1970: Daily Life of a Vietnam War Helicopter Pilot

Feb 17

David L. Porter

Daily Life of a Vietnam War Helicopter Pilot

vietnam war forest trailToday in 1970 during the Vietnam War in the Republic of Vietnam, Lieutenant Porter, a pilot with Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, was summoned to inspect an area of suspected enemy activity. He immediately spotted enemy positions and movement along trails.

While maneuvering at tree top level, he began to receive intense small arms fire. He called to his supporting helicopter had placed a deadly barrage upon the enemy, Lieutenant Porter flew back to the area where he observed enemy forces attempting to remove the equipment and bodies of other North Vietnamese soldiers. Again receiving intense fire, he retaliated with accurate suppressive fire and again summoned the aid of a helicopter gunship and artillery.

helicopter vietnam war trees forest

Upon completion of the artillery bombardment, Lieutenant Porter flew to the area to make an assessment of the damage. Finding an enemy base camp he flew back to refuel and rearm as artillery and air strikes were adjusted upon the position. Returning to the area, Lieutenant Porter made a reconnaissance of the area to inspect the damage incurred by the enemy.

vietnam war military base

Upon following a trail toward the Cambodian border, he was taken under fire from a concealed enemy force. He commenced fire while his observer marked the location for the approaching gunship. After dispersing a heavy amount of suppressive fire, Lieutenant Porter made a low pass in order to make a visual check of the area, he again was taken under ground to air fire.

vietnam war helicopter pilot

Again artillery and air strikes were called in upon his marks. The Commanding Officer directed him to be relieved due to the great amount of enemy fire he was exposed to.



David L. Porter

distinguished flying crossThe President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 2, 1926, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to First Lieutenant (Armor) David L. Porter, United States Army, for heroism while participating in aerial flight evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty on 26 December 1969 while serving as a pilot with the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in the Republic of Vietnam.

First Lieutenant Porter’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
General Orders: Headquarters, II Field Force Vietnam, General Orders No. 1844 (May 13, 1970), Amended By G.O. 3118 (1970)

Action Date: February 17, 1970

Service: Army

Rank: First Lieutenant

Company: Air Cavalry Troop

Regiment: 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment


Source: Hall of Valor, David L. Porter

One comment

  1. Doug /

    We are looking for a chopper pilot named Arizona around April 20th 71. Would love to find him for Lt Guidara . Frank Guidara is on Facebook.