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Info Sheet - Fred W. Reese


reeseI went to school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds Ordnance Center and School, for almost a year. There I was trained in every weapon that could be mounted on an Army aircraft, to include personal weapons.

After almost a year, I came out of school with the second highest score. I was asked if I would like to stay as an instructor, but, being the young and impetuous man that I was at the ripe old age of twenty and a married man since eighteen, I was ready to move on to bigger and better things.

They sent me to Fort Hood to start a brand new mobile unit, very much like the 3/4 Cav. It was the 528th Transportation Company. After they were activated and we went through the final ceremony, I got my orders for Nam.

When I left, my daughter was three months old. I arrived on September 2, 1970. Got into country, scared to death, as everyone was, and got sent up to Chu Chi the next day. When I reported in at Operations, they looked at my papers and said, good, you're a Senior Aircraft Armament Repairman. We can use you! Oh by the way, our Company Armorer is going home in a week. We need you to take over the arms room and ammo dump. Ok, which one, flight line or arms room? Both! So, just as I was ready to walk out the door to go find the arms room, the operations sergeant told me to hold up! The next thing I know, in walks Jack Nemeyer, who was the platoon sergeant for the slicks. They told him to take care of me.

Didn't mean much at the time other than what I was told. Jack got me bunked down in the slick hooch, then took me to the arms room. I did my thing in the arms room and made a half attempt to figure it all out before the armorer derosed. The day after, they asked if I had flown in slicks before. Nope! They said they had two slots open for a gunner and would I consider doing that? Ok, which one? The hanger, the arms room or door gunner? Yup! And so it was for the following year, with the addition of Night Hawk flights as well.

The only mini guns that I remember during my year, were mounted on the nose of the Snakes. I could see where someday we might free mount them as door guns. We fired them in free mount at Aberdeen many times. The cyclic rate is so fast, it's about like holding onto a small fire hose. It has climb, but not as much as you'd think. It was easily controlled.

I was never able to hold any formal classes in groups. The only thing I was able to do was to make sure that each man had any questions answered, if he had them, and if they weren't familiar with a weapon, I would give them a crash course on the spot. All repairs, I made in the evenings. All test firing was done from my aircraft, even the hand guns. I just had to utilize all of the time available to get it all done.

Must have done ok. No court martials or article 15's! Also never did guard duty or KP! Oh yes, the 50's. I was never privileged to fire or be around a .50 cal., other than training. Wish that I had. That was an awesome gun!

I had personal favorites in Nam and many were off the books. Some were there when I arrived and some I had to do some trading to get them. We had M16's, M14's, grease guns, Thompson's, shot guns, .38's, .45's, CKC's, SKS's, AK's, and two M2 carbines. All of them great in their role of warfare!