Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans

COMBAT STORIES FROM Vietnam

Mike Kenney | Military Intelligence Corps - Army

4:39   |   Mike Kenney's second tour of Vietnam was very different from his first. He flew for military intelligence in a plane crammed with radios and linguists. Part of the standing orders were to report any mention of captured American pilot John McCain. There were no combat missions but the base was often under mortar attack, like every base in Vietnam.

More From Mike Kenney

Keywords   :     Mike Kenney    pilot    Vietnam    Military Intelligence (MI)    Cessna O-1 Bird Dog    Lockheed P-2 Neptune    John McCain    Nha Trang    French    Dien Bien Phu    mortar fire

Videos ( 8 )
Vietnam
  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  5:35

    At Western Kentucky University, Mike Kenney was really enjoying ROTC and the Pershing Rifles. He was seriously thinking of a military career but, for some reason, he had not received notice that he was accepted into the advanced ROTC program for his junior year. This led to an odd series of events which had him in the Marine Corps for twenty four hours.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  11th Armored Cavalry Regiment  |  6:13

    Mike Kenney was an aviator, but he'd not yet had any military pilot training. He started Airborne school after his basic infantry officer course but, a couple of weeks in, the orders came and he was to report to basic helicopter training. He started on smaller aircraft, then moved on to the Huey, the real workhorse of Vietnam.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  11th Armored Cavalry Regiment  |  5:52

    It was a long trip across the Pacific with typhoons pushing the ship around. Mike Kenney finally arrived in Vietnam and his very first night there, sappers attacked another ship in the harbor. Once ashore, the unit was trucked to Bien Hoa, where a huge base camp had been prepared for the 11th Cavalry.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  11th Armored Cavalry Regiment  |  7:22

    Mike Kenney recalls talking to his wife through the patchwork MARS ham radio network from Vietnam. Even before he flew a Huey into combat, there were incidents at the base, some of them self-inflicted. On the day he did first see combat from the air, it was memorable. He was ferrying a General when they spotted a convoy under attack. This began a battle which would eventually include blood being hosed out of his aircraft.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  6:18

    Finding a little humor kept you sane. Mike Kenney recalls a joke he played on his grandfather, who sent him grass seed and received pictures of tall elephant grass. When somebody figured out all the helicopter pilots would rotate out at the same time, they were split up and he was sent south to the Mekong Delta, a whole different situation.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  121st Assault Helicopter Company  |  7:53

    You accumulated hours fast in the Mekong Delta. Helicopter pilot Mike Kenney got to take a break after 120 hours in a little cabin the unit had on an island. There was no jungle down there, unlike his first post in country, where the triple canopy forest reached about 200 feet.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  7:26

    He totaled up a lot of hours flying in Vietnam, but pilot Mike Kenney wasn't done with the service. After flying for Military Intelligence during his second tour, he made a career out of that field and worked in important posts all over the world.

  • Mike Kenney  |  Vietnam  |  Multiple Units  |  7:23

    At the end of a long career that began in Vietnam and drew to a close with General Norman Schwarzkopf, Mike Kenney followed his wife to a teaching job at their alma mater, Western Kentucky University. It wasn't long before he had one of those, too.

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