Vietnam war stories are replete with tales of the hot LZ. Enemy ambush entering or leaving the landing zone was an ongoing threat to helicopters and their crews inserting and extracting personnel and equiptment.
My father was a reconnaissance Marine during the early part of the war. He told me a story about the interesting relationship his Marines had with the crew chief of one particular bird.
Ready to disembark, Marines would sit in the doorway legs hanging over the side as the bird came hovering into the LZ. Seems the crew chief would get nervous and prematurely start kicking Marines out as they were still in the air. Being unceremoniously booted into space while still 10 to 20 feet above the deck didn’t sit well with my old man and his Marines.
Being men of action vice words, the Recon ninjas decided to solve their little problem. On the next insertion one of the Marines drew his knife and cut the crew chief’s safety strap. The others grabbed him as they tumbled out of the helo into the LZ below. Hurrying on its way, the helo peeled away light one crew member. The crew chief had no choice but to draw his side arm and accompany the Reconnaissance patrol on its mission.
Oddly, crew chiefs stopped kicking Marines out of their birds until they were firmly on the ground.