|This photo of Gia Nghia was taken after landing on our first sortie
of the day. We managed to get in through a "sucker hole" (an opening in
the clouds which allowed us to see the field well enough to descend and land), but then
the clouds closed in for several hours. Built on the top of a small mountain, Gia
Nghia had a field elevation of 2136 feet, but was surrounded by higher mountains.
With no nav aids at all, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor,
and we just waited for the clouds to break. Right after we landed, an Air America
Porter also got in, so at least we had someone to talk to for a while. (His level of
discretion was lower than mine and he took off a while before we did, descending into the
valley to the right in the photo.) Having spent several hours on the ground in
contact with our Saigon command post, we managed to run the battery flat enough that it
would not start the aircraft. We managed to flag down an Army 6x6 and get a jump
start. Fortunately, the Army truck used the same 24 volt DC battery system we did
and all we had to do was connect the jumper cables and light off number one.