Gil Acheson

1st Lt. Gil Acheson (Reserve Cpt)

 U.S. Army 


Helicopter Pilot, Gunship Team Leader, COBRA Instructor, Chief of Flight Standards

D Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, 4th Infantry Div.

COBRA Flight Training Center  

Central Highlands, Pleiku, Tet Offensive ’68, Hiu 875, Battle of DakTo, Oasis Invasion, Ankhe Pass, 2nd Ia Draug Valley



 Day One - Vietnam

“When I got off the plane, I was met with the sobering image of body bags being loaded into the hold of the plane that had just flown him to Vietnam for his first assignment as a helicopter pilot. First impressions stay with you your whole life, and the day had only begun.”  

Warned that incoming rockets sounded different from outgoing Howitzer fire, he found himself on a makeshift walkway about 30 feet behind another man around midnight, the unmistakable sound of an incoming rocket filling the air. In seconds the rocket exploded close to the man in front, knocking them both to the ground.  Gil got up, but the other fellow didn’t. Gil ran to help, but was stunned by the big, gaping hole in the fellow’s sternum.  Here he was, less than 24 hours in Vietnam. . . 


In Their Own Words briefly describes a specific historical story told during an APHA interview that is used as short stories for the media.