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War hath no fury like a non-combatant.-- Charles Edward Montague
War Stories: VietnamWar Stories published under this topic are as follows:
From the 1/14th Daily Journal for 19 NOVEMBER 1966.
19 NOVEMBER 1966 Although the heavy contact with NVA troops on the 13th of November was still fresh in the minds of the men, today they would relive this struggle with an even more determined and large enemy force. Innumerable incidents of personal heroic actions, and the valiant fighting team spirit of out units brought us through on top.
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.
It began with a bit of a buzz over the mortaring the night before and the normal scuttle butt as information slowly emerged as to damage and casualties. Willie and I where a bit hung over we had a party in our tent the night before when the mess closed, and had a few over the prescribed 2 cans per day (so did the company HQ radio ops who where with us).
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 remember the first time we were told to go to Dong Tam-it seemed strange for flame thrower APC's, from the 9th Inf, 15th Engineers to be told we were going to be with the Navy for awhile. We were nicknamed on the radio and respectfully so "Zippos" sometimes the electronic firing device didn't work, so we'd bring out our Zippos lighters and light the napalm this way as it was leaving the barrel. I had no hair on my arm for the first 8 months of this.
I remember pulling guard duty at Cu Chi Base Camp, RVN in the Support Command area. It just so happened that there was a Vietnamese cemetery located in the Support Command area at Cu Chi.
QuiNhon Airfield Security Detachment
I was in the first chopper in the assault. Not a comforting thought but, as it turned out lucky for me. Our chopper crossed the treeline and immediately started dropping down in a stomach lurching dive. As we swept across the Lz toward the far end to allow the choppers behind us to land, we started receiving automatic weapons fire from the surrounding treeline.
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.
At the very end of June 1967 we arrived at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Vietnam. From there we took a bus ride to Camp Alpha. The bus ride was a bit odd. There was barbed wire on the opened windows. Someone asked the driver, “Why the barbed wire?” We were told that sometimes the V.C. liked to throw hand grenades into any American bus and the wire was a preventative measure.
March 4, 1968
There really is a war going on over here. We made contact in daylight yesterday for the first time since I've been here. You know how they say war is not like the movies show it. Well, they're wrong. It's exactly like the movies.
The helicopter's jet engines strained, with the Huey B's blades slicing through the air, making the familiar sounding "chop, chop, chop," as the bird made a sharp turn. We were sitting on our helmets to protect against rounds coming through the floor of the aircraft.
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).
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.
Incoming in Saigon, my sleepy brain never really sleeps. My bed is on the first floor, I am instantly awake, I can tell the difference between incoming and outgoing in my sleep. That was definitely incoming. I had just transferred to the 120th Assault Helicopter Company, flying out of helipad Hotel-3 in Saigon from a serious kick ass line outfit, the Blackhawks or 187th Assault Helicopter Company in Tay Ninh, we got rocketed all the time there.
1655: Puritans jail Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.
1804: The Secretary of the Navy approves the first formal uniform of the Marine Corps.
1813: The frigate USS Essex flies the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.
1863: Secretary of War Edwin Stanton presents the first Medals of Honor to six of the surviving members of Andrews Raiders. They are the first Medals of Honor ever presented.
1864: The Battle of Paducah Kentucky takes place.
1865: Confederate General Robert E. Lee makes Fort Stedman his last attack of the war in a desperate attempt to break out of Petersburg, Virginia. The attack failed, and within a week Lee was evacuating his positions around Petersburg.
1865: The Battle of Bluff Spring Florida takes place.
1865: The Battle of Mobile Alabama takes place.
1879: Japan invades the kingdom of Liuqiu (Ryukyu) Islands, formerly a vassal of China.
1895: Italian troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia).