During a mission, we started a gun run--- 20's were firing, followed by some rockets, then another brief burst of the 20's went off as I started firing my .50. Over the radio, Lt. Hicks said; "We're pulling out, we have a cannon malfunction." I glanced back and saw O'Neal(the #4 Gunner), and Joe Talan(the Flight Engineer) point to the 20mm on my side... the one that I cleaned and maintained. (I cleaned it and treated it like MY .50) ---I'm thinking--- "...get to the ammo feed and unsnag it, then we can do another run, and Lt. Hicks and Sgt. Arzuaga will let this go." Keep in mind, all this was in one or two seconds.
Like I never knew I was harnessed in, I lunged toward the 20mm ammo canisters and like a DOG hitting the end of it's leash... I was up-ended in a perfect horizontal position and slammed back down in the floor! (In gymnastics, I would have recieved a high score for that landing because I stuck it!) Then, with my breath knocked out of me, I hear Lt. Hicks on the radio say; "We have a Gunner hit!" All the while I'm trying to get to the foot pedal intercom switch which cannot be found. I can see both pilots looking back through the hatch door as I am climbing on top of the M5 grenade canisters, but still on my knees... Then I hear someone say (I think it was Arzuaga)... "He just tripped..."
Lt. Hicks: "Where was he going?"
John B. Gunter (the No.1 Gunner behind me) tried to help me up... meanwhile, the pilots were climbing fast to a high altitude, since I had managed to single handedly unman every gun position that wasn't already malfunctioning in that helicopter!
When I climbed back up to my gun, and peered out the window, I noticed that we were at least 10,000 feet. I looked back and noticed Rodrigues, the tail gunner, sitting facing forward just shaking his head with a smirk on his face...
That evening at chow, I noticed a lot of mumbling going on...<:-/
If any of you would like to contact David, I'm sure he'd appreciate the como.