LTC Charles Dean James Sr.

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Combat gun shot wound as I remember it:

Hot weather, 1966, I was Aircraft Commander of a UH/D Army helicopter, heading south on the eastern side of our 1st Aviation Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division base camp. The aircraft was fully loaded with personnel even sitting on the deck. We had not experienced much VC probing or firing into the camp, but I dropped to about 5 feet off the ground at 110 knots, 20 knots above normal cruise; two farmers were working in the field we were crossing. We would pass them about a half click east of their position. We had enfilade fire across this entire field of crop stubs and saw absolutely nothing. There was a sudden explosive sound and I said, “I’m hit.”

Instinctively, the pilot said, “I have the controls” and pulled us into a climbing right turn, during which time we realized that the shot had come in directly from the belly and caught me in the back of my right (cyclic) upper arm. I squeezed the right flight suit covered upper arm with my left hand until we landed, to stop any bleeding, so I’m left with no scar.

We honor you, Charles James Sr.

(#Repost @National Purple Heart Hall of Valor)

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