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DUSTOFF UNARMED HELICOPTER AEROMEDICAL EVACUATION DUSTOFF Steve Vermillion Call Sign Dustoff 40 Vietnam Tour Dates Jan 69 to Jan 70 Combat Missions 1451 Combat Hours 1127 Patients Evac’d 2410 DUSTOFF Tonight’s Presentation Background on Dustoff

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

DUSTOFF

UNARMED

HELICOPTER

AEROMEDICAL

EVACUATION

dustoff
DUSTOFF

Steve Vermillion

Call Sign Dustoff 40

Vietnam Tour Dates Jan 69 to Jan 70

Combat Missions 1451

Combat Hours 1127

Patients Evac’d 2410

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DUSTOFF

Tonight’s Presentation

  • Background on Dustoff
  • Night Non-Secure Hoist Mission
  • Cockpit Voice Recording of the

Briefed Hoist Mission

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DUSTOFF

BACKGROUND

First use of helicopters--Korea--January 1951

OH-13

OH-23

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DUSTOFF

BACKGROUND

  • Restricted to:
    • those that could not be reached by ground ambulance
    • travel over rough roads would worsen the soldier’s condition
    • need to reach medical facility faster than by ground
  • No in flight treatment of the wounded.
  • Lessons learned in Korea set the stage for Vietnam
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DUSTOFF

BACKGROUND

  • 57th Medical Detachment (HA) deployed to Vietnam in 1962
  • Equipped with 5 UH-1A’s
  • Located in Nha Trang
  • The 57th Med was viewed with skepticism
  • Major Kelly era--kicked it up a notch (1964)
  • Dustoff call-sign originated in 1964
  • Additional air ambulance detachments deployed to support

combat forces.

  • The 45th Med Co (AA) arrived in country-Sept 1967
dustoff may 1962 march 1973
DUSTOFFMay 1962-March 1973
  • 900,000 patients evacuated
  • 496,473 Dustoff Missions were flown
  • Average time between wounding and hospitalization--less than one hour.
  • Average mission time was 55 minutes
  • Standard missions averaged an enemy hit every 311 trips
  • Hoist missions averaged an enemy hit every 44 trips
  • 8000 hoist missions were flown
  • Hoist mission considered 7 times more dangerous than a standard mission.
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DUSTOFF
  • About 1400 Commissioned / Warrant officers served as air ambulance pilots
  • 40 aviators were killed by hostile fire
  • Another 180 were wounded or injured by hostile fire
  • 48 were killed and about 200 were injured as a result of non-hostile crashes
  • Slightly more than 1/3 became casualties.
  • 214 aviators and crewmen died flying air ambulance helicopters
  • Danger factor was 3.3 times higher than any other helicopter mission
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DUSTOFF

HOIST

MISSION

“HOVERING IS FOR PILOTS WHO LOVE TO FLY

BUT HAVE NO WHERE TO GO”

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Difficulties of a Hoist Mission

  • Extremely Vulnerable to Enemy Fire
  • Hovering Out of Ground Effect
  • Center of Gravity Limitations
  • Density Altitude
  • Crew Coordination
  • Illumination
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DUSTOFF

Critical Aspects of a Hoist Mission

 Highest Risk Point

Cable Cut Switch

When the soldier is suspended on the cable.

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DUSTOFF

NIGHT HOIST

MISSION

BRIEF

“Anyone can do the job when thing are going right.

In this business we play for keeps.

Ernest K. Gann

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Mission:

  • Night Hoist

FSB Mace

  • Location:
  • YS 559 999
  • Wounded:
  • 2 US Critical
  • 2 US Frag

AZ 147’

MO 11,800’

  • Artillery—Xuan Loc
  • Enemy Situation
  • Unknown

YS 559 999

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DUSTOFF

RPG-7

1.5 lbs. of C-4

7/32” ball bearings

60 degree arc--50 meters

RPG--Rocket Propelled Grenade

40 MM

Range 500 M (Stationary Target)

M-18 Claymore Mine

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DUSTOFF

Decision Time !!

No Compromise!

No Rationalization!

No Hesitation!

  • ETAs for gunships
  • Company policy
  • Command pressure
  • True enemy situation

Fly The Mission!

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DUSTOFF

Pay and Allowances—September 1969

Rank: WO1:

Basic Pay $378.90

Flight Pay: $100.00

Hazard Pay: $ 65.00

Subsistence: $ 47.00

Total Monthly Salary: $591.78

Annual Salary: $7,101.36

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Wind

Enemy

slide23

Wind

Enemy

slide24

Wind

Enemy

slide25

Wind

Enemy

slide26

Wind

Enemy

slide27

Wind

Enemy

slide28

Wind

Enemy

slide29

Wind

Enemy