GUNSLINGER

 

173rd Airborne Brigade

As the NVA moved into place for the Battle of                                                     Dak To. Our OH-23 G’s were flying double shifts                                               and more.  
The constant pressure to spray for snipers, “The Orkin Men” and to ID NVA movement in Kontum Province, took a toll on our flight crews and aircraft.



Parts for the OH-23G were not available. Unfortunately, downed Gunslingers are cannibalized for parts. A practice strictly prohibited. Never the less the Gunslingers flew until all were lost or ordered grounded. “Take a close look at what is happening in this picture.”  Seen in picture below (left)



HHC 2nd.Brig.4 ID Danny Delgado,OH-23 Gunslinger – 9/1967

After Gunslinger was lost in action I was transferred to LRRP Provisional at HHC 2nd Brigade then to E Company Aviation Forward Support and assigned to the recovery crew we named "Gunslingers".  "Gunslinger" was later recovered and curiously positioned outside of my tent. 

Lee was a pilot for 173rd Airborne and assigned to HHC 2nd Brigade, 4th ID prior to the battle of Dak To.

Vietnam ...  44 years have passed! Our Lord will soon let me know why I was not called to ride shotgun for you and my OH – 23 “ Gunslinger”. The evening of 9/8/1967, replays in my mind every hour and every day of my life. If I had been called, I know I could have changed the outcome of that evening.  If I had failed, our names would have been etched, side by side, on “The Wall” for Eternity. Gaylord Lee Westbay and OH-23 Gunslinger “Rest in Peace” When I get to heaven, I’ll ask the Lord for one last mission. Allow us to fly escort for “The Peace Train of Forgiveness,” loaded with all the soldiers who were sent to fight The Vietnam War.

Danny Delgado: Veterans Cemetery Hanford, CA (June, 2012)

Resting Place of Gaylord Lee Westbay (RIP)

HHC 2nd Brigade was assigned 3 OH-23 G 

The photo at right is of one of our other OH-23 G

This photo was submitted by WO Richard McJunkin (Left) 

DANNY DELGADO (1968)