Vietnam 1970-71 This will be on ongoing story, told by the grunts of the 2nd platoon, so there will be new additions placed within blog.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Mike Vickers Lifesaving Slip and Fall by Greg Manning

Greg Manning was originally slated to walk point on the rainy day that Mike Vickers had the life slip and fall just before a volley of bullets passed directly over his head.
Capt TJ told Greg he had decided to have Mike Vickers walk point that day.  Greg said it had rained all day and Mike was leading the 2nd Platoon down hill on a very slippy muddy trail.
If Greg had walked point that day he might have not slipped and fell and would probably be killed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Jim Killian Memorial

Jim Killian was a Good Man,
And a Best Friend
He will be well remembered by all who knew Him. 
He was one of the 2nd Platoon
Jim fought many battles in Vietnam for Our Country That Jim and i were Together and i Enjoyed Every Second Jim and i Spoke on the Phone
Jim was a Just and Honorable  Man

His Wife Rosalie was the Love of His life. 
 Sincere Condolences to his wife Rosalie
May the LORD Guide Her Though This Hardship and separation from her Beloved Husband Jim 
May Rosalie Rejoin Her Beloved Husband In HEAVEN When She Leaves Her Earthly Home
James Killian

Friday, April 29, 2016


The Battle of the Rock June 20-22 1970 by Al Brick
     It was a strange battle, a bunch of North Viets.  Our platoon walked right up into roughly a company of them.  They were too stupid to set up listening posts.  If I remember right, we killed quite a few and took about 110 ruck sacks.  We lost one guy (actually he was from another platoon that came to assist).  As he was getting shot (multiple times) I decided he wasn't going to make it so I said the hell with it and crawled out to him.  By the time I got there he was already dead and I heard a bolt click and just slightly moved my head and saw the shooter (about 15 feet away) before I took one round even though (according to Don Gary) he was firing automatic,   Cause I moved my head the round went thru my nose instead of the center of my head.  Separated the bottom half of nose from my face, went thru my eye shattered all my cheek bones, broke my jaw, and exited my temple.  Never did pass out but I was definitely in shock but still had the presence of mind to try to crawl away.  As I was moving (everything seemed in slow motion) I took some shrapnel from a grenade which opened up my right side.  Not sure but I think I was mess cause I couldn't move anymore.  Eventually Cat or someone got the shooter and medivaced me the hell out of there.  Spent a year and a half in various hospitals.

     Reply by Billy Joe Williams of the 1st Platoon that made the resupply and reinforcement trek up the mountain in only one hour (a 3 hour normal hump wtg 1st Platoon.)
     Regarding Al Brick's post. I was with 1st plt . We were set up in the valley next to a blue line. Several of us humped up the mountain with ammo for 2nd plt. When we reached them. Lt Warfield yelled out for me to retrieve the radio which was lying on the trail. I did so and relayed info to the C.O. Who was still at 1st plt in the valley. Melvin Rutherford, who was a 1st plt squad leader had been right behind me on the trail but apparently took off following blood trail and was cut down by automatic fire. Al Brick was severely wounded as he attempted to retrieve Melvin. I brought in the dust off for Brick and as the chopper lifted off he was conscious and flashed the peace sign. Chopper pilot for second dust off offered to drop jungle penetrator to try to retrieve Melvin. I replied negative on that because it would have most certainly resulted in more U. S. KIA. Eventually Capt TJ caught a bird to our position and devised a way to retrieve Melvin. Melvin was not conscious when put on the dust off and sadly did not survive.
 Footnote: Melvin Rutherford, whom Al Brick risked his life to rescue, was KIA on the day he was to leave the field on his DEROS bird.
  (May the brave soldier Sgt Rutherford RIP and Al brick is a true hero and this battle took place 4 months before I joined the 2nd platoon.)

   Battle of the Rock by Jim Henderson & Ivy Leaf (4th Brigade newspaper)
 Click on link below to read.
The Battle of the Rock 

Convoy Ambush by Doc Boyer

Typically we would spend one month on patrol and ambush and then rotate back to Tuy Hoa for perimeter guard and ambush around the base. A convoy home was a cause for celebration. We would load up in the back of sandbag-lined open trucks for a long ride to Tuy Hoa. Roads were dangerous but we knew that soon we would be in Tuy Hoa with cold beer and a real bed to sleep in.
The following enemy ambush occurred on one such convoy home.
Just as we exited the mountainous trail and the coastline swung into view we came across a small village. Local people with children gathered by the road waving hoping for us to throw c-rations, candy, or cigarettes. It was a great photo op - everyone with a camera tried to get a few shots.

