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How many things apparently impossible have nevertheless been performed by resolute men who had no alternative but death-- Napoleon Bonaparte
War Stories: VietnamWar Stories published under this topic are as follows:
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. 7407 Reads
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.
My tour as a Helicopter crew chief in South Vietnam was not one to be remembered by anyone other than myself, certainly not a tour that made me a hero in anyone’s eyes nor my own eyes. It was an interesting experience, one marked by extreme excitement at times and one also marked by extreme boredom and tedious monotony.
Little did I know that within an hour I would be beginning the second half of my WestPac cruise, albeit in a new squadron. My name is Bill Angus and I was a B/N with VMA (aw) 224 embarked aboard the Coral Sea.
Note: By Captain Bill Angus (retired) VMA (AW) 242 Carrier Air Wing 15 USS Coral SeaCVA 43 6752 Reads
It was January of '68, shortly after I'd turned 19. I'd been in the war for 10 months by then, my first 6 months as a dogface with the 101st Airborne. By the time they'd picked me to volunteer for the LRRP's, I was a newly made squad leader, an acting jack sgt., waiting for my permanent stripes.
This was on my very first patrol, my first week in the bush as we moved along a steep ridge. There had been no contact yet, but there was considerable evidence of enemy presence. (We made contact a few days later on an NVA Hospital).
As soon as the Freedom Bird began to lose altitude the noise level on the craft began to rise. Idle conversation tended to either stop completely or to take on a more intense quality. From one end of the plane to the other the word spread with the speed of magic. We're coming into McChord.
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.
A starry night in January 1968, found me on a westbound Trailways Bus somewhere in the Nevada desert. My transistor radio was playing "Hey Jude", and my destination was Vietnam. The first time I had ever heard of Vietnam was in 1965. I was assigned to the 396th Truck Company located at Panzer Karserne in Boeblingen, Germany. Our CO would call us together periodically and brief us about this place called Vietnam.
True story (lots of them about). Was attached to Hq 1/13 near Division HQ at DaNang. LZ overlooked Dai La pass. To the right (northern side) were a bunch of OP's overlooking the area. I had Sgt of the guard one night and our Lt was sitting with me on top of a bunker taking in the evening / morning air. Beautiful clear night - sweating like a dog. About 1 or 2 in the morning a series of about 3 or 4 'flashes' up near the top of the hill.
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 was lucky enough to be stationed at a field hospital in Qui Nhon for a couple of months. QN was known by many to be an unofficial in-country R&R center. The town was pretty large, had quite a few GI's, and set right on the beach. Inland was a rather large mountain range that was the home of one of the many ROK divisions that were in-country at that time. In other words, a pretty nice place to be.
One night in late '67 at Marine Quang Tri Forward, I was assigned to generator watch. It is very boring to watch a 500kw Buddha generator generate. We had to keep one generator on-line, because the air strip was finished; and we might need the airfield lighting in an emergency. To ease the boredom, I had been watching a praying mantis approach some unremembered insect so slowly. The motion was almost imperceptible.
Of all those who made up our platoon, Michael Robert Shapard, or "Shap" as he was called, was to become my closest friend. From the time I had joined the unit at Ft. Hood, it was Shap I had been instantly drawn to, likely because it was he who had made me feel truly welcome at the time of my awkward infusion into the Platoon. Having under gone training with my new unit's sister battalion the 2nd Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry, I wouldn't report into the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 50th Infantry until after the standard 2 week deployment leave.
The Short Range Ambush Platoon was organized as a small force whose primary mission was night ambush. SRAP was capable of operating independently without the support of any other elements. I can't speak for the entire platoon, but during my time, to my knowledge SRAP was Ranger led, and ably so. The first group was selected by SFC Jay Holloway from the battalion on an individual basis.
1862: Union Admiral David Farragut leads a flotilla past two Confederate forts on the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Moving at 2:00 a.m., Farragut lost one ship but successfully ran past the strongholds.
1863: The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians.
1940: British forces, along with Australian, New Zealand, and Polish troops, begin to withdraw from Greece in light of the Greek armys surrender to the Axis invaders. A total of 50,732 men are evacuated quickly over a six-day period, leaving behind weapons, trucks, and aircraft.
1967: The 12-day Battle of the Hills began. During the 12-day battle, two battalions of the 3rd Marine Regt, lost 160 KIA and 746 WIA.
1971: North Vietnamese troops hit Allied installations throughout South Vietnam. In the most devastating attack, the ammunition depot at Qui Nhon was blown up.