Fusner gently shook my shoulder. I inhaled sharply, suddenly realizing he’d been doing it for a while, but the depth of sleep I’d gone into would not allow me to think that I was in the A Shau Valley of South Vietnam commanding Marines in combat. I awoke slowly, no panicked jerk like I’d heard so much about at home, from guys supposedly returning from the shit and flinching at backfires that never occurred anymore in my sixty’s world. Maybe the uncontrolled jerk would come over time, and I wondered about that. I yawned and breathed deeply again, stretching my arms out until the pain of my leech wounds forced me to pull them back in. The wounds hurt in a nasty surface way. Not deep enough to keep me from functioning, but deep enough so that I was never without them at the very edge of my consciousness. I wondered if Morphine worked as a topical. Maybe I could just slather some on and the pain would go away, although I didn’t really believe it. Pain is what the A Shau dished out, and if you missed the breakfast of leech wounds then lunch would be served with something truly hurtful and more permanent.
“Puff is going to come down and make four pylon-turn passes, at your command, sir,” Fusner said, speaking quietly, his head bent down so his mouth could be close to my ear. “We don’t have much time. I let you sleep as long as the Gunny would allow. But you have to decide where Puff will lay down its fire. Here or there?”
My mind roiled and tossed. Here or there where I wanted to ask but instead took a few seconds to clear my head. I wanted coffee, some crackers and maybe part of a cigarette, but knew I wasn’t going to have the time, or the immediate availability, to get any of those things.
“Here,” Fusner said, patiently, “over what we believe is their current position, or ‘there’ where we are going to attack up along the river, and maybe into the jungle patch just north.
I looked at my watch. It was 1415, or a quarter after two. The resupply would be coming in at three. I shook myself fully awake, pulling my hand back from its grip on Macho Man’s dog tags and the M-16 cartridge. How was I ever going to solve the mystery of his death in the A Shau Valley under the horrid conditions we were fighting under? One of my Marines killed him and I felt driven to know who. I could not think beyond that because beyond that was a place of bleak dark death. If I knew, then I would act. I would have to act. I reached into my pocket and took out my heavily taped letter to my wife. I handed it over to Fusner. I knew that the likelihood of me actually getting close to the CH- 46 was slim. Fusner would be much more able to take the few seconds to make the run and deliver the letter to one of the crewmen, although there were no guarantees if the chopper came under fire.
“I’ll make sure it gets out, sir,” he said, folding the letter carefully into his right breast pocket.
“How long can the C-130 orbit?” I asked, knowing Fusner didn’t know but wanting him to find out.
The enemy knew Puff, like it knew the Ontos, and it feared the fire-breathing dragon of a monster. The longer I could keep the plane on station, the longer the enemy would keep its head down and remain stationary, but I couldn’t wait too long. The 46 would not land in a hot L.Z. and Puff couldn’t do its thing if the air was filled with Huey Cobra gunships and Skyraiders under it or too close to the cone of fire it would deliver.
“Give me the arty net,” I said, holding out my hand.
Fusner took only seconds to comply. I held the microphone and called in the zone fire mission I’d calculated earlier. The battery would give me 30 155 mm rounds, 6 on target, and 6 on four targets designated as the cardinal points of the compass, but fifty meters (the kill radius of a 155 on flat terrain) out from the target. The zone fire would be followed by the same call, except using 105 mm howitzer rounds two hundred meters left and right of the target as I called it in. I had not adjusted for the 155 mm howitzer weapon before, and I couldn’t remember if the bigger guns were set up in a battery circle of four or six guns. The 105s were set in a circle of six. If the 155’s were only four to a circle then their zone fire volley would be less than what I had planned, but still devastating. I timed the opening of fire to be at 1500, or 3:00 p.m. exactly. The resupply chopper would be on final approach, coming down in the flat L.Z. by the river, while the protective swarm of Huey gunships would be swarming well away from the gun target line where the artillery fire the battery was about to deliver would, hopefully, take out any forces on the eastern ridge where the still-beating drums had been relocated to.
I wouldn’t be adjusting fire on the barrage. It would come in on terrain I’d already registered, and the battery was fully capable of hitting that particular spot using only half the maximum load of powder bags. There were other issues I had to deal with, however, and once the artillery rounds were fired and then laid down I could always do a quick adjustment up or down the top of the escarpment, as long as the shells did not strike too far west, and encounter the face of the cliff again. Two companies of men and a crewed Ontos would be down from the top of that cliff face, I among them.
