Anniversary Dates

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by wilbur46, May 4, 2009.

  1. wilbur46

    wilbur46 New Member

    May 4, 2009
    They all get me. 11/66 my 1st casualty, a 6 year old who stepped on a toe popper. Pink mist! :(
    12/66VC girl gets leg blown off, then gets molested!! I gave her a comb I'll bet she felt better!:)
    2/67 Danang Airbase gets rocketed. went down there and almost got burned alive.:eek:
    Shot a dog. The dog handler screamed at me the whole time I was wrapping him up. ? ( The ******* thing BIT me.):mad:
    4/8/67 ran and ran and ran to get to a guy from another platoon. I could hear him the whole way. Turns out he was their Corpsman. X:(
    4/10/ 67 I fell out of a huey?? :confused:
    5/19 and 5/20/ 67 lost both of my best friends, Mike and Galen (also Corpsmen).
    I'm never gonna go to Graves Registration again!!!
    8/12-14 67 9 casualties 2ok, 7X
    12/67 rotated. Lasted 10 days in Calif, begged to go back.
    1/68 returned to 1st Med Danang and got shot at in my own hooch by a drunk. Roof tin in my legs.
    Went to Phu Bai 4 days before Tet.
    D Med gets rocketed, we lost an OR tech who didn't listen to me.:(
    Got rocketed again, blew down my Intensive care surg ward, L eardrum %$#:(
    Went to battle of Hue City. Virgin Mary blown to ****. Women VC:eek:
    Got promoted E6????:rolleyes:
    11/68 rotated to Camp Pendleton, where they made me Sr. Corpsman, Psych Div?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????:eek:
    Yeah I was there----again last night!:confused:
    Ah well **** it, It don't mean ****!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2009
  2. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Glendale Arizona
    Welcome Wilbur...our names are very similar...mines Wilborn....We were in the same area for a while Troop, early 1968...I speak and write often about Delta Med at Dong Ha...that same period of time I was a click west of you at Camp Barnes with the Seabees...watched a lot of medivacs from Hue, KheSanh, and Con Thein during that period....My battalion was active for the Marines relief by the Army during Operation Pegasus....That was interesting what and how you wrote it you have a hundred stories, so settle in and tell us some....again welcome and thank you for your service to our God Blessed Country...Chief

  3. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Welcome Wilbur... Good to have you here.

  4. Dakota Red 1

    Dakota Red 1 New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Didn't see you in '68 so I'll tell you now. Welcome back! Glad you are here with us.
  5. WomenofCaliber

    WomenofCaliber New Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Welcome back to the forum!
  6. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Glendale Arizona
    Hey Wilbur...Doc..What to call you? Being that you were in and around DELTA MED in the TET OFFENSIVE time frame, maybe you run into the E-5 Hospital Corpsman I wrote this story about...His last name was Schnell -of course his first name was DOC.....Chief

