I remember when I was on the Big E, (1971-72), some where in the South China Sea, maybe the Gulf Of Tonkin, that a Huey gun ship landed on our flight deck with a wounded gunner. I assisted the Chief Of Surgery that night in removing small bits of shrapnel from this gunner's legs. His surgery was successful and he recovered well in Sick Bay with both legs intact and functional in spite of his wounds. And later was air evac back to the PI for continued therapy. But what kinda confuses me, even after all this time, is why this chopper landed on our flight deck so far off the coast of Vietnam? I thought carriers never got closer than 50 to 60 miles off a combat zone coast? And why, the chopper didn't head for a southern base on land? I'm glad though, that the pilot picked the Big E for medical help that night. Our Sick Bay was well equipped with state of the art medical equipment, surgery operating rooms, and experienced physicians and corpsmen. Sorry I can't narrow down the time frame. Too long ago. Anyway I was never up to what was going on top side. I was below decks most of the time. 5000+ sailors, a large air wing, and a 93 thousand ton sailing war machine makes for a busy Sick Bay. And my memory file cabinets are a little rusted too.
Thoughts and speculations welcomed. Thanks.