Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Tells Of Top-Secret Jungle Drops – With David Dosker: Even though the Veterans of the Vietnam War are heroes, not much is known about one of the longer wars in our history. Is it really important to show gratitude to our military? Tune in to hear David Dosker some amazing stories from behind enemy lines.
Air Date: 08/26/2020
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
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So, we’re looking at, hey, what can the Bible tell us about this hot topic of the day? But we also look at a historical view. In other words, what can history teaches? We’ve seen every culture try things, right. So what works, what doesn’t work? We can learn from the past. I mean, Solomon was right, there’s nothing new under the sun. So we can learn from what other nations have tried.
We can learn from what has happened in our own history in America. And then, of course, a constitutional perspective. We want to make sure that since we live in a constitutional republic, that we understand what’s at stake in our nation, we know how our system works and we make sure that we’re following that system of law and if it needs to be changed, that we’re working on changing it. So that’s why we say all the time here, there’s live a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective.
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Vietnam War Veterans
Alright guys, today, we’ve got one of our veteran interviews. He’s actually a veteran of the Vietnam War and Tim, you had a chance to visit with him recently. Tell us a little bit about David Dosker.
Yeah, one of the things, Rick, looking just kind of culturally, the Vietnam War, I know as we look back through military history, different wars have different names associated with them. I think the Korean War was known as the Forgotten War. Although probably for much of the new generation, the Vietnam War might as well also be the Forgotten War, something that certainly we don’t know very much about, it’s not steadied as often.
And even just looking back, guys, I totally forgot how long the Vietnam conflict lasted. Where we look at, for example, right now, I guess what was the war on terror, among other names that was given to what we’ve been fighting in Islamic terrorist over in the Middle East and then trying to bring stability and having troops over there and all the things that have gone on in my lifetime and kind of recognizable rememberable history since September 11th.
Vietnam was even longer conflict, which is kind of hard to imagine, looking back, and especially considering the way that there were political handcuffs put on, just kind of like we could talk about it in different wars, there’s different rules of engagement. Just what happened in Vietnam was very sad for a lot of soldiers, because they were really serving their country and doing what our country told them, and there wasn’t always the best leadership for the nation when it came to this conflict at the time.
And there was a lot of press involved. There’s a lot of politics and the press, because the press, even back then was not being totally honest in some of their depictions and some of what they were showing with some of the stories of what the US military members were allegedly doing to different Vietnamese prisoners, etc, etc. And so, it really was a very negative conflict.
With that being said, there still were some remarkable stories of incredible heroes from the Vietnam era where they’re Medal of Honor winners, people that we are friends with, like Dave Roever, who incredible testimony how God saved his life. He had a phosphorus grenade blow up right beside his face, his body’s covered and really, he’s being burned alive and just crazy how he lived and survived.
Now, he used his life as a testimony trying to help others soldiers. He’s an encouragement to so many Christians. There’s a lot of really unique and cool stories coming out of it.
And frankly, we just don’t know very much, especially today in our modern era about the Vietnam War. So, it is fun, getting to go back and talk to a guy, David Dosker was somebody who was part of the special operations unit, he flew helicopters in the Vietnam War. And he’s got a couple of really interesting stories about some of their encounters and some of their experiences flying a helicopter in the Vietnam War.
And so, it really was fun, getting to spend a little time, getting to learn a little bit more of his story. Like many veterans, I’m sure there’s a lot of details that would be incredible and riveting for us to listen to and probably hard for many veterans to go to that place to retell. And so, I’m sure there’s a lot more to David’s story that we didn’t get. Nonetheless, a few of the moments he shared are definitely fun moments and enjoyable to listen to.
Alright. Stay with us, folks. cc, our special guest here on WallBuilders Live.
Share Your Vets Stories
Hey friends, if you’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifices they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories. Here on WallBuilders Live, once in a while, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices, have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.
One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War Two veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live from folks that were in the Band of Brothers to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived being Indianapolis to so many other great stories you’ve heard on WallBuilders Live. You have friends and family that also served.
If you have World War Two veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please email us at [email protected], [email protected]. Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live.
Well, thank you so much for joining us. Today, we are joined by a special guest, Captain Dosker who served in Vietnam. Currently still a helicopter pilots to my understanding. Captain Dosker, we are so honored to have you with us today.
Welcome Captain David Dosker
Well, I’m very flattered that you want to talk to me, and I’m looking forward to it.
Captain Dosker, as you might be familiar with the WallBuilders Live program, some of the things we do, we are always excited when we get to talk to some of our military heroes, people that have served this nation and we would love if you would just tell us a little bit of your story. I know that you got to do some special ops and you flew missions and we would love to hear some of your story if you don’t mind sharing some of your story with us.
Well, no problem. First of all, I’m not a hero. I was a devout coward, but managed to get through it. It was the only one round of the ship that I was fine, so I consider myself very lucky.
