by Con Jaburg
The following may, or may not be apocrypha, but happened during our first year of operations as a squadron, and I believe it. Maybe there is someone out there who can correct me as to the details, but here is the way it is supposed to have happened.
As you all know, Dung Island, which is about 30 clicks long by 7 clicks at it’s widest point, is located at the mouth of the Bassac River. You also know that the Seawolves had an LST Det just upriver from the northwest end of the island. Well, the way the story goes, at 0-dark hundred, a SEAL team was inserted by Swift Boat on the north side of Dung Island, a few clicks down the river from the upper end. They were to make a sweep across the island from NE to SW. During this sweep they were to sneak up on a village, do whatever naughty stuff they had time to accomplish, but most importantly, abduct the village chief, and maybe some other high-ranking VC’s to bring back for interrogation.
It appears that everything went swimmingly until about the time they were to be extracted on the SW side of the island. When the sun came up, they found themselves pinned down in a rice paddy with a bunch of really hostile folks trying their best to do the SEALs extreme bodily harm. Now enter the Seawolves. After a radio call to assist, the LST Detachment immediately launched a fire team which went steaming downriver to the rescue of the beleaguered SEALs. The fire team established radio communication with the SEALs, and began hosing down the zone with 7.62 and 2.75 fire. They quickly neutralized the area, although the Seawolves were themselves constantly receiving heavy small arms fire, and this allowed the SEALs to be safely extracted.
After the fracas was more or less over, one of the Seals asked if the Seawolves would transport him, his Nung counterpart, and their blindfolded VC prisoner to the LST. “No Problem,” the Seawolf said. And then the fun began. The three pax were loaded aboard in the rice paddy(over gross, you bet!). After liftoff, the SEAL asked the Seawolf pilot if it would be possible to make a gradual descending approach the LST so that when over the LST landing platform, in a 2 foot hover, the blindfolded VC would think that they were still at 1000 ft, or whatever altitude he had been told they were maintaining. Again, “no problem.” You can guess what happened next!
The Seawolf expertly started a very long shallow approach to the LST, bringing the aircraft to a low hover over the LST landing pad, then the Nung told the VC that if he didn’t spill his guts, he would be thrown out of the aircraft at 1000 feet. The VC refused. The Nung then promptly shoved the still blindfolded and tied up VC out of the bird at an altitude of 2 feet. I’m told that when the VC stopped screaming, he sang like a canary, and whatever intel he had, they got. Resourceful fellows, those SEALs, and smooth pilots, those Seawolves.