Fusner worked with the AN-323 air radio while I got into my gear. I had to take everything, as we would not be coming back to the caves again, not unless disaster struck and we had no choice. I would miss the total security the many feet of solid rock gave me in the cave. I hoped the days of paralyzing fear were behind me, for the most part, although the coiled snake of fear that could curl around any internal organ at will, never left my insides. The cave had gone a long way toward giving me much needed sleep and a feeling of security enough to allow me to carry on. I knew I would miss the cave badly and wasn’t likely to have the gift of such a fortified position protecting me again.
The beating of the enemy drums became more physically present, as I crawled up out of the cave, pulling my pack behind me until I was clear of the hanging poncho cover. Even with my experience and knowledge, I hated the sound of the drums. It wasn’t just the sound, somehow reverberating right through the joined drops of falling rain. It was also the naked intent the drums dully transmitted. The NVA wanted us dead, with myself very probably at the very top of a short list.
My own poncho cover rustled and sparkled as it became almost instantly wet. I settled my helmet firmly down to cover the back of my neck. The rain was going to be both a help and a hindrance in the coming attack. In the very inner sanctum of my mind lived the hope that the NVA had taken a beating so badly at the river the night before they might have gone underground to lick their wounds. I let out a sigh, as I moved out, knowing in my heart of hearts that the NVA was not built that way. Their soldiers thought they were fighting for their families and country, I knew. I was fighting for my country and family, as well, but in reality, I was actually fighting as much for the men around me as anything or anyone else. I didn’t love all my Marines. They were like my arms and legs and other body parts. I didn’t love my body parts either, but the sum of them made up who I was and how they obeyed my commands and moved determined how I moved through what I knew of the universe. I could no longer imagine what it might be like to move through the A Shau Valley without the Marines who surrounded me at every point. If by some bizarre turn of fortune, I made it back to the world, then I wondered what it might be like to move through that world without them?
The drums beat right on through the deep-throated, but the distant roar of what I knew had to be the turbines of the C-130. The Skyraiders were up there in the clouded-over sky, as well, and, in spite of the fact that we’d soon be engaged in unpredictable and bloody ground combat, I felt a strange warmth for the amount of firepower that was being brought to bear on our behalf.
Fusner pushed the small headset of the air radio toward me. I pulled my damaged helmet off, put the headset on, and then replaced the helmet to keep the water from ruining the electronics and dripping down my face.
“Flash, is that you?” A scratchy voice asked into my ear.
“Affirmative, Cowboy, over,” I replied, a small smile creasing my lips.
“Man oh man, but you’ve got some crap flying around up here, with more coming I presume.”
I knew Cowboy had to know about the choppers coming in, but he’d never say anything other than what he’d just said.
“Amen to that,” I replied.
“Where are you going to want us for the Thanksgiving feast?” Cowboy said.
“Up and down the alley,” I replied, the alley being the river, which I also knew he would understand.
The landing zone was going to be congested in bad visibility and heavy rain. The Skyraiders would provide cover and fire from a few feet above the raging water, running up and down the river, but they’d only able to remain directly on station for very brief periods. The Huey gunships surrounding the CH-46 like a cloud of bees would have the higher air, but not much higher. Puff would fire and then move on before much of any real action began if any real action began. Would the CH-46 come in on time? Everything was targeting the arrival time of the resupply chopper to be exactly on time. What if it was early or late? There was no way to communicate with the machine while it was on its way. Any communication at all with the choppers would immediately tip off any listening NVA troops that the birds were coming in.
We moved through the edge of the jungle, retracing steps I’d taken so many times I had stopped counting. We moved along the edge of the berm that was set out about five to ten meters from the front face of the eastern cliff wall.
The jungle was to our west, or on my left hand as we moved, and would only draw away as the huge mud flat below where the Bong Song slithered and roared expanded outward. The water hit the wall’s flat bottom somewhere below the old airport and well downriver from Hill 975. In the past, the company had jammed itself into the slight clefts that were formed further downriver and within full visibility of the flats, but this time would be different. The companies had to cross the river after the resupply and they had to cross immediately, or the NVA would be able to bring up their .50 Caliber machine gun and a load of shoulder-mounted RPG rockets.
Finally, a good distance from the river, and snuggled in against the outer edge of the heavy jungle growth we came to rest. I knew other Marines were swelling out and up the base of the cliff where we’d taken up defensive positions in the past. Their movement and setting in bothered me, the thought of just how much damage and death a few short artillery rounds, impacting near the top of the escarpment, might generate as they had before.
