|A Hot LZ|
Landing Zone: From Wikipedia, the Free Online Encyclopedia
A Landing Zone or "LZ" is a military term for any area where aircraft land.
In the American military, a landing zone is the actual point where aircraft land, (equivalent to the commonwealth landing point.)
In commonwealth militaries, a landing zone is the cartographic, (numeric,) zone in which the landing is going to take place, (i.e. the valley.)
Landing area is the area in which the landing is going to take place (i.e. the field where the aircraft are to land.)
Landing point is the actual point on which aircraft are going to land (i.e. a point of the field.) Each aircraft has a different landing point.
Landing areas are most commonly marked by coloured smoke. The standard procedure is for those at the landing area to pop smoke and say so over the radio. The pilot says when smoke is seen and what colour the smoke is.
Those on the ground then respond with what colour the smoke should be. Smoke of a different colour can mean the landing area has been compromised, and the pilot usually has the authority to cancel a landing.
A hot landing zone, or Hot LZ, is the place you never want to hear you are going. Hot means the landing zone is occupied by the Vietcong or NVA, who will be shooting at you while you are landing, or when you land.
Late one afternoon, our company was on our way back to FSB Pershing after an uneventful day on patrol. Right outside the wire around Pershing, we were told to hold up. The officers and NCOs were called together and briefed about something.
A lot of things ran through my mind while we waited to go, which I’ve long since forgotten, but one thing you can be sure of, I was scared and that everyone was scared.
It wasn’t long before the choppers came in and picked up the first platoon to go hit the LZ. Luckily, we were not in the first group.
They patrolled the area for about a ½ hour or so, but found nothing. It looked like once the enemy knew they were spotted, they took off, or hid.
Landing in a Hot LZ
There was one time we actually landed in a Hot LZ. We were picked up one morning by choppers and flown to another area for our patrol. I should remind you I liked to sit on the floor right behind the pilot. Being in that spot always meant I was one of the first ones off the chopper when it touched down and one of the last ones on when it took off. What can I tell you? I liked the view sitting there with my feet hanging out the door.
The choppers circled the LZ and the
|In a Rice Paddy Waiting|
Once we got close to the ground, we hopped off the chopper and ran over to the berm surrounding the rice paddies, we got down and took cover.
We fired a few rounds for effect, but none was returned, which made me very happy.
One of the guys next to me asked me if I was okay.
“A round hit right between your legs just as you hit the ground.”
I was pumped with adrenaline so I had to actually stop for a second to see if I could feel if I’d been shot; nothing.
“No, I’m fine.”
“That was close, you're lucky.”
I don’t remember anything specific about the rest of the day, but as far as I’m concerned, that was enough for one day.
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