Well, and then I’m going to pause right there and I’m going to say anybody that served in combat missions and you made it through, we would consider you a hero. And we are so grateful. You know, I know during the Vietnam era when you guys made it back, you did not receive much appreciation. And we, right now want to say thank you for your service. We are very grateful for your service to this nation.
I have two brothers that serve, a lot of friends that serve and we really appreciate the guys that serve. And so in our eyes, you are a hero and especially for the missions that you did and what you did. But we would love to hear some of these stories or missions that you got to be a part of, if you don’t mind sharing them.
I’ll try to give you some idea what we did. It was luck of the draw that I ended up where I was. But I got into what I consider to be one of the finest units in the military.
We were the first, what they call, TO&E to the Table of Organization and Equipment unit for special ops. And mission we did was, at the time highly classified, but essentially, what it was putting teams of either Americans or indigenous personnel behind enemy lines to do recon and other missions. Our job was to successfully get them in and then stand by and if and when they got in trouble, get them out expeditiously.
So, in the midst of flying people behind enemy lines, were there moments when you encountered gunfire on the way or was it usually a pretty smooth operation? Did you go at night? How did that all work?
Well, the gunfire happens on occasion, we have usually tried to avoid it through planning and through deception and our work for the most part, pretty successful, at least during my career there. The people that we put in were professionals, I highly regarded them and keep in touch with some of them as I get older.
My first mission in country was to extract a team that had been in trouble or that was in trouble. One ship of our team was shot out of the [inaudible 09:45], they had to leave, they put in some fire around them. And then the second ship went in and got part of the team.
And we were kind of the third one and we’re standing by and it turns out we had to be sent in. And I remember the aircraft commander briefing me on the way down to tell him what my torque is, telling me what my torque is. So, I was busy watching the instruments for him while he was flying.
In a Peter Pilot
But one kind of funny anecdotes. I noticed something through the chin bubble. And when we finally came out of there after these Gillman slid down the hill and literally had to lie on their backs in order to get onto the tips of the road or place and then climb up into the aircraft, he got us out of the [inaudible 10:39] and this was by the way, in the middle of the day.
I was what we call a Peter pilot at that time, there’s a brand new guy. And then he gave me the controls and we were flying out and I asked him, hey, what were those green fireflies I saw? He said fireflies, those were tracers. The enemy was shooting underneath the nose of the aircraft, never hit us once. But that was my baptism and fire, shall we say.
Wow. And I’m assuming then the helicopter was so loud that you couldn’t hear the gunfire or did you hear the gunfire and just didn’t realize that you were under fire?
Well, I knew we were under fire but I didn’t connect it to the fireflies. You generally couldn’t hear it and if you did, was kind of a popping noise now and again, but you’re so busy concentrating on doing the mechanics of flying and dividing your attention, listening to the crew chief and the gunner in the back which are their job was to give us alerts what was going on and also to keep our kill clear of vegetation and so on. They’re real heroes.
I think I will always think differently now a firefighter when I see those, that’s incredible. So, you’re able to get the guys. You get out, in all your time as a pilot, were there any moments or any experiences that really stood out to you above the others?
Boredom Punctuated by Terror
Yeah, a number of them, everybody has those. It’s usually moments of hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror, that usually comes afterwards. But one particular mission. We were working with other units, inserting some long-range reconnaissance patrols. And we got them in successfully, but went to lunch and we were awaiting and one of the teams got in contact.
So, we went back to see if we can get him out and the other, what we call a whole ship, it was their team. So, they went down and we’re in the process of dropping what we call the strings or the ropes down to the guys through the jungle so that they could hang on, they could pull him out. And something happened to the aircraft, we probably don’t and never will know what happened.
But in any case, it lost power and crashed into the jungle. That was about probably 2:30 in the afternoon. And one of the pilots was trapped in the aircraft, one man was killed. Then we were flying over top of them and the gunships were firing to give the support to the six or seven men that were on the ground. But anyway, we kept flying all day over hot refueling and we went back in even after dark. And while we were flying, we moved off the one side so that the Air Force gunships could come in and drop flares and provide suppressive fire.
Anyway, the aircraft commander was flying and we were going along and I saw something, it was a burger place. I thought and I called a warning. Well, it turned out that we were flying directly in Clouds which what they were, in fact, did go what we call inadvertent IMC and he started getting vertigo and I took over the controls. And I was getting vertigo, because we only have what they call them, basic instruments ticket, it was very rudimentary. But anyway, here’s a real hero.
The crew chief climbed out, unstrap, climbed out on the gun mountain, stood there and he looked up and he saw a hole in the clouds with stars. And he called it, told us about it and the aircraft Commander [inaudible 14:35] had composed himself and he took the aircraft again, because I was about to lose launch. And he covered up through that hole or not for that crew ship active actions, we would have become part of the problem, not the solution.
