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Title:Carl H. "Skip" Bell IIIs interview for the Veterans History Project at Atlanta History Center pt1of2
Duration:02:20:04
Viewed:18,767
Published:15-03-2022
Source:Youtube

We welcome your comments on this interview at VeteransHistoryProject@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com Catalog number: VIS 201.0735 In part one of this two-part interview, Skip Bell recalls his experiences serving in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He describes growing up as an "Army brat;" basic training; Ranger School; and being sent to Vietnam two weeks after the birth of his first child. He recalls his first impressions of Vietnam and patrolling the "rocket belt" for a Bob Hope USO show. He describes his first combat experience providing support for a convoy; displays photographs of his armored personnel carrier; and describes their living and sleeping conditions. He recalls in detail the enemy tunnels they investigated and describes the "Rome plows" and defoliants that were used to clear the area of plant growth. He remembers the scorpions, snakes, and ants they encountered on their patrols. He recalls returning from Vietnam, teaching at Fort Benning, Georgia, and deciding he wanted to become an Army aviator. He describes that process and his second tour to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. He recalls many incidents during his second tour, including flying province support missions and working with the New Zealand Army. He describes in detail his final assignment in Vietnam, flying with a variety of helicopter crews to create an "operational report lessons learned" document. The report informed later training for helicopter crews based on the kinds of enemy tactics used in various geographic areas of Vietnam. He recalls meeting and marrying his wife of 43 years, resigning his active duty commission, and serving in the reserves for the rest of his career. He describes his work setting up an Army command and control system in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield; living and working conditions there; and the Saudi culture. He reflects on his military service and his regard for all veterans.

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