    You could sense the tension and the anxiety in the air--you could feel it on your skin--in your
    bowels--- that scrotum twisting sensation that things needed to be structured and that
    someone needed to ‘get-in-charge of this cluster jerk’.
    This was the third time, in as many days, that this group of mixed service troops had boarded
    the large military aircraft. If those transiting personnel were observant enough, they could tell
    it was the same aircraft, the same flight crew, the same lashed down cargo, and mostly the
    same people that had boarded each of the three previous days. One could pick out those
    personnel who had probably been to Vietnam before, and were returning from R&R or
    emergency leaves from stateside. Whatever the reason, those were the people who seemed
    more willing to accept the ‘hurry-up and wait’ SNAFU, whereby others including myself, were
    anxious to get this show on the road--to get to the final destination, be it good, bad, or ugly.
    It was early January, 1968, and this C-130 flight that was originating at the DaNang Air Base,
    was heading up north with stops at Phu Bai and on further north to Dong Ha. The TET Offensive
    was raging across the length and breadth of the northern areas known as I Corps. There was
    an expression coined and repeated by most of the troops, “BEANS AND BULLETS IN--BODIES
    OUT”. I remember my shock and concern that first day upon arriving in DaNang, when I had
    seen many silver bright caskets waiting for shipment out. I was told later that the color of the
    tags that flipped and jerked in the breeze, meant something or other. It was a foreboding and
    a sobering event for everyone. Someone attempted an ill-timed joke about the caskets and a
    crisp, “knock it off you ass-hole” sounded loud and clear so that everyone, regardless of rank
    or rate could hear the remark and keep a civil tongue in their head.
    I noticed the heavy set navyman again today as I had on the other days. He was dressed in
    Navy green utilities every time I had seen him on the previous days. He wore collor devices
    denoting he was a petty officer second class, and the medical caduceous device of a navy
    hospital corpsmen. I was attired in my service dress khaki uniform. This day the big, rotund
    corpsman spoke to me with a friendly “good morning Senior Chief---where are you bound
    for”? I returned the man’s friendly salutation and remarked I was heading for DongHa to join
    up with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Five. “Well Senior, what do ya know---that’s my
    outfit”, he exclaimed excitedly, “I been down here to DaNang to observe a religious ceremony
    and now I’m trying to get back---ya sure look young to be a Senior Chief”. The big man had a
    good sense of timng, even though I felt he was just stroking the dog.
    Suddenly I could feel the throttling up of the aircrafts engines and sense the foward movement
    of the large craft. More power applied and faster movement foward. The flight crew buckled
    themselves into the webbed harness seats and now the big ungainly 130 was bolting ahead,
    almost like a horse out of the gate. Perhaps this would be a real and true, go-for-it today.
    Maybe the up country bombardment and hostilities had lifted so we could get where we were
    going. I looked over at my newly introduced shipmate and he looked back but it was as if he
    didn’t see me. Could it be this big fellow was frightened of flying. The tower must have given
    this much delayed ‘bird’ the thumbs- up high sign, for without any hesitation, the big aircraft
    seemed to leap abruptly from fast taxi mode to real fast ‘bend you over in your seat’ takeoff,
    and in no time, the large craft was airborne.
    The pilot masterfully swung the ponderous plane out over the South China Sea and I heard
    some one of the crew mention to escape possible ground fire. I knew sure as hell now, that
    these were words and phrases that I would have to begin using in my conversation. Within
    hours however, other words would come to be used and would take on a whole new
    meaning of their own for me. “INCOMING” screamed from deep in the bowels through a
    throat that was so constricted with fear, that it would be hard to breathe. Or the statement of
    fact, “HOLY ****, THAT WAS CLOSE”, sounded as if a joke when repeated to a buddy later, but
    when that statement was uttered during a rocket attack, you wanted the whole world to know
    just how close!!! “SUMBITCH IS STILL HOTTER THAN A FIRECRACKER” as you flick the fragmented
    hunk of sharpnel away from you--a possible keepsake that you shouldn’t have glombed onto
    so quickly--- your fingers seared by that ugly shard that had it hit you---well that’s all they would
    have written and then they’d have sent your saddle home.
    I think it was called Camp Evans, but not sure, and it was at Phu Bai where it was almost just a
    ‘slow down and jump out’ for the troops getting off there. The C-130 continued on to Dong
    Ha where I believe that was just to be a turn-around also. When we all deplaned, it was like a
    Chinese fire-drill and there was not much encouragement to look back. We had been told
    not to worry about our seabags and duffels as that gear would be transported for us at our
    various camps.
    During the TET OFFENSIVE, which continued for most of the deployment, I would be assigned
    as the S-2 Senior Chief (Intell & Training) for the battalion. The Corpsman, who I and everyone
    else called Doc, and who had ridden the plane with me up from DaNang, would come
    around to my office a lot. My S-2 yeoman, Jimmy Walker and Doc were good friends, both
    being from California. Jimmy was from Bakersfield and Doc was from Brentwood. Doc was
    Jewish and Jimmy was Southern Baptist, however their differences turned out to be their
    strenghts. Jimmy was a classic, ‘squared-away’ American bluejacket with everything fitting
    and looking nice, whereby Doc was extremely overweight and physically uncoordinated to a
    laughable degree. On the Doc’s green utilitiy uniforms, the laundry had to sew a big v-shaped
    gussett into the waist of Doc’s trousers---actually the Doc was pear-shaped---he had overly
    large feet and walked with his feet splayed out at a 45 degree angle--kinda made slapping
    noises on the deck when he took steps. Doc used to bring stuff over to the S-2 and share it with
    us--things his Mother had sent--mostly things with Hebrew labels on them---and he’d go by the
    galley and get thermos jugs full of ‘panther-piss’ --that’s what he called the Kool Aid.
    I had been aboard about three months when Doc ‘made-his-bones’ out near the Rock Pile
    and Camp Carrol near CaLu. Doc had been assigned as the corpsman for a convoy of
    materials and supplies offloaded at the Cua Viet River wharf and being transported overland.
    I wasn’t there to observe the ambush, but the AAR’s filled in the details and were eventually
    used as documentations to get Doc awarded the Bronze Star for bravery under fire. One little
    Steelworker striker that was wounded by B-40 frags, told and retold the story of Doc and how
    Doc had been like a man possessed as he worked the wounded and even directed
    counter-fire. The more often Daniel’s told the story about Doc, the more profound the facts of
    the combat action. But isn’t that the way legends become as they do---you hear them often
    enough, and though you weren’t there to eye-ball them, you record them in your minds eye
    and legends they stay.
    Doc, you may have not cut a very military figure in your doctored-up up uniform, but you sure
    made a story for the Seabees to often repeat about you. What the hell did you ever do with
    your life Doc---do you recall those times also--everytime you swig that red ‘panther-piss’ Doc,
    do you think about those days so long ago---lots of us have tried to forget, but we can’t ever
    put it all away---if we don’t think about it when we are awake, it sure comes galloping through
    our troubled dreams. Wilborn sends
  7. wilbur46

