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DEVIL 63, Vietnam Gunship Pilot
by CWO 2 Sims and Larry K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

CWO Sims wants it understood from the beginning: he was no hero. He tells his story from the training that began at Fort Wolters, Texas, and continued through Fort Rucker, Alabama. He tells his story through his two tours in Vietnam and his return home. "Sounds interesting!"

Devil 63 Title Page


Vietnam Gunship Pilot



CWO 2 Richard Sims

     As told to

      Larry K. Thompson














I just want it understood that I ain’t no hero. I flew helicopters in Vietnam just like other pilots, and I was just doing my job. I did not set out to be a hero, and I never acted like one. I was just a dogface. I took orders, followed them, and flew my helicopter just like I was ordered to. All I ever wanted to do was fly a helicopter. From the age of seven, that is what I wanted to do, to fly a helicopte...

Table of Contents










Chapter 1. . . . . . . . . .   1

Chapter 2. . . . . . . . . . 23

Chapter 3. . . . . . . . . . 0

Chapter 4. . . . . . . . . . 0


Chapter 1

Being rewritten


Chapter 2



UNIT: Civilian Life

SITUATION: Fueling the Stress

LOCATION: life in Texas

TIME: The Mid 1960s



Hot, swampy, relentless heat. That is how hot it was on my first day in-country. Hot, swampy, relentless. Every day, Vietnam was hot-swampy-relentless, no other way to describe it. The country was beautiful but the weather was impossible. That’s...

Chapter 3




UNIT: Fort Wolters Flight School

SITUATION: Flying So long

LOCATION: Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam.

TIME: Before May, 1969



When I was finally able to solo, fly by myself, I took off, I flew in a circle, and I set the aircraft down. Talk about nervous, I was so nervous, if had passed gas, I would house blown a hole in my uniform. You gotta remember, when y...

Chapter 4



UNIT: 134th AHC

SITUATION: Arriving in Country

LOCATION: Cam Rahn Bay, Vietnam.

TIME: 5 May, 1969




The Vietnam bound personnel and I boarded a transport plane, and if I remember correctly, we flew to Japan. The flight crew changed there, and with a new flight crew, we flew on to Guam. The flight crew treated us well. I think we were on the ground i...

Chapter 5



UNIT: 134th AHC, Maintenance Platoon

SITUATION: Surviving an Unforeseen Mission

LOCATION: Pou Hua, Vietnam.

TIME: The Second Half of 1969



Well, he did not have to kill anyone. We completed the mission okay. It was the kind of war It was. It didn’t occur to me until later that we were fighting the wrong kind of war. We were not supposed to be fighting a E...

Chapter 6



UNIT: 134th AHC, Maintenance Platoon

SITUATION: Typical Mission Preparation

LOCATION: Phu Hiet Army Base, Vietnam.

TIME: Early 1970



As far as preparation for our mission, we had a process that we went through. We had regular missions that we flew, a few special missions, and the preparations were pretty much SOP. Unless someth...

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