The chopper came out of the south, dropping in from high up to avoid as much risk from ground fire as possible. The cacophony of engaged combat filled the air around me, although the misting rain was so heavy it was almost impossible to make out any details of the river in the distance, or what was really happening there.
The Skyraiders, three of them, didn’t need to be seen because they were so loud. Their thunderous engines bit and plowed through the mist, making mincemeat of the rain and mist, as they made pass after low pass over the river. Somehow the big CH-46 was able to drop onto the river bank without hitting or being struck by one. Each pass of the Skyraiders, several minutes apart was punctuated by staccato strafing runs as they sprayed the sides of the river with their 20 mm cannons. Higher above, split into two revolving groups of three, were the Huey Cobra gunships.
The artillery barrage started after Fusner confirmed the 1500 target time to the battery for the zone fires, and then repeated the order to fire. The crump and blast of that zone fire exercise began less than a minute later, with the noise and feeling of heavy explosions reverberating across and down into the valley area where the companies lay waiting to attack, unload the chopper and then build a temporary ramp over to the remains of the bridge still extending most of the way across the raging river. Everything seemed to slide way into the distance, however, when Puff opened up with its rotary guns. Flying the first rotation of the pylon circle tightly, the rotary guns sticking out of its side roared out their superior death-dealing firepower, and the tongue lash of the concentrated bullets poured into the jungle just to our south, and a bit inland from where the river bank extended up to become a heavy jungle.
I cringed down, although I was not as close to the dragon tongue of fire as the last time I’d been on the ground nearby to observe Puff’s effect. The last time my face had been buried too deep in the mud for me to see much of anything. I peered upward, even though my body remained hard-pressed into the fetid stinking mud. I tasted the aroma of the dead, which was strong, it’s sugary bitter smell never leaving my awareness, even as I tried to take in the sweeping combat scenes all around me, as I tried to see what was going on. The Gunny lay on my left side and Fusner on the other, both doing the same thing I was. The play of weaponry, the chopper dropping in, blasting debris everywhere, and the flitting in and out nature of the giant wasp-like and heavily firing Huey gunships was overpowering. I heard the Skyraiders begin another run, this time from the north, and I prayed that the CH-46, touching the mud not more than a few meters from the river, would not be so close as to have its whirling rotors strike one of the passing aircraft while it was making a run.
An M-60 opened up to my left, set back up higher on the berm near the cliff wall to our backs. Then another opened up, both appearing to fire ten or twenty shot bursts several seconds apart. I’d ordered the fire and was relieved to hear other machine guns joining the first two. There was no margin for error in bringing all of our weaponry, ground, air, and artillery into play at once in order to assure that the CH-46 did not take rounds and either abort the resupply or be destroyed. The NVA could still fire at it from their hidden positions deep inside the jungle, especially if they’d brought their fifty to be set up for just such a target of opportunity. But would the fifty crew, and individual NVA troops, come out to face the kind of fire they were receiving from all quarters? A few solid hits into the body of the big helicopter and that would be it. There was no alternative plan to crossing the river and moving as rapidly as possible to the north. It was vital to hit Hill 975, in passing, as quickly as possible before the burrowed in soldiers there could be ready to receive us.
The Ontos was the key to our attack on the ground, just as it was the key to our survival while holding off the NVA while the ramp was constructed to get the armored vehicle to the other side of the river. I heard its motor straining as it negotiated the last bit of path along the side of the cliff and then climbed the berm to begin its travel toward the resupply chopper.
The artillery barrage played out and not long after the last pylon pass of Puff was made and the C-130 disappeared downriver so fast that it was like it’d never been there at all. But the gentle wind, blowing upriver brought the smell of burned jungle debris, and it also helped blow the smell of the dead to some other place, at least for a while.
There was a brief respite while the big double rotor chopper began to set in. the noise that usually accompanied it was somewhat muted by the heaviness of the misty rain. I turned to the Gunny at my side, rolling slightly over.
I removed Macho Man’s dog tags from my thigh pocket. I did not have time to write my next daily letter home so there was nothing to interrupt the passage of the dog tags and the M-16 cartridge between the inner pocket and my hand. I handed the dog tags to the Gunny without delay or any ceremony. He dangled the two identical tags from the cheap government issue chain. I watched him stop the tags from swinging. He gripped the one tag with the fingers of his right hand. I held out the cartridge but he waved my offer back, as he stared at the tag. I knew then that he didn’t need the cartridge to compare. There was only one weapon in the A Shau theater of combat that fired a round even close to that as illustrated by the hole in Macho Man’s dog tag.
