Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Admin, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. Admin

    Admin Active Member Staff Member

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    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 175
    (4/9/02 3:49:15 pm)
    Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Arriving in country during the latter part of June 1967 I was destined to tag along (putting it mildly) with an elite Regiment of Marines known as the Fightin' Fifth. At the time I never really gave it any thought but later in life and a bit of readin' Marine Corps history it was learned that the 5TH Marine Regiment is in fact the "most decorated" combat regiment throughout the entire history of the Marine Corps. Even without knowing something such as this there was no doubt whatsoever in my mind that I was damn proud to be amongst such brave young men during combat. I would without hesitation fight alongside them ... ANYTIME ... ANYWHERE.

    Arriving at the home of 2/5 which was responsible for securing the airstrip and the surrounding area at a place called AnHoa in the Arizona Territory just about 30 miles south of DaNang, I remeber looking out of the small window of the C130 that transported me there as we were approaching. I could see that it was located in a spot that had a little bit of everything around it. There was a huge mountain range running alongside for as far as the eye could see and rice paddy dikes yet off to another side with little tiny villages that dotted the landscape here and there ... Lots of water glistening off the sun. Apparent roads of red clay and dust leading off into several directions from the base camp and disappearing off into the distance. Thousands of miles from home ... I was here ... This now is my home ... This is my family.

    After a three day orientation I was then released and assigned to my respective squad and it was now time to go "out there" .... I remember very well, as though it were five minutes ago ... the very first patrol I ever went on and I will tell you about that instance some other time. Having the opportunity to go "out there" with my Brothers, we wandered through every imagineable type of terrain you could possibly think of in the Arizona but there was one thing for sure and that was that when the $h*t hit the fan there was nothing more to take cover with then blades of grass unless you dug yourself one of them GREAT BIG DEEP holes and even that was not protected from incoming rounds and grenades. When I think about it today I can't for the life of me figure out how we made it through some of the firefights we use to have without taking on more casualties than we did by simply having nothing more than grass and weeds to take cover with. Maybe Charlie was simply having a bad day (or night) and simply could'nt hit a bull in the a$$ with a base fiddle. I mean to tell ya ... rounds were "zippin'" all over the place and no place to take ample cover.

    With the '68 TET Offensive kicking off we get the word that we are going North to the Imperial City of Hue cause the 1ST Battalion 5TH Marines are takin on some heavy losses and they need some backup quick. Now to us guys that have been taking cover behind a blade of grass (so to speak) this is great news for us. We're gonna have all kinds of cover up in the city and lots of concrete ta boot. Buildings...houses...vehicles...Should be a walk in the park. Well that works two ways here and we were'nt exactly thinking about our enemy at the time. The NVA had an ample amount of time to build things up there and they were "dug in" with that "we ain't goin anywhere" type of attitude and they fought damn hard to maintain that philosphy. What THEY did'nt know is that WE were coming to join forces with other Marines and other military personnel from the different branches to "tear their house down" and though it was one of them "knock down dragouts"...a house at a time...a street at a time...a block at a time...we...TOGETHER...all of us...took their Citadel from them and their tail went between their legs with that one.

    ARMY...NAVY...AIR FORCE...MARINES...Together we did what they did not anticipate although it was not the "walk in the park" that we had anticipated but in the end the Stars and Stripes flew high above the Citadel. Unfortunately for me I was layed up in the hospital on that particular day of glory but it was one that I will never forget.

    One valuable lesson was learned by the members of Golf Company, 2ND Battalion 5TH Marine Regiment ..... City fighting is by far more difficult than that of the jungles with their weeds and grass and though this may sound quite strange to you ..... I would much rather fight in the bushes than in a city of concrete. Six Out!

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    Edited by: SixTGunr at: 4/9/02 4:58:08 pm

    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 176
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Just like I remembered it and related to you all above.....

    AnHoa Area with the mountain range to one side and paddies with villes that dotted the landscape .....

    [​IMG]

    And then there were the streets of Hue City. You may notice a knocked out Ontos up the road a bit and off to the right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    Edited by: SixTGunr at: 4/9/02 7:25:13 pm

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 240
    (4/9/02 10:52:47 pm)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    God!!!! I loved those little Ontos vehicles.....

    for the uninitiated...."The Thing" in greek.....light armour, a .50 cal on top for spotting , about fifty 105 rounds in the boot and all sorts of neat ammo, HE, WP, Hotchkiss and some other stuff the names of I forget...

    can do about 65 MPH on pavment and 55 over rought ground... BONE JARRING!!! but DAMN what fun....



    they have been only lightly armoured but HOT DAMN they could shoot n' scoot.....


    actually got to ride in one for a hour......


    great picture my friend...


    out....

    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 179
    (4/10/02 1:08:53 am)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Though I did not have an opportunity to hitch a ride with one I sure enjoyed seeing them workout in the City :)

    [​IMG]

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    high2fly
    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 861
    (4/10/02 7:27:31 am)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Live long enough and you'll still be learning--I had never seen one of these units before. The large bore weapon looked like the recoiless rifle---105 perhaps with the spotting unit atop---Lord, it has been so long ---was the spotter a .50 caliber? Hey, you two men are doing an exceptional job with your stories and the photos---MITH & GUNNER SIX----catchy title---hey no, I'm not hard-assing you---not a bit---admiration just comes in different ways---do keep the stories coming, please? Wilborn

    Mithrandir
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 242
    (4/10/02 9:29:14 am)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Those little things also have a crude type of fire-control system in them... they could program them to fire in sequence , one-at-a-time, and in tandem (pairs)...

    and if they sometimes made the mistake of firing ALL the tubes and the same time when not properly elevated.... the little craft could and sometimes did rock right back on it's ass and then flop over.... not easy to get righted again either...

    they were designed for the Korean conflict but came to late into the fray.... so by the time VN came... they were the fastest, lightest close support vehicle we could get...the night largest vehicle was our (101st's) Sheridan air-droppable tank.... now that's another story.....

    the ONTOS crew would load the tubes... button up... and race flat out to the firing zone..... let loose a salvo and retreat before the shells hit the target..... they could be devestating and close range...

    and yes.... they were 106's... the test unit were 108's but they would fire and rip the turrent right off....they never made it into production....

    their biggest draw back was that they crew had to GET OUT on the vehicle in order to re-load the tubes.....

    and yes Hightfly,... the spotting gun was an air-colled .50 cal.

    great picture Sixtgnr.....thanks...




    out...

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 4/10/02 3:42:07 pm

    hope6970
    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 972
    (4/10/02 1:06:20 pm)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Six,

    How did you manage to get these great photos? It looks like if I had been there with you I would have been running and leaving no room for daylight under my feet. - Hope

    Winter11
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 739
    (4/10/02 1:41:22 pm)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    You took the words out of my mouth Hope.................

    Always Faithful

    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 185
    (4/10/02 9:41:17 pm)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Most are from personal collection and a few are taken from sveral books that I own. I mainly try to stay with photos that deal with my unit specifically so that everyone can see what I saw and experienced. Glad to share them with friends ... :) Six Out!

    "What more can I say ..... I was at the wrong place at the wrong time"

    hope6970
    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 974
    (4/12/02 11:33:57 pm)
    Re: Concrete -VS- A Blade Of Grass
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    Thanks for sharing Six,

    Your photos tug at the heart (as Chief would say).

    Hope