“GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”

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

  1. Admin

    Admin Active Member Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2001
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 279
    (4/25/02 3:37:09 pm)
    “GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”
    Quite a few of us in VN had gas masks, M17’s… but many of us never USED them…..

    To units like mine, it was just another piece of useless gear…..and normally stayed at the bottom of my duffle bag or by some, was used as a pillow.

    I know that many others wore them all the time wherever they went… but our unit(s) never did……

    Now… in this little unit… an RRU…. The 265th RRU 1/101st to be exact, they were just pillows……

    I am just coming back from a work party out on the perimeter…..and I can see a group of guys standing up by the motor pool talking…

    No… arguing……hands and arms are waving all over the place and as I get closer I can hear the argument….

    Seems that a couple of the guys went to get haircuts and then to get a couple of drinks at the local EM club (really just a tent)…and they got into it with a couple of MP’s about something….

    Oh… now I get it…… the two guys in our unit that are known homo’s got beat up by guys in the Engineer unit next to us…. and they don’t like it….

    “They are our unit members… if anyone is going to beat them up .. it’s us!!”

    Or something to that effect..

    Great logic huh????

    Oh well…… I ignore it… it is over with and no one was really badly hurt nor arrested…..

    No wait…

    Seems one of the MP’s REALLY got beat by our guys…..and they are vowing revenge….

    Guess I will have to be careful when walking around the MP’s for awhile… but I will be going back out soon, so I should be OK…..

    Now…. All of our billets where just tents… set up into the side of a small hill…. the main road ran along the top of the hill …. So that you could see down into our area……months later… the Seabees would build wooden frames for us and then later put tin roofs on them…. but that was months away…..

    Right now… when you lifted the side walls all you saw was a dirt wall…. on three sides…. the main door was the only way out of the tent because of this set-up. when it rained, we had to cut a trough down the middle of the floor to keep it from flooding and somewhat dry…….

    So.. OK…. dinner is over and I have no duty for the night…. I rack out……I am relly tired so I don’t attempt to undress tonight…I will shower in the morning and change then (if we have water)…

    Sun is down… a breeze picks up… hey .. it is actually cool tonight…..feels really good…

    I hear the cooks come in, they have finished their shifts and they too just rack out.

    One guy is from Alabama….. nicest guy… really heavy southern accent……really the best cook we have… and he happens to be the only Black in the unit…….now… I don’t say this to point out a situation… I just say it to set the scene……remember…I am the only passivist here…..and Amos & Andy are not yet pariahs in the world, so stereotypes abound still…..just forget it and read on…..

    Most of the truck traffic on the road in quieting down now… it must be getting toward midnight… the generators are quite and the chops are all asleep for the night.. only the patrol jeeps are on the road now…..

    I get up to go pee……and as I come back I can hear this ruckus coming down the road…..seems that a bunch on MP’s are really drunk and are heading back to their area…..as they start to pass our area they are yelling insults and most of them are fag related….. stupid stuff like “HOMO’s”… QUEERS” and so forth… no sense in belaboring the point..

    And then I can see, in the darkness smoke beginning to rise…


    OH Shit.. did they set fire to it????

    The CQ comes out of the CQ tent and see it at the same time I do….

    We are both yelling now…..“Hey.. wake up…get out… wake up……”

    I run toward the tent…. I can see now that it is not of fire … maybe they threw smoke….

    OH SHIT…


    IT’S CS…..

    And I back away… my mask is inside anyway…..

    Everyone wakes up and runs from the tent….. the First Shirt is standing here now and the CO too..

    Everyone is accounted for……

    EXCEPT….. the cook……so the First Shirt puts on his mask and enters the tent.. he finds the cook and tries to wake him… he shakes him… he yells at his….. he checks his heart…..his is ok…. The First Shirt takes his canteen and dumps water in his face….

    He doesn’t wake up…..

    This goes on for ten minutes…this guy is out cold… lost to the world….

    BUT THE GAS SEEMS TO HAVE NO EFFECT ON HIM…….he doesn’t wake up!!!!!

    So as the gas dissipates…. Most of us sleep outside tonight…

    But the cook…..

    Never woke up…..until the sun comes up….

    And he goes to work like nothing ever happened…..

    And he does not believe any of us about the gas attack…..

    We all clean up and go to breakfast… and he made us a really good one on that day……

    Good cook…….

    Obviously NO normal respiratory system…..

    Must be an alien…….


    Esse Quam Videri

    Posts: 1961
    (4/26/02 12:07:41 am)

    Re: “GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 224
    (4/26/02 12:15:12 am)
    Re: “GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”
    Another good one Mith ..... I have a few involving the M17 but we were not as fortunate and had to wear ours many times because of all the gas that WE threw that sometimes the wind would carry right back on our ass.

    Ya oughtta try to fightin' while wearin one of these things.

    Not only is your visibility extremely restricted because your breathing fogs up the eyepieces but you can hardly breath as well and especially if your adrenilin is at an all time high ... which I might add is the norm when your fightin for your life.

    Keep up the good work ..... My memoirs are telling me to get back into my hole and shut the frig up .....

    Rekon I spent a little too much time around Doctor Death. Six Out!

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

    Edited by: SixTGunr at: 4/26/02 1:32:10 am

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 225
    (4/26/02 1:03:04 am)
    Re: “GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”
    I would much rather have been able to use my M17 as a pillow for sure. Unfortunately ... As what is stated in my signature ... I was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.


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

    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 912
    (4/26/02 7:25:41 am)
    Re: ?GAS ATTACK!!!!? or ?I slept through what????
    When you men speak of the M-17 field protective mask, I think back to the many hours I spent training the troops in their care and use. When I first began teaching chamber drills and protective clothing, the field protective mask in current use was the M-9A1---it had the removable filtering cannister on the right or left side, depending on how the wearer would fire his shoulder weapon. It was good, reliable gear, however the designers of the M-17 wanted to streamline the masks features so they placed the charcoal filter pads inside the facepiece--bad design because it you were hit with a bad killer agent such as the 'cannister-cracker' (CK) cyanigen chloride, you could not replace the filter pads under those invasive conditions--with the Old Niner, all you had to do was to hold your breath, unscrew the depleted cannister, screw the replacment on, clear your mask, and go on living---. Damn that felt good---slipping into the 'teaching mode' again. Wilborn

    Edited by: high2fly at: 4/26/02 8:29:01 am

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 281
    (4/26/02 7:36:09 am)
    Re: “GAS ATTACK!!!!” or “I slept through what???”
    I hear ya Sixtgunr......

    one of my secondary MOS's is 54E and then later 54B....so I have spent maybe 15+ years working with those things and all types of gear....first as an NCO NCO and then as an instructor (5039th USAR School in KC)

    if we had been up against an enemy like the ones in the middle-east... we might have been toast in a fight with them considering that they seem willing to use it on their our people regularly....

    but in VN.... it was a hinderence to us..in and out of chops and deuces so much that we just stopped carrying them....


    we now use the M40 series.... it is almost like the old M9 series but with a much simpler internal valve (air return) system....it is almost a remake of the civilian (MSA) Advantage 1000 series masks..and you should see the new Joint Service mask being tested by the Army & Marines.... it's a hoot.....

    Esse Quam Videri