Helicopter Pilot Protected by Prayer During Vietnam War

Mark from WA

Thank you for the readings tonight, which were very inspirational. Since this week’s lesson was on “God the Preserver of Man” I thought it would be a good time to give a testimony regarding my time in combat. I was a Helicopter pilot. I was in the south part of Vietnam, right near the Demilitarized Zone. It was my first mission out of 700. My crew and I were supposed to fly into North Vietnam, and it appeared that there was really no way that we were going to make it back as it was extremely dangerous territory. I was quite afraid, and at that point, I thought Father, if you can help me out with this, I know that I will be fine for the rest of the tour. About five minutes before we were getting ready to head out, from the right side of the ship there came what looked like a dust storm heading right towards the ship, and it covered us completely in a fog. It happened so quickly and the mission was cancelled. I was 21 years old at the time, and from that point forward, I knew it was going to be a very interesting and protecting experience.

Midway through while I was up in North Vietnam, my ship was full, we were bringing in patrols. We were to set them down in a place but it looked like we were going to drop them. As we made our first loop, all of a sudden it felt like the ship took a very violent hit. Our blades and masts were bent. The first thought that came to me was “this is not going to happen!” I was totally calm. I yelled to the aircraft commander that I had the controls, and I did exactly how my Father was controlling me. Part of the Marine ship had ripped apart, and it was going down in flames. The other helicopter was going around like a boomerang, and I had to try to miss it, as it was coming right for us. I lost my hydraulics, and we hit the ground. We all survived. The other Chinook came in, and it took us to safety.

Another time We were trying to evacuate villagers who were under attack by the Vietcong. I was the last ship and I was in front of the village. There were many people on the ground, mainly women, elderly men, and children. I decided we were going to put everybody on my ship. I brought the ship up to hover, but I only had a portion of my required rpm. I took off slowly getting altitude. My blades were chopping the tops of the trees off, but we were able to make it over the mountain and do a precautionary landing. Everyone was safe.

One time I was alone on top of the mountain. We had been waiting there for two days because of the weather.and I started to walk forward to look over the edge of the hill and I tripped a very destructive mine that was placed in front of the compound. It blew me up in the air and I did a backflip and landed on my back. I just laid there, but I was totally uninjured. All this time I had my Science and Health with me in Vietnam. Every time we would stop between missions I would start reading where I left off. There was a wonderful thing that I read which my mom sent to me on a plaque. It was called “What Our Leader Says,” found on page 210 in Miscellany. I have always kept close to that and that I was under God’s care. There were just so many things that we were saved from. These were wonderful demonstrations on how God preserves man.(This is a revised version. To hear the whole testimony listen to our June 6th, 2023 service.)

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