Walker Jones Charlie Trooper 1970-1971

Posted on February 28, 2011

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This poem was sent to me by Walker Jones who was a Cobra Pilot in Vietnam. He did not write this poem and does not know the name of the author but wanted to share it with me and I wanted to share it with everyone. It made no difference in Vietnam whether you were an infantryman, Cobra Pilot or a Scout Pilot, each and every one of us counted the Huey Pilot to sacrifice their lives when trying to extract us when we were wounded, shot down or just in need of ammo during a firefight. In Charlie Troop, the Huey Pilots never let us down.

 

The Huey Pilot”

 

Casually he walks to the slick, a helmet with dark
visor in his hand,
stepping from the skid into the cockpit, the switches
and dials at his command.

He may be tired from many runs, it seems he lives
under this plexi dome,
but with the stick between his legs and the pedals at
his feet, he feels once again at home.

He fires up that turbine as the pre-flight is
performed, the Jesus nut begins to turn,
that machine begins to rock and now starts that steady
“Whop”, and air begins to churn.

As those massive blades begin to claw the air he
skillfully lifts his baby off the ground,
the tail begins to rise and the front seems slow to
follow but no better pilot will be found.

I never saw his face,

I never knew his name, but I’ll
never forget the day the Huey Pilot came.

With surgical precision he causes that Huey to hover,
dip and dance behind a hill,
then he routinely skims the tops of trees, rising only
to have his door gunner make another kill.

He listens to the Peter Pilot and Crew Chief as well
as he watches for popped smoke,
glancing down he sees looks of relief on haggard
faces, they know he will not choke.

With bullets pinging on the thin metal and stars
appearing on the windshield he holds steady to the
stick, people are screaming to his rear, mortars dropping
dangerously near, but he maintains a firm control of
his slick.

He saves a dozen lives and takes supplies where no one
else wishes to go, for him it is just another day,
at base camp he helps wash blood from the rear cabin
and after he fingers new bullet holes he casually
walks away.

I never saw his face, I never knew his name, but I’ll
never forget the day the Huey Pilot came.

 

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