If there’s one combat billet that gets crapped all over by Hollywood, it’s the modern helicopter door gunner.
Armed with a muscular M60 7.62mm machine gun and perched high above the kill zone, the door gunner doles out and destruction as though it were a casual neighborhood drive-by. Which is why all those “Hey man, whoa, that’s enough!” scenes in war movies from Full Metal Jacket to X-Men Origins: Wolverine (lol) usually involve an overzealous aircrew corporal mowing down scads of innocents below. If the Bell UH-1 Huey was the pale horse of Revelations, then the M60-toting door gunner was the death that follows.
How did the military ward off that bad stereotype? With another bad stereotype! Door-gunning is more like fighting off bandits on the stagecoaches of old, according to this jarringly upbeat 1966 Army training film, unearthed by Guns.com, on “shotgunners,” the “tough, skilled Soldiers trained to protect the sky-coaches flying over South Vietnam.”