Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971

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Da Nang
February 14, 1971
6:30 pm

Dear Folks,

Got a whole stack of mail just now. These Valentine cards from Gran and Jean couldn't have had much better timing.

Guess I'll try to answer some of your questions. First I haven't been in a helicopter yet, all my flying has been in U-21's. These are small propeller driven planes about 30 ft. long. There is one engine on each wing. The wings are mounted low on the fuselage. I'm not much of an artist but here goes

They couldn't get off the ground with more than about 10 people in them. When we fly these missions there are only 3 people, the pilot, the co-pilot and a radio operator. These planes aren't armed in any sense of the word. The only weapons on them is a .45 cal pistol in a survival vest.

I've got some pictures of them but I have to get them developed. Can't say exactly where we fly. We flew one mission in the vicinity of Lang Vei. You might be able to find that on a map. It's getting pretty dark in here right now. Something happened to the electricity, so no lights. May have to stop writing soon.

7:15 pm

The lights just came back on and revealed a whole army of mosquitoes. Just sprayed myself with a good dose of 'OFF.' Wouldn't doubt that you could smell it in this paper. The smell of insect repellant is pretty thick in the air right now. Guess that's why we take a malaria pill every Monday.

As far as my address goes it probably would be best if you give it to the Power Squadron just as you have it now without the box number. There are only about 120 men in the Aviation Detachment and it will probably be a while before I get one. The last address they have is at Ft. Gordon, Ga. It would take forever to get mail forwarded from there.

Would like to get Tom Wards address so I could write to him.

I guess I'll write Dr. Tellis a note too.

Spent another sunny day at China Beach today.  Got a picture we made of a Valentine we made in the sand out of empty beer and soda cans. That ought to be good.

We're still on standby, of course. Wouldn't be going to China Beach if we weren't. The water was closed today so all we could do was get our feet wet. Got myself a bathing suit though. We'll probably go back again tomorrow.

Probably didn't answer all your questions, but I tried. As far as goodies go you can send just about anything. As long as I can keep it away from the rats it will keep.

Not trustin' anybody,

(read the next letter home)