“Who,” I asked, my voice flat and without emotion, my eyes fixed on what I could see of the landing chopper
“Don’t know,” he replied, replacing the dog tags back into the open and extended palm of my left hand.
“Who has it?” I asked, my voice a whisper.
“Who has what?” the Gunny replied, lighting a cigarette and then blowing smoke up into the rain and mist, out from under the lip of his helmet.
I caught something in the delay of his answer, however. It was indefinable, but there. I could tell he wasn’t looking at me either, instead of concentrating and working to get some bit of tobacco from between two of his teeth and then spitting it out. I watched him closely out of the sides of my eyes, and purposely waited, without answering his question.
“Jurgens,” the Gunny finally said.
The Thompson submachine gun had found a home, and I was not surprised at all to understand where, or with whom, it had found that home. The question was, had that new home been made for it at the expense of Macho Man’s life? I had real reservations about a weapon so heavy and so difficult to resupply with ammo, but those feelings, I knew, were not shared by most of the Marines around me. The Thompson was cool, and although it wasn’t built to perform well in the jungle circumstance we were all in, the fact that it felt good to carry and be seen with, outweighed pure functional capability for most Marines who saw or encountered it.
“Look into it,” was all I could think of to say.
Of all the men under the strange command I provided to the company, Jurgens was the most dangerous, murderous and yet combat effective Marine I had, outside of the Gunny and possibly Nguyen. The Gunny made no response to my instruction, but then, I didn’t expect one. The Gunny had been dealing with Sugar Daddy and Jurgens long before I had come to the company. Somehow, and through a course where many Marines had died directly because of it, he’d found a way to straddle a hyper-sensitive course through a racial and cultural minefield to survive. I knew there would be no resolution in the death of Macho Man unless I applied it, but I could not apply anything unless I had the tacit approval, if not the direct participation, of the Gunny.
The plan was for everyone to stay down and provide whatever suppressing fire was necessary without exposing themselves to the open flat surface of the mud bank.
The chopper crew tossed stuff rapidly out of the CH-46 rear cargo ramp. I wasn’t close enough to see individual items but I knew the unloading was going without incident. Unfortunately, our combined force of Marines would not have the services of either Puff or the artillery when it became necessary to get the supplies to the water and then the ramp somehow designed and built to hold the Ontos’ weight.
The attack wasn’t directed toward where the chopper was coming down, or the supplies were being offloaded and piling up. The attack was set to be a clone of the attack we’d made nights earlier when the company had been forced to move downriver to rescue Kilo and cover its descent down the cliff face into the valley. As before, except with the addition of Kilo’s support, the company had to take the whole length and breadth of the jungle and hold it. Unlike the previous time, where the company had merely swept through it, this time both companies would have to secure and hold the difficult enemy-held terrain in order to effectively suppress fire so the ramp could be built and the Ontos driven up and across the bridge.
The “Same Old Song” attack began silently, the Marines, including those of Kilo Company, almost automatically eased into the shocked jungle as one continuous force, using the rain and mist drifting over the area as cover. The air over the jungle was still filled with tiny bits of debris blown into the lower atmosphere by the rotary strafing power of Puff’s orbiting attack.
The Ontos motored down toward the river, making no effort to direct any of its recoilless rifles toward the jungle. Initially, I’d calculated that the applied mass of air power would provide all the suppression necessary to allow us to reach the end of the bridge. Once there, the Ontos was to serve as cover, since there was no other cover available at all, and provide its own considerable suppressing fire across the river. Taking the jungle on our side was one thing, but there was no way the high ground on the other side of the river, a bit further south, could hope to be successfully attacked or its fire suppressed. Carruthers and the Gunny were leading the attack into the jungle, and small arms fire began to rise in volume once the covering fire of the M-60s began to lessen. I climbed to my feet and, with Nguyen and Fusner at my sides, ran to get out in front of the advancing Ontos. No fire seemed to be directed at us, although it was almost impossible to determine whether that was really true or not because of the lack of visibility. The sound of the rushing river overpowered most other sounds, even those of high-velocity gunfire in the distance. We passed by the chopper, not stopping, and avoiding the twin stacks of supplies already offloaded. At some point, Marines from the company must have gathered the bodies of our fallen brothers because I noted those being loaded into the side of the chopper closest to the river as the supplies were still being offloaded from the rear ramp.
