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  #1  
Old 20 February 2020, 08:04
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1966 Door Gunners

Cool 3.5 minute video on door gunner school from 1966. Much respect for these brave men and what they endured. “Aerial foxhole”.

https://taskandpurpose.com/army-trai...VdgnpDE0fXl5Js
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:10
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Pretty cool old video LP.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:21
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Love these old videos, thanks for posting.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:22
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Badass....
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:23
Gsniper Gsniper is online now
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Made me pine for my times on the M60 back in the day.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:26
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At the in country reception station, everyone was asked if they wanted that job.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:28
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I can't remember how many HOT LZ's we landed on with door gunners on rock and roll, melting the barrel or barrels down on their M-60's. Red smoke on the LZ meant it was not gonna be a "Walk in the park" that day. Red smoke meant the chopper would hover at what ever the pilot felt like even 15ft hover into a wet rice paddie. When you jumped out your ruck would flip over you head and bury you into the muck. You come up for air and the bird is moved away from you and the door gunner is melting his barrel down! Some innovate door gunners had twin M-60's and even had one door gunner with a 50 cal. Sitting next to a door gunner with M-60 on rock and roll would blow your ears out.
I always said I never met a door gunner I liked,as they had no respect for grunts, and i never met a meddevac crew we wouldn't but a beer for !
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gsniper View Post
Made me pine for my times on the M60 back in the day.
I spent a lot of time behind the m60, carrying, shooting, teaching. But truth be told, have never fired a m240. Have heard of course the 240 is a much better gun, anyone care to elaborate? A much needed upgrade?

Never had an issue with the m60 with live ammo, as long as maintained and keep clean. On blanks was always jamming.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:32
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The 240 is a better weapon, we used them my last few years in. Damn it's heavy though. If I recall it outweighs the 60 by 6-8 lbs.
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Old 20 February 2020, 08:38
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I was offered a 67 series MOS after my 1st enlistment. Also, a 55D. What was I thinking?

My favorite door gunner: https://youtu.be/Aqz3zTpYIKk

I don’t think he attended that school.
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Old 20 February 2020, 09:19
Hostile0311 Hostile0311 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1RiserSlip View Post
I was offered a 67 series MOS after my 1st enlistment. Also, a 55D. What was I thinking?

My favorite door gunner: https://youtu.be/Aqz3zTpYIKk

I don’t think he attended that school.
Apparently the door gunner in the infamous clip was originally slated to play GySgt Hartman. R. Lee Ermey was just a technical adviser but convinced Kubrick he could do a better job since well, he was once a real DI. The rest as they say is history.
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Old 20 February 2020, 09:46
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Guy at my church was a door gunner with 1st Cav. Got shot down twice.
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Old 20 February 2020, 10:03
osubuckeye762 osubuckeye762 is offline
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A guy I worked with in the Carpenters Union back in Cols, OH was a door gunner.

He told me he was shot down 2.5 times. He didn't count the last one as a full shoot down because they were near base and walked in.

One time working the over night shift I asked him why he choose that MOS. He told me they asked for volunteers when he was stepping off the plane in country. He told me, he thought he was slick and get one over on the Army. He had it all figured out: He didn't have to hump a ruck, sleep in the mud, and walk miles on end.

According to him it didn't work out as planned.
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Old 20 February 2020, 10:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by osubuckeye762 View Post
A guy I worked with in the Carpenters Union back in Cols, OH was a door gunner.

He told me he was shot down 2.5 times. He didn't count the last one as a full shoot down because they were near base and walked in.

One time working the over night shift I asked him why he choose that MOS. He told me they asked for volunteers when he was stepping off the plane in country. He told me, he thought he was slick and get one over on the Army. He had it all figured out: He didn't have to hump a ruck, sleep in the mud, and walk miles on end.

According to him it didn't work out as planned.
Like the guys who volunteered to be Hospital mates in the Navy, cause thought would be an easy ride working in a hospital or a ship’s clinic - only to find themselves attached to a Marine grunt unit.
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Old 20 February 2020, 10:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
I spent a lot of time behind the m60, carrying, shooting, teaching. But truth be told, have never fired a m240. Have heard of course the 240 is a much better gun, anyone care to elaborate? A much needed upgrade?

Never had an issue with the m60 with live ammo, as long as maintained and keep clean. On blanks was always jamming.
I've shot both the M60 and M240 from the HH-60. Both were a blast to rock-n-roll with. The M240 was definitely easier to troubleshoot. The M60 would bog down after so many rounds, and we'd have to rotate the gas plug or do a barrel swap.

Now, the GAU-17 (mini-gun) was a fucking lead hose and super fun to shoot from the door. The tracer spacing was 1/10 for the GAU, and sometimes we would get M60 link ammo at 1/5. It would make for an interesting light show. Think steady stream of red tracer from the air. But, trouble shooting it...at night...on NVGs...while terrain flying...in 95*F temps = (insert double barf emoji here).

