Posted by Pamela Arnsberger on Jan 10, 2019
Michelle reminded us that we will be having our major fundraiser April 26th. It will be a roast of John Laird.  It should be very entertaining.
Today was Keith’s 93 birthday! We wish him a lovely day!
February 14th will be the speech contest for high school seniors in the area. Save the date!
The Aptos Times will be doing an article on RotaCare. Look for it!
Brenda announced that Rising International could use help with bookkeeping. It you can help, speak to Carmel Jud at (831-429-RISE)
Today’s speaker was Lew Jennings (on the right above) author of 19 minutes to live: Helicopter combat in Vietnam, a memoir of his years there.  The title refers to the average time to live for a helicopter pilot in the worst days of the war. Lew flew over 700 combat missions. He gave us a review of the use of helicopters in warfare as well gripping stories of life on the battlefield.
          He gave us a bit of history. In 1954 after the French were defeated, Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel.  He said by 1963, we had 9000 advisors there; by 1967 we had 500,000 boots on the ground.  He said they would go find the enemy on foot so helicopters were brought into the war. The first one was the HU1 which then became the Huey, the primary troop transport. It has a jet engine. It was used to carry up to 10 troops. It had plenty of horsepower.  It was used a gun ship as well as performing evacuations on the battlefield.  Then Boeing built a CH 47 Chinook that is still being used today which could do air to air refueling. It was used to carry troops and cannons. However, they still needed reconnaissance. The Cayuse was the first helicopter used for this.  It had a Gatling gun on the side. It fired 200 rounds per minute.
          Mr. Jennings joined the army and flew these helicopters in the 1960’s. He ended up flying the Cobra, an attack helicopter. It could carry up to 76 rockets and seven pound warheads which then grew to 17 pounds. There was also a grenade launcher as well as he Gatling gun. He ended up with the 101st airborne division up by the DMZ. This was a very dangerous place.
          He described the battle of Hamburger Hill cycling back and forth between the battlefield and the troops carrying armaments. He said this was the pivotal time in the Vietnam war. The media was there and the carnage in the battlefield greatly effected the outcome of the war. The secret peace talks got under the way the next day. When he left he was down to 138 pounds. Half the helicopters were lost in battle and almost 5000 helicopter men were lost. Over 25% of the men were casualties in the war.         He finished by talking about Korea where they flew many more medical evacuations, increasing the chance of survival greatly to almost 100% if they could get someone to a medical facility in one hour.
          This was a fascinating story and we recommend the book for sale for $20!