For your reading pleasure, I present The Tale of The Special Forces
Cow,or, "Please Don't Step in My Beret"
(from the VNHFC network)
Back in my days as a young slick driver, it seemed to be my lot in life to provide first class transportation to any domestic animal that walked crawled or flew. Pulled into Duc Hoa one fine morning, just out doing the old III Corp Normal/ U Call, We Haul stuff. There, Right in the middle of the ramp, was a gaggle of SF & ARVN troopers with a cargo net all spread out. They appeared to be making a valiant attempt at getting one very large...,and very frightened cow, to walk out onto the net.
Now, as I was observing all this, it became quite obvious that there was not a cowboy, or even a farmboy in the bunch. All they needed was the football..... They already had all the monkeys necessary!
I sat the aircraft down on the far end of the ramp( as far away from the action as I could get) and the SF Sgt. came over to the left side of the aircraft. As the crew chief was opening my door, he stuck his head inside to explain his Bovine Dilemma. Seems that his people had decided that they wanted this cow out at Tra Cu, and someone had come up with the bright idea that the slick assigned to them for the day could sling it out to them.
Now this all sounded good in theory, and they were going to have old Elsie in the net and ready to go when I arrived. BUT, it seems Elsie had other ideas. She wanted no parts of walking over onto that net. From what he told me, they had pushed, pulled, prodded & poked at her for over an hour, and she was not about to move in that direction.
Never being one to get left out of any situation that was plainly headed straight down the shitter,... I quickly volunteered to put the cow in the net.
I picked the aircraft up to a hover and began moving in on the cow
from the front.
Much to my amazement, initially, the aircraft handled the strange load reasonably well, and the climb and acceleration to about 200-300 ft and 40kts was uneventful.
Then - - Reality set in..... We were now about 2 klicks west of Duc Hoa, 300 ft in the air, with 2 females that did not like what was happening to them. The gyrations of old Bossey had got the net to swinging from side to side, and was pulling the aircraft along with it as she swung. We could clearly hear her Bellow and scream, and also see the terror in her eyes, cause by this time ... she was swinging so wildly we could see her out both doors.
M-o-o-o-o-o-, And we'de yaw to the right. M-o-o-o-o-o, and
we'de yaw left, all the while proceeding further and further from Duc Hoa
at 300ft & now down to about 20kts over some of the worst Indian Country
in III Corp.
Looking back on this debacle, I would have loved to have movie footage of this from the ground. It must have been a strange and fearsom sight.
postscript: In early 67 It was my pleasure to spend an awful lot
of time running the old III Corp Normal missions.
Tomahawk 18 - Slicks