Memories of a Vietnamese Sailor #3

Discussion in 'The VMBB True Story Tellers' started by Guest, Feb 26, 2003.

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    (6/8/01 9:30:11 pm)
    | Del All Memories of a Vietnamese Sailor #3
    The last stand was set-up at Long Thanh (about 15
    miles south of Cat Lo) where we stationed army
    division 18, part of army division 5 and division 25,
    several regiments of ranger, all of the airborne
    units, all of the soldiers we evacuated and processed
    from An Thoi, all of the M113 APC, M41 tanks, and M60
    tanks available. We withstood their assaults for, I
    believe, 2 days, without leaders (the SOB's already
    left for either Thailand or the 7th Fleet), with very
    limited air support. After Long Thanh fell, the fate
    of South Vietnam was sealed. It was a matter of time.

    At An Thoi we were on the highest alert, everyone had
    to carry loaded weapon, even while on the base. I
    attempted to contact my family in Saigon but I was not
    able to. Three weeks before April 30, 1975, PCF 3805
    got ambushed and was stripped bare. Two KIA and four
    MIA. I also heard of heavy fighting in Ca Mau (Ong
    Doc river, Dam Doi, Cai Nuoc etc) by the fifth PCF
    division (all Swifts painted camouflage).

    As time went by, province after province fell: Quang
    Tri, Quang Nam, Hue, Da Nang, Kom Tum, Pleiku, Da Lat,
    Nha Trang . One by one. Evacuation began and An Thoi
    served as a "processing center" to receive all
    evacuees. During this operation I ran into several
    friends whom I knew from high school. They were
    Marine and Airborne soldiers; I asked them of the
    conditions in the fallen provinces and they told me it
    was a total anarchy: High-ranking officers split
    first via helicopters (fuck-them) so the soldiers were
    led by junior officers to escape. In some units there
    were no officers and the soldiers went berserk and
    some of them turned to civilians to rob their
    belonging. The evacuated soldiers took a stand south
    of Phan Rang and were able to retake Phan Rang for two
    days but without air and artillery support we lost
    Phan Rang (where Charlies coerced two South Vietnamese
    pilots to bomb presidential palace and Tan Son Nhat
    Airport with two A-37 bombers. One of the two SOB
    that dropped bomb on their brothers and sisters later
    became a colonel in communist Vietnam; I think he
    retired. Needless to say I was in a state of shocked,
    anger, helpless, and frustration, yet a sense of being
    betrayed by "my" leaders and honestly by my American
    friends. I now do understand the politic of this war
    so I am not bitter anymore. Only sadness.

    I asked my marine and airborne friends "how come you
    guys ran so fast? Did you fight? Did you resist? A
    marine friend of my who served with the 2nd marine
    regiment, nicknamed "crazy water buffalo", this is one
    of the best marine regiment in South Vietnam; told me
    that they did not see any charlies nor did they see
    any north Vietnamese Regular but the order from
    higher-up was: Abandon your position and evacuate
    South. The marines requested to blow up bridges, ammo
    depots, fuel depots etc . before the evacuation, but
    their requests were denied. My evacuated friends
    cried and said: "We got enough soldiers, ammo and fuel
    to fight on non-stop for three months and some f___ers
    from higher-up ordered us to run and to leave
    everything intact, we don't understand! They also
    said that during the North's first offensive in 1972,
    duped "the red and burning summer of 1972", they were
    able to get fire support from the Seventh Fleet and
    they were able to stop the offensive and pushed "them"
    back. But now (1975) there was none, they only got
    sporadic air support from South Vietnam Air Force, and
    by the way quite a few of the planes were brought down
    because this time "they" really moved a lot of AAA
    (triple A) to the South.

    We processed all evacuees, soldiers were sent to Vung
    Tau (Cat Lo) for further processing and then they were
    regrouped to units and get ready to fight on.
    Intelligent personnel were sent back to fallen
    provinces to gather intelligence. Civilians were
    checked and released. During this period I witness,
    first hand, at least 25 executions, right on the beach
    of An Thoi where our LST and LSM used to land (by An
    Thoi's airport). The executed ones were: robbers and
    rapists. The crazy thing was one person using a 45
    carried out 90% of the execution. That guy lives in
    France now and he was an ex-navy seal.

    (To be continued.....)