The Stars Lead the Way
Captain, let me just see if I understand this. So, you’re flying in your chopper, you go into a cloud, the cloud was so thick that you’ve literally have no idea which way is up and down. Is that what I’m understanding?
Yeah, that’s correct. What I was trying to do is brought back to the basic skills that we learn which is to keep it level, keep your speed up and adjust to appropriate amount of power. But it wasn’t something we practiced a whole lot, so the situation was turning nasty pretty quick, in fact, sticks out in my mind, let’s put it that way.
Oh, absolutely. So, a crew chief unbuckles, he hangs out of the chopper, looks up, happens to find a hole in the clouds and is able to direct you all out of the clouds because he saw some stars in the sky?
Well, it gave us an orientation. Gave the aircraft commander, because it was on his side of the aircraft, I couldn’t see it because of the instrument now. Like I say, I was focusing on the instruments. Anyway, we were able to collectively solve that situation. But that man that was on the ground spent a better part of a day hanging upside down 10 or 15 feet off the ground.
That is absolutely incredible. And I’m sure very, very obvious why that’s one of the more memorable stories. Captain, as we kind of begin to wrap things up, is there anything, that kind of a takeaway moment as we have listeners, many of them are military, many of them are very supportive of the military, as someone who has experience and I know coming back from Vietnam, you had mentioned that it was not a welcoming environment when you got home and now it seems that culture and atmosphere has changed.
But is there anything you can tell our listeners about the people that are serving in the military to give them a better understanding for what you guys go through and went through to help us know how we can appreciate our military better?
Gratitude and Respect
Well, thank them. Give them the respect that they’re due. In my career of subsequence of getting out of the military, I traveled to six or seven continents. And every time I see or saw a soldier, whatever the rank in an airport or whatever, I would walk up to them and shake their hand and salute them. And I give out copies of the Constitution. I’ve given out over 5,000 of them… And thank them. They’re all very humble. And regardless of whether they were a cook or bottle, washer, truck driver and mechanic, crew chief, a pilot, they all deserve our sanction respect.
Absolutely. Well, Captain Dosker, we are very thankful for you and for your time with us, telling us some of your story. We appreciate your service and I know you didn’t hear it enough when you were in service back in the Vietnam era. But now, we are so grateful and we do want to appreciate you and thank you and really thank you for coming on and sharing part of your story with us today. We will be right back on WallBuilders Live.
Hey guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. And I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers, about the original intent of our nation, the constitutional heritage that we have and really, we’ve seen how far we’ve slipped away from that.
And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk, think, I wish there was a place that I could go and I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand, see the things they did. And I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing.
If you get online, you can go to places like Library of Congress, and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon projects, to the Founders’ constitution at Google Books or even the internet archives or you can just go to WallBuilders website, we have a section for our library.
Then under that section, we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself.
Friends, this is a time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. Wallbuilders.com is a great place to go.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And thanks to David Dosker for joining us today. And Tim get him to share with our audience and let’s make sure we let people know also about the CD that we have at wallbuilders.com that compiles some of our best veteran interviews from over the years, available at wallbuilders.com and of course, I keep saying CD guys, I’m old fashioned, alright, for those that want to download it into their phone, they get the mp3, right?
Access to More Stories
Yeah, and of course, on the WallBuilders Live live archive, we have done a lot of veterans’ interviews over the years. And so, it is easier to find them on this mp3, on a CD if you want to have access to hear some of these stories, but certainly the WallBuilders Live archive, there’s a lot of veterans’ interviews there too.
And oftentimes, it’s of a World War Two veteran. It seems like who are the veterans we try to capture their stories, the most right now since so many of them are passing so quickly, we try to spend time there. But we’ve had veterans from all kinds of heroes from World War Two fought all different kinds of battles and conflicts, a lot of cool stories in the archives as well.
Yeah, there’s some great interviews out there and the series. And I’m thinking back through, I mean, guys that were there right after Hiroshima was bombed, we talked to guys that were off the island actually building a million caskets for the American soldiers that thought would die. Those have been Jeep drivers for patent. I mean, just it’s amazing, the stories we’ve heard.
I don’t know of any stories through, where guys talk about fireflies. This might be the first veteran interview where he talked about fireflies and up by a chopper. Well, that’s interesting.
Green fireflies. You know what, you mean, those are tracers. Well, and then you throw in the fact that it’s probably not a good moment when you’re in the clouds and your pilot gets vertigo and your copilot gets vertigo and somebody has to crawl outside the helicopters see where in the heck you are, that’s probably…
Well, and even along those lines, we scuba dive. And one of the things I talked about if you scuba dive, if you go to a place that’s so dark and you’re isolated and you can’t tell what’s up and it’s very realistic, you can get vertigo. And so, what you do is you’re supposed to watch which way your bubbles go. And that is up, because you can get so disoriented that you don’t know what’s going on. But I thought, so in a helicopter, you can’t blow bubbles and watch which way the bubbles go, right?