The Skyraiders came in over the river just as we reached the area I knew we had to somehow fortify in order to build the base of the ramp. The Marston sheets and the Ontos were all we had, as other Marines began to assemble, no doubt the team the Gunny had selected to do the actual work.
I went into the mud right at the water’s edge, where the stuff was solid but wet and messy. My body slipped into the stuff like it had been waiting for just such an intrusion. My helmet and eyes were all that was above the surface, as I thought about my .45, which I’d failed to get out of my holster. Was it better off inside and clean or out with me and filthy?
The chopper’s turbines went up to maximum, as the huge helicopter lifted off, rising up and then dipping its nose and heading straight down river, in the trace of the Skyraiders. The noise was deafening and the feeling of being stranded out on the mud flat with only the Ontos as any kind of cover and protection was frightening. My coiled snake of fear, so common to my interior was no more. I was a living, breathing and shaking body of fear, wondering how I’d gotten myself into an even worse mess than I had been in before, and how to command and direct the Marines around me to do what they had to do without the Gunny being there to back my every move.
While we wait, a breif informetcial from the men who slept between clean sheets..
Thanks for putting this on here DPO…
Is there going to be an addition soon?
Yes, in the next few days Joe….
My father’s name was James. Was a forward observer. 2 1/2 tours in Vietnam with 3rd MarDiv. When I went on to claim “The Title” as he did before me, our relationship. Our bond grew stronger than I can really put into words. He opened up to me about things he saw and did. The good and bad times and the brother’s he lost. The men he admired and looked up to and those he had nothing but disdain for. The jokers and the shitbags. The super smart guys and the absolute morons. I lost him not that long ago to complications from a surgery. He was suffering from dementia. It’s funny how that illness effects the memory. For all that he forgot and how hard it was to keep a conversation with him towards the end, he told me things he had never told me before. His doctor told me that dementia has a funny way of opening memories that a person didn’t even know they still had. How he lost his front teeth to an NVA rifle butt. How in 1967 just before the hill fights while on patrol they lay among some large boulders and high grass praying with a .45 in one hand and a grenade with the pin pulled in the other while he watched what he described and hundreds of NVA filed past them. How he had to have the grenade pried from his hand after because he couldn’t force his hand to open. For some reason your writing has opened something up in me. In a way it’s brought me even closer to my Father. He never spoke to my Mother or my siblings about the war. As a brother Marine I guess he was just trying to impart something on me in the hopes that I would learn something. I want to thank you again for sending me the First and Second ten days. I literally check everyday for the next piece of this story. You are doing a great service to us here. DO NOT STOP, Marine! We are all here with you and will be to the end.
I am back Giz, and back to stay. I much appreciate the compliment you pay me of being able to help in any way.
I can’t begin to imagine what you are going through reliving and retelling this story. Glad you are back and paying for strength and fortitude to finish this up. We still have to get together for fish at Mariques!!!!!! God Bless you and Happy Forth of July!
Life comes at you, from the past and the present, while trying to lay down the story remains ever present but elusive to
allow me to proceed, if that makes any sense at all.
Thanks for your support and the great compliment.
James, Feel free to request that prayers or healing be sent your way – should you deem that useful. In any case, it is your journey. Always at your own pace. Blessings & Be Well
I cannot see that prayer offers of any kind should be ignore or turned back. I seek redemption and I seek assistance in receiving it. I get some right on here
from kindred souls like your very own. Thanks for the offer and I accept most willingly with great thanks.
O9 I enlisted in July of 69 coming f rom a long line of WW2 veterans and Patriots. Was in Paris Island while others were at Woodstock. I ended up in 2nd Recon Bn, I didn’t get to Nam suffering a severe back injury while on. Float in the Med with Blt 2/2. I told my cousin a Nam Vet I missed the war, he replied the War missed you. Your writing however gives me the chance to live it vicariously. I grip every word,proper respect to all the Vietnam Vets. I am anxiously awaiting the next chapter. Semper Fiq
The next segment went up this morning and the next after that is half-written. I am on a roll now and intend on staying on it.
Thanks for the wonder your words create in a writer’s heart, such as my own. You sustain me and I cannot tell you how important that is.
I could not have written this alone…
Reading your story and waiting for the next edition!. Your story has me writing about mine, it has turned into a college paper. Not a combat story unless you count living with PTSD combat. A college professor who is reading it has given me high marks on my Drafts. Says it is helping him to understand what we as soldiers go through and live with. For my part, it is helping me navigate through the mental maze of conflicting memories and understand why I am the way I am. It is making me a better person and helping shed the cloak of fear I live under at night. Thanks, I hope you relating your story gives you solace and some peace.