I like the scene in the training video when the M60 goes "bent", and the dude grabs an M14 to continue spraying.
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Old 20 February 2020, 12:33
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When I got to first Seabee unit I got issued a Pig. I am forever grateful to Peter G Kokalis his work helped me keep it running. In the NMCB we got the E3 which wasn't a bad weapon IMO. The 240 never let me down either.
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Old 20 February 2020, 13:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leopardprey View Post
I spent a lot of time behind the m60, carrying, shooting, teaching. But truth be told, have never fired a m240. Have heard of course the 240 is a much better gun, anyone care to elaborate? A much needed upgrade?

Never had an issue with the m60 with live ammo, as long as maintained and keep clean. On blanks was always jamming.
Same here, spent a fair amount of time with the M60 and none with the M240.

One of my all time favorite M60 stories led to an invaluable and memorable one-on-one encounter with retired SGM Don Purdy ( the "Purd"). It involved me carrying, the gun, ammo, AND tripod, while humping the snow covered terrain surrounding Bad Tolz.

As the story goes, I unfortunately was once selected to embed with a platoon of 19ds at PCT. Also, on one patrol, I was assigned to carry the M60. None of those 19ds volunteered to carry the tripod, and none of the NCOs ordered anyone to help me out, so being young and dumb, I volunteered to hump it all by myself in order to show the pussies on how to "man-up." This stupid decision gave me a unique opportunity to draw the attention of the Purd, the NCOIC of PCT at the time. At the onset of the patrol, I fumbled my ammo belt and carton and couldn't seem to get it straight. The Purd saw and rushed up to give me a block of instruction and to levy some choice words casted in the direction of the NCOs of the platoon for not helping. That little interaction with the Purd is a moment I treasure because as others on this site have mentioned, the Purd is one of the most unique Rangers and individuals in existence.
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Old 20 February 2020, 14:22
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the 60 was fine if you knew your gun. by the 90s, you could throw parts at it all day long, but the receivers had been through all the referbs that they could take. what was needed was new build receivers, which wasn't happening. AGs spent as much time tuning as feeding it seemed. they carried so much better and easier than a 240. better balance for walking comfortably.

the 240 was harder to carry, heavy forward. no forearm or barrel heat shield initially and really hard to maneuver in a fight and not burn yourself on. essentially, we had to grab the barrel handle with an overhand left haded grip and the CG felt forward of that. we were burning a lot of forearms and legs even while maneuvering a hot gun.barrels and gas tubes got really hot, despite being more robust than a 60's. we went round and round with FN about that. "no one else has bitched about it since the Mag 58 was fielded, why are y'all?" because we want to get the most out of the gun we can. we put even more focus on tripoding the guns as a result of that til it got resolved. for those who didn't serve or see the Regt fight, first gun would go bipod to establish fire superiority until the others were up on tripods then the first would go tripod as quickly as possible. and if we needed to, we'd maneuver off tripods to reestablish on them. and we had 3 guns per PLT when big Army had 2. I never saw or heard of big Army units fighting guns the way we did. our AGs patroled with the tripod in hand, ready to use the gun carried at the low ready, never up on a shoulder or photo op cool. we also didn't use slings on the gun because they could get in the way.

so a roadmarch would take more out of you, a whole lot quicker because of the 23 lbs, and forward CG, but man... would she eat.

I went from the line to a gun when I got my tab, and a 240. we went out for a week to just work the guns early on for me. I lubed it up with LSA on Monday morning and didn't plan on touching it until it started acting up. by Friday I'd gone through about 12k blank and live rounds without a hiccup. it even ate half a 100rd cotton bandoleer that got drug into the feed tray before I could get off the trigger. cleared and back at it.

I never saw a melted barrel either, but we were serious about changing barrels. we'd eventually shoot out a barrel, but we'd know when that was coming because we stayed on top of round counts and maintenance. and had a good parts supply. if something needed swapped or replaced, we had the parts on hand to do it, because we were budgeted for it.


it sucked to hump 10+ miles, but worth every bit of it when it came time to shoot.
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Last edited by KW Driver; 20 February 2020 at 14:28.
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  #19  
Old 20 February 2020, 14:37
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During the late summer / early fall of 71 the 176th AHC out of Chu Lai had an interesting audition / selection for prospective gunners. During some slack time, they would fly along the coast and the novice would be given an opportunity to fire the door gun. Both the actual gunner and the novice would be in the gun-well and the gunner would demonstrate how the M60 worked. Then a school of previously spotted sharks swimming close to the surface would be pointed out and the novice would be told to see how close he could get to them and was encouraged to keep trying until he actually hit one of them. If blood was drawn the school instantly turned on the wounded shark and, in a nano-second, the water boiled red. When it was over about half of the sharks had eaten the other half of the school. The flight crew knew full well what was going to happen, the novice’s reaction could range from shock to panic. Welcome to the ‘whoa’.
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Old 21 February 2020, 22:01
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I was fortunate to be taught by a few of the Air Force gunners from the Nam era. They had a lot of insight of things that happened to them. They said a lot of it was OJT and was not in any books or TOs you could find. Talk about screwing with you on check rides.
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