Saturday, April 7, 2007

Vietnam 02 Posted

I've placed some more Vietnam photos at my Picasa space (Link: All of My Blog Photos). They are in the Vietnam 02 album, and the slides were processed July 1968. I gave away some of my slides, and threw away some that were technically bad. I believe that these with the tent damage were after the monsoon (tropical storm) hit. More disastrous looking were those I made the morning after Ho Chi Minh's birthday (May 19). The VC celebrated by firing mortars into our camp, and by luck one hit the ammo dump. My company had been in the process of relocating to the next hill. We had finished regular duties, ate supper, loaded on five-trucks and rode to our site right next to the perimeter fence. Each of us had our M-16 with one clip of ammo. All other firearms and ammunition were at the old area, adjoining the airstrip which was being widened. We had been filling sandbags, but had no cover above us and no bunkers. My camera was back in my old tent. All though the night the explosions continued scattering howitzer shells and other debris all over the entire camp. Most spectacular were the three explosions of huge fuel tanks. The fireballs were like those of a nuclear explosion. The shock waves knocked down any raised body. Most of the time we were hugging the ground, hoping that the next debris wouldn't fall on us, and that the VC would not try to cross our puny barbwire fence. I took plenty of photos after I retrieved my camera in the early morning. When I got them back from processing I passed them around for other troops to see, and one of the radio repairmen mailed them home to his mom in Venezuela. We never knew how he happened to be fighting an American war. We also had a Chinese-American troop in our company.

Occasionally we received cigarettes and candy, which some of the photos show. The black guy helping sort out the goodies was our buddy Pritchard from Tampa, FL. He would say "I'm from the cigar city of the sunshine state." I wonder where he is now.

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