Amid all the fighting, Anderson remembers a simple pleasure: Anderson’s Crew Chief stored a carton of C-rations under his seat in the back of the helicopter. During a mission, when the helicopter had to stop and refuel, the Crew Chief would call the pilot and copilot and ask what they’d like for lunch. As soon as the Huey landed, the Crew Chief would take two cans of pork-and-beans, pry the lid up halfway, and set the can on the exhaust stack of the helicopter. “Within a minute,” says Anderson, “that thing was so hot that you could eat it.”
Above: An unidentified pilot (possibly Lt. Col. S.F. Watson) stands next to a Bell UH-1 (late D or H model) in Vietnam, circa late 1960s/ early 1970s.