Reading some of the recent posts made me think of one of the dumber things we used to do - Quick Draw. I don't remember ever doing it as a Slick driver, but, it was "popular" with us Maddogs. Did any of you other guys do it ???
When we were shut down, usually along a road someplace, and getting bored to death, we'd take our 38's, UNLOAD them, and practice old-time cowboy gunfights. The key was to see who was the fastest draw. Generally fun, but, we had one bad incident.
We were quick drawing one day while shut down along a road - I think Rach Kein, one of our favorite haunts. C&C flew low-level over and gave us the "crank sign" - circular hand motion.
We re-loaded our 38's and headed for our ships while the gunner and CE untied, etc. Phil Eichler and Rick Moore, both Maddogs, were flying in different ships and headed away from each other, when Rick yelled, "Hey, Eich, QUICK DRAW !!!"
Eich yanked out his 38, spun around, and FIRED - BLAMMM!!!!!
Rick dropped to the ground, holding his leg, yelling, "Eichler, you stupid son-of -a-bitch, you shot me." And he had, right clean through the calf.
We hauled Rick into one of the ships and medevaced him to a field hospital.
After we got Rick medical care, we decided we needed to come up with a good story. We decided to say that, as we were heading back to our ships, Eichler, who had been cleaning his weapon, put it back in his holster, and apparently the hammer caught on the side of the holster, and apparently was pulled back enough to be released forward, causing the firing pin to hit the firing cap, causing the gun to fire. Because he was facing Mr. Moore, the round went through the bottom of the holster, ricocheted off the ground, and, unfortunately, hit Mr. Moore in the leg. What a shame. Eich then shot a round in the holster to give credence to the story.
Needless to say, nobody believed us. Especially, because the S&W 38 has a little sliding catch that prevents the hammer from being forced forward and hitting the firing pin, unless the weapon has been properly cocked. However, in the ensuing investigation, they tore Eichler's 38 down, and found out his lock-out pin was MISSING. Apparently, at some point in time, when his pistol had been cleaned, he forgot to replace it. THEREFORE, the story was possible, and, therefore plausible.
Eich was off the hook.
Meanwhile, poor Rick is languishing in the hospital.
A week or two later, Eichler left the 240th for his month long R&R, that he earned by extending for another 6 months. Eich left for the States. A week or so later, RIck returned to the Unit, still really pissed at Eich for shooting him - even though Rick had challenged him initially.
Rick told me later that they rushed him into surgery, and because the bullet had passed clean through they had to "clean" the wound, by cutting a 4 inch long hole all the way through the leg and checking for fragments, etc. He was anesthetized with a catheter in place during this procedure.
After surgery, Rick was laying in bed, when the urge hit him, and the catheter didn't cut it So, Rick hobbled to the head, with his catheter and intravenous line in tow. He said he tried to piss, but, nothing with the catheter in place, so he RIPPED the catheter out.
He said as the Urine started to flow, and hit the now UN-anesthetized and RAW urinary tract, the pain was more excruciating than ANYTHING he had ever experienced - including the shooting.
He SCREAMED, "Eichler, you SON-OF-A-BITCH, I am going to KILL YOU !!!!!"
Luckily, by the time he returned to the unit he was calmed down - some.
Any way, a few weeks later, late one evening, we took a call that Eichler was back in country and needed to have someone fly down to Saigon and pick him up. (I forgot the little pick-up area's name in Saigon - CRS).
Anyway, RIck and I "volunteered" to do it. We borrowed a Slick and headed down, getting there well after dark. No crew, just the two of us.
I flew AC, and as we landed, Rick hunkered down into the right seat, so you couldn't see who he was. Eich recognized the 240th White "X" on the tail boom, so he came over, smiling big as shit, entered from the right side (right behind Rick), threw his duffel bag in, and jumped into the cargo bay. He saw me, and yelled a, "Hey, Great to see you", with one leg still dangling over the side.
All of a sudden, Rick spun around, had his 38 in his hand, COCKED it, and stuck it right between Eichler's eyes, tight against his forehead, and yelled, "Eichler, you son-of-a-bitch, YOU SHOT ME !!!!"
Eich sat there with that 38 stuck between his eyes, and I am convinced lost 15 lbs. immediately through his uncontrolled sphincter onto the cargo bay floor.
I wasn't sure of Rick's intentions either. Eich started blubbering," G**damn it Rick, I didn't mean it. It was an accident, Shit, man.", etc.
All of a sudden, Rick un-cocks the pistol, lowers it, and starts laughing his ass off, yelling, "Welcome back, asshole."
Eich still didn't know whether to shit or go blind. Then he finally started laughing, and the three of us were almost uncontrollable with laughter.
We were even closer after that.
What a crazy place.
Rob Glasier - Maddog 19
© Robert Glasier 1997
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