It happened very fast. There were at least 2 incoming explosions. The gun truck in front of ours was hit and I remember seeing a man hanging over his mounted machine gun. These were big explosions. I had always assumed that the rounds were buried HE artillery rounds since that was what I heard first. Other guys in the platoon maintain they were B-40 rockets. I don't know for sure but whatever they were, they messed up the gun truck in front of me.
We were taking small arms fire from up a hill. Part of my platoon dismounted to assault the hill while others, myself included, returned fire from the truck.

There had been a small boy with a bicycle by the side of the road as we approached the village. The next time I saw him the bike and his body were mangled together and, as one guy said, "he was cut in half". I sorta blank out on the rest.

I was firing my weapon up-slope when our truck suddenly lurched into motion, swerving around the disabled gun truck. One of my buddies was running back to the truck as we pulled away. I leaned out and extended the barrel of my rifle to him. He grabbed it and I dragged him out of the ambush.

When we stopped I had only one minor casualty from my plt. That turned out to be a 2nd degree burn from a weapons barrel. He was ok. Then they brought a guy with a bloody head wound. A chopper was already landing for casualties so I left his makeshift bandage in place and deferred to the medivac. I don’t think this man was from my unit; he was probably off the gun truck but I don't know for sure. At this point we had our casualties sorted out, and all were taken care of.

Photo by Walt "Pats' Pastuszka 

VC Guitar & Ho Chi Minh Song Books  

      Sometime in 1971 in the jungles of Vietnam, the 2nd platoon of the 1-22nd Infantry Company B, sent out a squad to search the surrounding area for signs of VC activity. They found a very recently occupied underground bunker by a river. They brought back everything they could carry that was inside the bunker, notebooks, letters, tire sandals, a guitar that had been made out of a steel gas can, a few Ho Chi Minh Song books with a full sized color picture of Hoa Chi Minh on the cover.
The next morning we were awakened by the sound of a burst of 30 rounds of AK 47 striking all around us. Guess one VC was upset about stuff being stolen. Luckily the guy was a bad shot and nobody in our platoon was injured. One clip fired and he must have left because no more trouble that day.  Photo of Jesse 'Chief' Hair playing the VC guitar by Brad 'Bogie' Bogart

     Richard 'Gig' Young:  Thanks for posting. Yes, J Murray and I were his targets that early morning!  
     Walt Pastuszka:  The sound of the shots woke me up, but I couldn't remember who the fire was directed at thanks for the info, Gig.  
      Dean Wilson:   Gig, that 2nd platoon luck was definitely on our side that day. I awoke from guard duty to bullets going through my hootch, over my head and into the stump next to you guys. Plus, if I recall, that was the day that the 3 of us would have been home if we had not extended.
     Gig Young:  Wow Dean, I didn't realize that. Incredible!  


On to LZ Valkyrie Battle May 7-13 1970 by Dan Bartow 
What remember is coming in from the bush and finding that Pleiku was abuzz as rumors were flying around. We were issued lots of new gear and ammo and then spent a day sitting on the run-way before loading up in C-130’s or 123’s I can’t remember which and landing at some Air Force Base. Does anybody know which one? I would like to add a pin on a map I have of where we were. What I remember most is the shock at seeing a bunch of guys in white t-shirts playing basketball. I hadn’t seen anything but OD since arriving in country. We walked out of those  planes loaded for bear extra 60 ammo, water, and C- Rats hanging off our rucks and these guys came over  with jaws dropped at seeing real ground troops. We bivouacked on their football field and they treated us to their club that night. Then the next day we were off in slicks and on to Valkyrie.
      Reply by Billy Joe Williams
My recollection is we left base camp Anh Khe and spent one night on a football field at the Air Force base at Pleiku and next day continued to Plei Drang staging area where we loaded onto choppers for the ride across the border approximately six mile into Cambodia and set up the fire base.
     Reply by David Brown
I remember talk going around about something big about to happen. Our Company (Bravo) gathering together at our base camp and being briefed by a higher higher commander. We were told we would be going out in a couple days on a secret mission. We were specifically told NOT to mention ANYTHING in our letters or correspondence to ANYONE! (Nixon continued to insist the U.S. was not going into Cambodia.) As we landed by chopper at Valkyrie I saw 2 news guys, one carrying and filming, following behind us. I suspected we would later be on the news. One of the first nights there my feet were very sore, so I took my boots off before going to sleep. I awoke in the middle of the night to gunfire and explosions. That was the last time I ever took my boots off at night! We scrambled to our positions and continued to exchange fire occasionally through the night. In the morning there were several dead HEP’s wearing little clothing and one with satchel charges still on him.They were attempting to over run us. For the next few days we went out on recon patrols and found lots of bunkers, ammo, and supplies, but little sight of the enemy. We found underground bunkers with hospital equipment and generators. It was here I found a large, awesome vase with fermented rice in it, used to make rice wine. I cleaned it out and spent the next two weeks humping it with me until we got back to base camp.        

