Ian Diss
Unit Operations Room Sergeant
161 (Independent) Reconnaissance Flight - Army Aviation
Nui Dat
Sep 1968 - Sep 1969

Some of my extraordinary days in Vietnam included marking targets for Phantoms or F100s. This involved flying low and dropping smoke grenades to mark a target and then moving off a small distance while rockets, bombs or napalm were deployed. Napalm was the most spectacular. While doing a recce well east of Nui Dat, we observed something burning. It looked like Roman candle fireworks. After getting bored, we flew away but were surprised by the sound of an enormous explosion. Our ‘Roman candle’ was a naval shell, we believe, set up as a land mine. To make matters worse, the helicopter was suffering from power problems. So we would gain height, lose power and descend, get power back, climb, then lose power and descend, all the way back to base.

Service No. 3788392