HOW TO FIRE A 2.75 INCH ROCKET
NICE SHOT: SEE THE 2.75 ROUND ROCKET HOLE IN THE ROOF. I shot a 10 pound high explosive rocket to make the round hole in the roof of the above building. The buiding was in Viet Cong territory and after the rocket exploded, two Viet Cong ran out of the building. Here is how to shoot rockets? Altitude is best at 1,500 feet over the ground. Why 1,500 feet? Because you can still hit the target and your aircraft is difficult to hit by small arms ground fire. Use the bomb sight on the hood of the airplane. Make a mark on the window of the airplane, which can be aligned with target, the bomb site,and the grease pencil mark on the windshield. See the below picture of the sight? Use a heading that is into the wind. Pull up the nose of the airplane and then gently drop the nose of the airplane so the circle of the bomb site is over the target. Do not use any rudder pedal—left or right. If the airplane has any yaw, the rocket will NOT go straight. When the target is in the circle—pull the trigger on the stick. The trigger pull should be a smooth and perfect squeeze. Remember the wind will affect the flight path of the rocket.
TOT LAM in Vietnamese means good job!
While stationed at Bao Loc an Air Force C-123 landed at the short dirt strip. I was there when the pilot opened the window as ask us where to unload their cargo. We asked what the cargo was and he indicated that he had a load of 2.75 inch high explosive rockets. The only place to unload was at the operations area at the dirt runway. The other end of the runway had a stream barrier. See picture.
We had sandbag resentments in that area for 3 0-1 Birddog airplanes along with airplane fuel in 55 gallon drums. That area had been attacked at night because it had no protection from attack. Also, if the area were to be attacked the 55 gallon drums of aviation fuel was highly flammable. We though the off load of rockets would number in a partial load, but it was a full load of rockets. The Cl-130 barely had room to turn around. The rockets laid in place for about two weeks when we found that there was a planned mission near Bao Loc for 101st Airborne. We also learned that the mission had been canceled. What were we going to do with all of the rockets? We wanted to get them off the runway. The only thing to do was to shoot them. Consequently I departed the runway with every mission. One day I flew by a so called abandoned village and someone shot at me. I could hear the round pop as it missed my airplane. A couple days late I decided to have an “all Army airstrike” on that village. I went back and forth from that village and the Bao Loc airfield with a full load of rockets. I estimate that I fired 25 to 30 rockets into the village. At one point black smoke erupted in the village. I believe the black smoke was from the VietCong explosives stored underground in the village. This story is unknown and never been told until now. Below you will see a picture of the C-123 landing. The strip was so short the C-123 reversed the props at the end of the runway. The dust around the airplane was caused by reversing the props. See picture.