Gunsights and the ROE
Dale Hill 

Pat McCullough (Nail 47) and Dale Hill (Nail 49), NKP 
(photo Dale Hill)

As I remember, one of the ROE we labored under was you had to have an
operational gunsight to work a TIC.  On July 4th of '73 I was in Cambodia
when a Khmer ground commander got in a bind and called for some air.  I was
first on scene but knew my gunsight was inoperative (like Gary said, the
bulbs often burned out).  I had already worked some air earlier on another
(non-TIC) target and had placed a mark on the windscreen, so I figured I had
an operational gunsight as I knew where the rocket was going to hit.  I went
to work -- besides, can you imagine the reaction had I told the guys on the
ground, 'Sorry, I can't help you, I don't have an operational
gunsight!'?!?!?!  As it turns out, I worked a couple of sets of air and
broke the TIC, but the bad guys kept shooting an 81MM mortar at our Khmer
friends as harassment.  As these mortar rounds were a real pain for them and
I had some rockets remaining, I went mortar hunting and started laying
rockets into what I thought was a likely sight.  Turns out I was at least
close because the ground commander called me and said in his pidgin English
"Nail 49, you be careful, they not shoot mortar at me anymore, they shoot
mortar at you now!"

As for other uses of the gunsight, my roomie smoked and one day his lighter
was dry, so he came up with a scheme to light his first cigarette (he
planned to light the others from this first one).  First, he exposed the
bulb and then he tried to milk some oxygen out of the oxygen hose that
normally just sat there in the cockpit as we never flew with an oxygen mask
(we never flew high enough to need it -- although he and I did get mildly
hypoxic one night flying home from the PDJ VERY low on gas because we stayed
on scene too long working a TIC at LS 32) so the oxygen system was never
serviced ).  Anyway, after taking a few gulps of what he thought was 100%
oxygen, he then exhaled through his cigarette while touching it to the hot
gunsight bulb.  It worked and he was soon puffing away!

Nail 49