What do you do? And so the fact that this crew chief not only has the willingness, right, if you’re in the middle of cloud, you don’t know what you’re around and at that point, you don’t have the same level of radar system that you would today, right? The instruments are very limited, I would assume at that point for what they’re doing. So, you don’t know if you’re about to run into a tree or anything else. You don’t know how dangerous it is.
But for the crew chief to say hang on, let me lean out and then providentially, there’s a gap in the clouds where you can see the stars and go oh, hey guys, the sky is up there, we’re doing good. Just it, man, what you have to feel, the emotions in that moment, the pressure, the mental strain, all that’s going on and then levels of relief.
But even as he says, where he gave it back over to the other pilot take back over and he felt like he was going to throw up, those are just things that I don’t think you properly can understand as someone tells you, unless you’ve been in a moment of something of some level of similarity, where you have such bad vertigo as you are the pilot, and you are trying to navigate through this, it really is crazy, that they were able to survive.
And we were talking about so often historically, there’s moments when you can look and you recognize God’s providence in keeping somebody alive. And God intervened in this moment. And certainly, that seems like what would have been pointed out here is that, man, had they not seen those stars, this could have been the end for them, because they wouldn’t be able to keep this bird up, even though they’re trying to keep it level.
They’re sick. They’re vertigo, they don’t know what’s going on. Just kind of crazy that sometimes many dangerous situations don’t always involve the fire of the enemy or right, where it could be green lightning bugs. But sometimes, just navigating through weather can be difficult.
A Psychological Side
Well, you were talking about even the psychological side, we can imagine what it’s like that. The fact that he was saying that their missions were essentially always behind enemy lines. They’re doing insertions and extractions behind enemy lines. That’s not like flying on your side and landing guys. This is crossing into enemy territory and you’re working operating behind enemy territory, coming back out and going back in. I mean, just the whole deal of crossing enemy lines and working behind them, not being found, that’s a lot of pressure. Yeah.
And when your first operation when you get there is to go pick up guys who are in trouble behind enemy lines, you are really thrown into the deep end of the pool and this one where it’s like, okay, here we go. And I appreciated where he mentioned that so often when you do these operations, you’re trying to be strategic, you’re trying to use tactics and diversion so that you’re able to insert and drop off or pick up and then do the extract quickly without getting into trouble. But it’s not always like that.
And again, it’s why we appreciate guys who have deployed, who’ve gone down, arrange who’ve been in combat zones and what they’ve gone through. And this is why I also appreciate it at the end when he said that the best thing that we can do right now is when you see somebody in military uniform, go up and thank them. He says, look, even for me, I try to shake all their hands.
I know this is a little different now in the midst of this coronavirus, COVID stuff, I get that, you know, maybe it’s a fist bump, maybe it’s an air five or whatever the case is. But just taking the time to acknowledge the people that are still willing to give of themselves to serve this nation, even if it’s not, we’re in a massive military conflict and a lot of lives are not being risked on a daily basis in the same level of maybe what it was back in World War Two or Vietnam or early in the war on terror, whatever the case is, it still is worth being able to go up and find those military guys in uniform, find the veterans and thank them for their service.
And also, even to teach others the fact that he’s given out 5,000 copies of the Constitution, I mean, that is really good. So, thanking people for their service, and helping teach the next generation about our principles that are made us special, those are good things.
Well, folks, we are out of time for today, you can get more veteran interviews at our website, wallbuilderslive.com by going into the archive section, or by getting that CD, it’s got kind of some highlight reels, if you will, of some of the best interviews we’ve had over the years, from veterans from all the branches and from multiple wars over the last century, is just some really interesting stories.
I mean, it’s the kind of thing you want to teach to your family so that you appreciate freedom, so that they appreciate freedom, that you realize the price has been paid. And it’ll also make you want to honor those veterans in your life that you know or that you just run into.
Vietnam Helicopter Pilot Tells Of Top-Secret Jungle Drops – With David Dosker
When you see a veteran man is wearing one of the hats or you see someone in uniform that’s still serving, that you let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifice that they’re willing to make so that your family can be free. It’s a really important part of living a life of gratitude and recognizing that this freedom isn’t free and enjoying this freedom, but also accepting some of the responsibilities that come with it.
We sure appreciate you listening today. Hope you’ve enjoyed our program at WallBuilders Live. Hope you’ll go to our website, wallbuilderslive.com to learn more and hope you’ll consider making a contribution there as well. Come alongside us and help us to grow this program, to reach more people with truth, to reach more people with the principles of liberty and teaching them how to be good citizens so that we can save this constitutional republic for future generations.
Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.