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I feel that retired generals should never miss an opportunity to remain silent concerning matters for which they are no longer responsible.-- General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
War Stories: VietnamWar Stories published under this topic are as follows:
On June 6, 1967, the *very* large ammo dump at LZ English cooked off. It took several hours, blowing up one pallet load at a time of a weeks' supply of every class of ammo for the whole 1st Cav Division. We waited it out in a bunker, listening to huge explosions and listening to vast things hurtling through the night air overhead. When we figured it had maybe finally stopped, about 0800 hrs., we stood uncertainly outside our bunker, considering what to do next: survey the damage to tents and vehicles? (Luckily, no casualties in my outfit) Make breakfast, maybe? Then we heard a 2.75" rocket sputtering along the ground like a crazy firework, only nobody could spot it.
I was flying a UH-1 D for the 187th Assault Helicopter Company, the Blackhawks out of Tay Ninh, Vietnam in 1967. Sleep never comes easy in Vietnam, the artillery shoots H&I (harassment and interdiction) fire all night, every time one of the 8 inch guns went off, a small amount of the dust, collected from the dry season would fall off the tent roof and drift to the floor. It was the monsoon season and the cool rain had put me right to sleep.
Note: by Wayne R. "Crash" Coe, Hotel-3 Blackhawk 54, 187th Assault Helicopter Company, 67-8. 7351 Reads
Any officers (former or present) that would challenge the contention that relying on "Sarge" was a smart thing to do? I was an NCO during my tour of RVN and occasionally served as platoon sergeant so naturally I agree with the above. Amazed that OCS, ROTC, West Point didn't drive it into the heads of young lieutenants to "listen to experience."
I arrived in Vietnam on Jan. 16, 1966 with the 3rd. Bde. of the 25th. Inf. Div. 1bn. 14th. Inf. We had been on board the U.S.N.S. Walker for 12 days. All of us knew each other and had trained together for months in the jungles of the Big Island of Hawaii.
It was November 1st, 1963, and the pot had been stirring. The feelings against the Diem government were running higher and higher by the day. There were the pro-Diem faction and the anti-Diem faction. It was the Catholics versus the Buddhists. Diem and his family were Catholic and the Buddhist monks were stirring up trouble. You could just sense the tension in Saigon as it was building. You knew something was about to happen.
I saw her for the first time in 1969. Apparently my Vietnamese was not as good as I thought and the ride I had caught on a Vietnamese UH1D went to Tay Ninh instead of Tan Uyen where I was supposed to go. We had been in the air from Dinh Quan for about 30 minutes when I first saw her head rising out of the mist above the emerald green jungle.
In order to comply with the directive to maintain a low profile during the upcoming Tet celebration, our mechanized infantry battalion had been ordered to set up in a position off Highway 15, the major road leading to the port city of Vung Tau. All offensive operations were also put on hold during this ceasefire period. And although few of us understood the significance of the Tet celebration in the Vietnamese culture, we were looking forward to some slack time. But such was not to be!
Ask anybody who served in Vietnam about rats and they tell you all about the size and ferociousness of the rodents. Rats were difficult at best to control and almost impossible to eradicate. One of the keys to successful rat control was keeping your area policed and trash removed.
It seems like yesterday that I was graduating from the Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Just a year earlier my friend Don and I were walking down the street checking out girls and cars like we did everyday after junior college classes.
Every day we wandered aimlessly through the dense, green, vegetated, treacherous terrain. Men became lost, absorbed, into the greenness that nature built long ago. The same greenness that Charlie used so well to conceal his roads, bases, weapons, and supplies. The dark forests that seemed to offer up a war with mosquitoes, leeches, physical and emotional exhaustion, and the endless search. Frustrations of living, coping, and the lack of sleep. So tired you don't give a shit anymore. Face the danger, press on. Prison life at hard labor couldn't be this bad. Nevertheless, prison is life and out here, there are no guarantees of any such thing.
The next days are spent digging bunkers, filling sand bags and increasing the strength of our perimeter. We string endless lines of concertino wire, drive posts and set out trip flares, claymores and boo gas.( Buried 55 gallon drums that are a mixture of petroleum jelly and gasoline.) Instant crispy critter.
Between Charlie and the jungle, things had been pretty hard on us. We were very short-handed. My squad was down to three men, counting myself. Yes, just me and two other guys. Our company had encountered a major trail that was extremely, heavily traveled. We called in on the field radio to report this major trail and were told to wait to be joined by the Tiger Force. (a hard core, elite, special fighting unit of the 101st Airborne).
20 Oct 68
Well it's another rainy day in Vietnam. When they say its been known to rain 40 days and nights you can believe it.
Today I had to fill sandbags and build a bunker where a mortar round came in last night. No big worry. It was at least 300 yards away. That's for really!
I was on a S&D with the RFs. We were moving along a heavily vegetated canal with open rice paddies to our flanks. The VC were waiting for us and we got into a sharp firefight. It was head-on and we could not maneuver against them because of the paddies. To our front, a small finger of vegetation stuck out from Charlie's positions, so we decided to assault it in an attempt to flank them.
I remember when I earned my Purple Heart. We usually were packed up and ready to move out at first light, but for some reason or another we were just getting the order to move out and it was broad daylight. I had just finished packing everything away in my back pack when Charlie opened up on our position with a burst of full auto, AK-47. An early morning wake up call!
1765: Britain passes the Quartering Act, requiring the colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings.
1951: General Douglas MacArthur threatens the Chinese with an extension of the Korean War if the proposed truce is not accepted.
1953: The 2nd Infantry Division's artillery units began to support the embattled 7th Infantry Division on Pork Chop Hill, firing 15,000 rounds in one week.
1967: Viet Cong ambush a truck convoy in South Vietnam damaging 82 of the 121 trucks.
1975: The North Vietnamese "Ho Chi Minh Campaign" begins. Despite the 1973 Paris Peace Accords cease fire, the fighting had continued between South Vietnamese forces and the North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam.
1999: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commences air strikes against Yugoslavia with the bombing of Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.