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If our soldiers are not overburdened with money, it is not because they have a distaste for riches; if their lives are not unduly long, it is not because they are disinclined to longevity.

-- Sun Tzu

Vietnam I flew several of these missions, and we always got secondary explosions and almost never needed the OV10's or snakes to light off the drop. It seemed as if the barrels rupturing and scrapping together created a good fuse and light off. Beyond the Flights mentioned I remember flying a mission in support of the ROK Marines with one CH-53 where we naped Football Island.

This took all day since we dropped seventeen loads of napalm each, and we had to refuel and shut down in the LZ for a while. I think Kent "Spider" Lebo was FAC with the ROK Marines, and he may have requested the mission. We got secondaries of ordnance on every drop except one where I let the crew chief pickle the load from his hell hole station to make sure that system would work good and to give him a thrill. He took too long to react after I called the mark, so barrels landed long and some went in the water where they also ignited. We had flames on the water for a while. The OV-10 driver noted a poor BDA on that pass, and we allowed that we were after some Vietnamese which we observed there. I would think one aircraft dropping seventeen times -- 11,000 lbs. of napalm each drop -- in one day would be a record.

I have related this story to A4 and F4 drivers and have taken the position that we dropped more nap in one day with one CH-53 than any Marine FW squadron ever did in a day and probably more than they did in a month.

Note: by Doug Raupp


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