I am so tickled that I could be of assistance. Thanks for the great compliment.
D-Day + 75 years.. Thinking of everyone who has ever sweated and bled for this nation. God bless you all.
Thank you for the input, Glenn
On this Memorial Day just wanted to stop and say thanks to you and all vets for your service.
Thank you for your support, Glenn.
If you had any doubts
Thank you for sharing, SCPOCB
Semper fi, Jim
You ok James, you have me a little worried?
Back on track Frank. Thanks for caring and writing that on here.
Just wanted to take a minute to let you know I still have your six……
Thank you, Mr. Wilson!
Can you change my email address to TR8216@Comcast.net? Former address was TR2129@Comcast.net.
It says you unsubscribed on 04-02-2019
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Thanks for the support, Tim
I have not got any chapters since 26th day 3rd part. I am anxiously awaiting each new chapter. I resubmitted my email address in case of a computer snafu.
Having a bit of a block.
Chapters coming soon
I hope You are able to get back on track and finish the final days. It would be disappointing if unfinished after all of this. I served in the U.S. Navy 70-74. I was proud at he time but mixed feelings now. I sure do t feel like a made a difference or changed the world for the better.
I am back on track this day…and thanks for caring
James: As I reread the last chapter a strange thought came over me. The passage (The “Same Old Song” attack began silently, the Marines, including those of Kilo Company, almost automatically eased into the shocked jungle as one continuous force, using the rain and mist drifting over the area as cover) made wonder if you ever thought about the good Marines you left behind at the end of the thirty days and what would become of them? I know it was beyond your control when you left and you had a few shiz heads you had to deal with, but I am talking about the grunts that took the fight day and night. They took the blows that would keep you alive and I was wondering what your thoughts were after you healed up to where you could have a rational thought about them. I know as I rotated back to the states I remember having concerns about the ones I left behind. Not the same scenario as yours in the least. I can’t find the words for how I feel about the men in your company and what they had to endure. Thanks again for writings James..
Thanks for the great comment and the compliments written into it.
Thanks for caring at this depth too…
Great just great read LT. I never saw Puff in daylight though. But what a sight at night. A life saver.
Thanks for your support and input.
It appears Hollywood likes your storyline…
Hollywood will never like my storyline and this movie is definitely not it.
More mythology with a sprinkling of reality thrown in.
Movies like this and so many more are one of the reasons I have written what I have written…
The AC 130 Gunship was designated “Spector”. As usual, another great read and for me, much too short.
Thank you, John
Both the AC-47 and C-130 had been nicknamed “Puff”
Between the AC-47 and the AC-130, the AC-119 was used but proved to be underpowered
In September 1967, the first AC-130A prototype arrived at Nha Trang Air Base and began its test program.
Grunts on the ground were happy to see them regardless of what they called them.
Jim, I’m pretty well versed on the gunships. I served at Danang Air Base in ’66 and Phan Rang in 67. USAF Ground Weapons crewman for B-57 Canberra bombers of the 8th & 13th Tactical Bombardment squadrons. We got a first hand view almost every night of AC 47 Spooky working the areas around Phan Rang. I spent a lot of nights at the end of the runways arming our outbound mission. In later years Phan Rang became a major base for he AC-119 “Stingers”. Once again, Love your story.
Thank you for the compliment and also sharing some of your experiences. The AC-47 were awesome aircraft
and a very welcome sight to those on the ground.
That would be “specter”, as in a “specter of death”. Doesn’t matter much what you call it, the AC130 is capable of bringing down the hurt. Bigger guns and longer loiter than the AC47. That’s goodness, from the ground. Or badness, depending on which ground you hold.
Thanks again Sir!
You are most welcome David, and thank you for your support and helping keep me going…
Again, thanks for the understanding this story and the ancilliary comments convey. I am deeply appreciative for your and those who comment sharing this most intimate part of life.
As you quite adroitly state “….from the very fringe”
Thanks Tomas. Your comment, and those of so many other veterans on here, really means a lot to me and helps me to write the story.
Still here…Still need a Camel…Still don’t smoke…
Don’t mean nuthin’
Snake driver 70/71
Really cool comment Bill!!!! Thanks for making me smile…
I read the chapter first and then reread it with those drums in the background…what a great addition……really brought it to life……