(Link below to LZ Valkyrie battle description by James Henderson)

LZ VALKYRIE MAY 7-13 1970-71

Lucky Slip and Fall by Mike Vickers 
     It was about a month of so after the Battle of the Rock, when I was walking point and slipped on the muddy ground and fell down. At the same time I slipped and fell a burst of AK 47 went over me.  Brice Fuller who was following me returned fire and sprayed the area with his M60 machinegun.  

A to Point B

In the jungle when we had not seen signs of any enemy activity, we would move each day from point A  to point B  on the map.  Usually only about 4 or 5 klicks on the map, but with going up and down hills and mountains and around in dense jungles was more like 9 klicks or 5 miles a day.  Wake up, a breakfast of C rations.  One of the first things you learned was you never carried sterno tabs, you always heated your water for coffee or your meal by using a small rolled up pinch of C4.  It would boil your mug of water in less than 2 minutes, while sterno would take forever.  C4 was a white color clay brick shaped  about 2 inches thick x 4 inches wide x 8 inches long  explosive, but it was very safe.  In order for it to explode you needed heat and a small explosion.

After breakfast we would gear up putting on our rucksacks, water, and ammo on.  During the monsoon season we would always be wet, but even in the dry season we would still be wet.  After about 45 minutes humping in the jungle, we all would be soaking wet with sweat.
      Our best men were given the job as point men, the hardest and most important.  With the point man  would be a few  more of our best men one with a machete whose job would be to hack to clear a path for our platoon to follow also a M60 machinegunner and a M79 thump gunner.   Even with the path cleared there were always some thorny vines hanging down from the trees.  We called them Wait a Minute Vines. 

     At about 4 PM we usually reached point B or our November Lima or Night Location. 
    A squad would be sent out to check the surrounding location for any signs of enemy activity. 
Then at dusk at our night location about 4 two man teams  would be sent out to set up claymoore mines  also flares with trip wires would be set up in front of the claymoores to alert us of any enemy movement, so we could trigger the claymoores if we saw that it was VC or NVA.
      At night a couple guys would be awake keep watch, the rotation was usually 2 hours long.  The lucky ones were the ones who pulled the first or last watch which meant they could sleep uninterrupted.
 Photos by Richard 'Gig' Young

Contact by Gig Young August 1970
      Hearing the( whistle/bird?) noises of them( VC/NVA) maneuvering just after dark.I remember our M60 machinegunner opening up in the middle of the night scaring the crap out of us. In the morning the claymore mine that was nearest to my position was retrieved, and discovered to have been placed face down with the wire either cut or disconnected. Choppers were called in to extract our company that morning. As the slicks came in they received some AK 47 fire. Not much but a few pot shots. We were airlifted to an LZ near a road so we could be loaded up and transported back to Camp Radcliff base camp at AnKhe.
 Preceding all this, before we had reached our night position, our Company was moving down a mountain jungle trail when the trail opened up into an open valley. Our pointman spotted an enemy lookout sitting on the side of the adjacent hillside some distance away. Our point fired at the individual. Not known if he was hit or not. Our company had some form of contact every day that we were  in that AO. We were glad to leave.