    wilbur46 New Member

    May 4, 2009

    Actually, your article was one of the reasons I decided to post. I'm not too good on these forums because I'm still mad. However, my 1st CPO (preventative med, which means Rat Patrol) spent most of his time with the Bees. I went to the Hill 327 B complex several times when we moved D Med to Danang asking for help. The Bees responded with (1) washing machines for the OR, (2) plumbing instructions ( I was told to hook up running water in the COs hooch,(3) borrowed a truck so I (we) could swipe a pallet of beer from those clueless doggies and open our own enlisted club.
    When I went to 2/5, in 4/67 there was a lot of talk about how hard it had been to establish the Bn. Hq. My response was "the Seabees did it before any Marines got here).:) ( this is the wrong smilie tho, there should be one with of a Corpsman with a black eye.
    Please don't call me Doc, I wasn't one. I was just a dumb-ass teenager like everyone else there.
    100% and not liking it 1 bit!
  8. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Glendale Arizona
    Stick around present a humorous slant on the words you write this day and age,humor is about as scarce as hair on a fish! I recall something about Hill 327...was that the area south of the Freedom Hill PX there in DaNang? I recall something about that posit....gotta check because at my age there's been lots of hills and even a valley or two...Chief
  9. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Glendale Arizona

    .In April 1969 on Hill 327 South of DaNang RVN an event
    no different than many others that had happened to the
    thousands of
    Americans fighting in that tiny, divided and war-torn
    country. Hill 327 was
    divided up for defensive purposes--it was shared by the
    Navy, Air Force,
    Marines, and the ARVN. One night Viet Cong sappers
    (commandos) threw
    explosive satchel charges into the concertina wire and
    attempted to breech our
    line to throw more sachel charges into bunkers or fighting
    positions. Our
    interlocking fields of fire brought the invaders into a cone
    of unimiaginable
    hell--our heavy fifty caliber thudded away for a seemingly
    long period of
    time--too long but ammo was plentiful--the barrel wasn't
    melting down, and
    excited men overreact--scared men do also. The melodrama
    being played out
    was like a well lighted stage--our own mortar crews had
    fired 81 mike-mike
    illumination rounds that floated slowly down into the area
    all the guys referred
    to as Happy Valley.

    Next morning after sunrise myself, several officers and two
    fire teams went
    down to the "slaughterhouse".

    The Vietnamese are small of stature but there wasn't
    anything left to
    measure--you know to record if you wanted to say, "wow, this
    sapper unit was a
    whole squad of giants"--no, not at all--there were torn and
    tattered remmants
    of clothing--and things and 'stuff'--brownish red things and
    'stuff--the big old
    green blow flies was alight and feeding--maggots would
    arrive on the 'stuff'
    within hours--my S-2 officer made the decision--I followed
    his orders and had
    the fire teams get jerry cans of diesel fuel from the duece
    and a half
    nearby--following a rapid check of the 'stuff' for intell
    purposes, fuel was
    litterly splashed on the 'stuff' and lighted.

    Some of the men vomited--most could and would not watch--those
    young men of mine was someone's brother or husband, or
    stench of burning remains was masked somewhat by the burning
    weeds and
    brush--not totally masked however, for the burning flesh
    odor was not to
    different than oven smells for your own meal preparation--I
    thought recently as
    I told Bill B. and Mike L. this horrible story--that 'stuff'
    was also someones
    brother or husband or lover--in fact there were rosary beads
    recovered along
    with several pencil drawn maps--.

  10. wilbur46

    wilbur46 New Member

    May 4, 2009
    Rooter, the Bees had a Bn. headquarters just down the road from the Freedom Hill PX and the Post office.
    Another story.
    I was downtown Danang delivering civilian casualties to the Vietnamese hospital (which I hated to do because you could watch all supplies and meds vanish as they were wheeled thru the doors), and I went down to the deep water docks at the end of the channel. I saw some Bees screwing around in some old building and went to see WTF? They had found an ice cream plant, and were fixing it up. They had already made a deal with some Sea Sailors for some real milk and sugar. I heard that they got it working ( but I never got any FU%$#@* ice cream out of the deal. Regards
  11. rooter

    rooter *VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff* Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Glendale Arizona
    The Seabee HQ's you referred to Wilbur the the 30th NAVAL CONSTRUCTION REGIMENT...never heard about the ice cream plant ---maybe they turned a buck with it...neve doubt the possibilities....Were you in DaNang when the ammo dump blew up...? Now that made a convert outta many a hell-raiser!!! Chief
  12. wilbur46

    wilbur46 New Member

    May 4, 2009
    Rooter, sure was. Rockets were flying right over our heads. Almost had time to call the airheads on the phone, but had been at the White Elephant for some of those $.25 Singapore Slings and my lips wouldn't move:)