 год)
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 Elgus 114 (1 год)
........fucking ridiculous tactics........

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