 Most of the time we traveled to the jungles via truck convoy.  Once in a while we would be transported directly to an area of VC activity  by a Chinook helicopter.  Greg Manning and the 2nd platoon exiting a Chinook.  Photo by Walt 'Pats' Pastuszka

We usually were in the jungle for a month or more each time.   When we needed food, water or ammunition there we would be resupplied by helicopters, or occasionally we would make it to a firebase.  Spend one or two nights there and get resupplied occasionally setting up a nearby ambush .  Photo by Richard 'Gig' Young

Clearing an LZ
 Clearing a landing zone for a resupply helicopter in the jungle often meant a lot of work cutting down trees.  However, on the large trees we would wrap C4 around the tree trunks and detonate it.  Photo by Gig Young


This is the firebase where we stayed for a few days for resupply and a nearby active night ambush.  It was located off a rural section of a main road.  Razor and barbed wire coils surrounded the firebase.  Tanks and APCs armored personnel carriers with  50 caliber machine guns on top of them were were circled behind the barbed wire with their fronts and guns facing out. 
 The two pluses there were cooked meals and if you were lucky a real bed. 

C Rations
      C Rations were the only food we ate in the jungles.  The worst one was the beef stew, which we called beef and shrapnel because the potatoes were hard like rocks.  The best C rations were the cans of peaches and the pound cakes. 
     The Vietnamese kids were always saying "GI souvenir me chop chop (food).  One time I threw a kid asking for chop chop a can of C ration beef stew, he picked it up and read the label, then threw it back at me, saying "GI you number 10 (insult)

Whistles by Dean Wilson May 1971
      We had set up on a cleared knoll (perhaps an old LZ) and heard whistles as we were setting up our night location.  The older guys immediately recognized the whistles as VC or NVA and told everyone to be on alert that night.  I told the captain about the whistles.  Later that night the 1st platoon that was set up down the trail from us had contact, opened up and drove the enemy into a Ranger attachment that was set up further below both of our platoons. 

Contact by Dean Wilson June 1971
     On another  night I was on guard duty at out night location in the jungle,  when in the moon light I saw a VC on a nearby trail.  I got the M 60 machine gun and fired waking everyone up.  After that everyone stayed awake watching for more VC.
     The next morning when we found a blood trail where I had seen the one VC.

Ambush Firefight near a Fire Base.
       While setting up an ambush, two of our guys Randy Rankin and Magazine were setting up a claymoore, when they spotted 4 VC carrying AK 47s they ran back to our location shouting,  "Dinks, Dinks" 
     They fired their M16s in the direction they had come from and then we heard bullets whizzing back all around us.  Then we all returned fire.
     The area was flat with a lot of tall vegetation, which blocked our vision and their's.  The area was surrounded by nearby hills.  We called the firebase and they sent 2 tanks and 2 APCs armored personnel carriers that had  50 caliber machine guns on top.  It was dusk and dark when we all got behind the APCs, and then they lit up the whole area with all their combined firepower.  Then we got inside the APCs and went back to the firebase.
     The next morning a recon team was sent to that area and all they found was a lot of AK shell casings and 3 rucksacks of rice on the ground.
     It was the dry season and there were deep washes in the ground from the monsoon runoff of the hills.  They were able to use them to get to the hills and beyond, before the tanks and APCs arrived.

2nd Platoon Clubhouse in Tuy Hoa

 Dave Beights sitting on top of the 2nd Platoon Clubhouse.  Built at the end of our barracks in Tuy Hoa by Brice Fuller and the 2nd platoon.  On our nights off there we would party on top of the clubhouse.  Someone would always provide music outside with their reel to reel tape player. We would alternate spending a month or more in the jungles then pulling about a month night perimeter guard in Tuy Hoa Air Force Base or night ambushes in the rice paddies around it.  Total about 7 months in the boonies and about 5  months at the luxurious  beach resort of Tuy Hoa.

Me I was lucky to be assigned to my platoon.  They were good guys and great grunts.  I remember one question on a test given to me near the end of basic training.  It asked what would you rather do "Read a book" or "Take a hike"  I answered "Take a hike"  so later the Army let me take hikes.

Relaxing in the Jungle

Photo by Richard 'Gig' Young

Flying Tiger
 This airline was our usual ride home.  I remember flying it back Stateside with stops in Japan and Hawaii.
Photo by Gig Young

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