I believe it was in June
or July of 68 that I had a single ship mission up north
for the day and got sniped at. The people I had on board had to visit
several small bases with one of them being a smaller artillery fire base.
I remember landing the chopper on the pad on the east side of their base
and that the area faced a small hill where the soldiers there were spaced
out eating lunch. After waiting the two minutes for engine cool down
I shut down the ship. Just after I stepped out and was getting ready
to close the door I heard what sounded like a very large bee fly by the
left side of my head just about 12" away. A split second later I
ducked knowing I had just been shot at by a sniper. I quickly turned
to see where it came from then just as fast turned to yell up to the soldiers
eating lunch what had just happened. What happened next was totally
unexpected and it was not cleared up until some 25 years later via a short
story in "Readers Digest" I believe. Those soldiers just laughed
and one even yelled down something to the effect that "he almost got you".
Here I was, almost killed by a sniper and those guys were just laughing and then went on with their lunch as if nothing had happened. To make matters worse it didn't take me long to figure out that sniper could have shot at any one of our passengers but waited instead for the AC of the ship to provide his target. That didn't sit very well with me at all. As we were going back to the ship to leave the area I made sure I had the ship between me and the area the shot came from. I then got to my seat by climbing over the radios from the back of the ship.
It wasn't until many years later that I saw that article about what probably was that particular sniper. As the story went the NVA had apparently gone to that village adjacent that artillery base and picked out one of the peasants to be their sniper. He was then given a rifle and some bullets and instructed to try and kill someone at the base every day or so. The would be sniper then went to the guys at the base and told them what he was being force to do and that he didn't want to die. A deal was then worked out where he would intentionally miss and when the soldiers would shoot back they would miss as well. The ruse worked and the sniper was not bothered by the NVA who made him the village sniper.
Apparently this went on for quite a while until the sniper shot at and missed a brand new 2nd Lt. who had just stepped out of the latrine. The Lt. got his rifle and went after the sniper even after being told of the setup they had. The Lt. found the sniper and killed him. A short time later a new sniper was recruited and he was able to kill three soldiers at that base before he was killed himself. That is where the story ends.
I would say chances are that was the base I was at when I got shot at. Such is life.