QuiNhon Airfield Security Detachment
It was around 0100, 2 February, 1968 and the Sergeant came to the door of the billets screaming that order. It meant that Little John, that's me was to go to tower number 2 about 500 yards from the billets and there was the banging all around the airfield. Weren't the gooks celebrating their New Years?
My scheduled time to go to the tower was 0400 but it seems that the SOG had been calling the tower and not getting any response from the troop on duty at that tower.
I quickly got my M-14 A3 and headed to the tower which was less than a quarter of a mile from the billets. I used an M-14 because if I ever ran out of ammo I could always get my 7.62's from the end of the belt loaded into the M-60 which was already in the tower.
I climbed the ladder to the top and low and behold there was a troop laying on the floor of that tower and he just wasn't moving at all and there was a red puddle right around his arm pit. Almost immediately after I got to the tower top I stuck my head over the sand bags and heard bang - sssk, bang sssk and realized that that sssk was a 7.62 round going past my ears.
I had to dodge around that dead man on the floor, Ray Carrol Banks and dive to the floor. I couldn't raise my head above the sand bags without hearing once again bang sssk. Someone out there had that tower top zeroed in and so I quickly learned to keep my head low, real low and couldn't look above those bags and see where the rifle flashes were coming from and called the SOG on the radio to let him know that I was getting shot at. "Is he enemy?" was the sergeants reply.
Tower number 2 was a good 100 yards from the fence at the taxi way to the Air Vietnam terminal of the airport. The guard in the tower watched over the civilian portion of the airfield. It was over post number 1 which was a bunker at the end of the run way but no one was in that sand bagged bunker. When ever I moved in the tower I had to dodge around a dead man on the floor so I kicked him out of the tower through the ladders hole in the floor but just a couple of hours after getting on to the tower the radio sounded.
" Two, two, two get out of there two" the SOG was screaming into the radio.
Now, I've got an M-14 and 200 rounds of 7.62's in an ammo bag and I'm supposed to use both hands climbing down the ladder?????
I'm getting shot at...........damn it and I ain't gonna use both hand to climb town that ladder.
Damn that landing hurts. My left leg is going the wrong way at the knee as it lays across that dead guy on the ground.
I can't walk.
Hours later after He turns on the ligthts for the day 3/4 ton shows up with two troops in it and a black plastic bag. Ray Carrol is put in the bag and the 3/4 leaves me laying there. about an hour later a jeep shows up at the bottom of the tower and the Sp-4 from that jeep carries me to the jeep and takes me to the 85th Evac. Hospital on the airfield. Still not able to walk, three weeks later they show up with a board, put me on that board and take me from the hospital to the terminal by post number two and carry me onto a C-141. Five hours later I was in Tokyo, Japan waiting for a Red Tail that's going to take me back to the real world. Three months later I'm at Valley Forge Army Hospital where they've taught me how to walk again and I walk to the gates in civvie's.
He opens the gate.