Dale Hill | Vietnam War Veteran


Dale Hill's Vietnam War Photos

Dale Hill


Ret. Colonel, Air Force

Dale Hill first went to Vietnam near the end of the war, from October 1972 to August of 1973. He volunteered to be a Forward Air Controller, but by then the aircraft was a lot more sophisticated than the basic Cessna.

The OV10 was the newest counter-insurgency plane that the military had. It had great visibility, 5 radios so we could talk to the ground commander, the fighters, and other Airborne Battlefield Command.

They also had more sophisticated weapons.

You could designate a target that you wanted to destroy with a laser. We would put the laser spot on it and (the fighters) would drop the bomb. They were very accurate but reliability was not what it is today.

Despite the sophisticated equipment, the mission was still very dangerous.

If you weren’t afraid you weren’t paying attention. Some of their (North Vietnamese) gunners got to be very good. It got to the point where they wouldn’t even shoot tracers because it would give their position away. We also had to deal with surface to air missiles and if they fired more than three or four you were going to be in a world of hurt. There were times when we would land at the end of a mission and I would shut down the plane and just sit there for a couple of seconds…..and kind of decompress before I could get out.