Memories of Puff

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Guest, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Posts: 476
    (10/25/01 4:19:34 pm)
    | Del All Memories of Puff
    An earlier post mentioning C130 and C47 gun ships brought back a few more memories,,,

    One of them:

    On Thanksgiving, 1968, our office personnel were having a dinner at a hotel (one of the Senior NCOs lived there, unofficially) in the Cholon district of Saigon. The party was not much, but not too bad either. Lots to drink, as usual. Anyway, one of the guys had a movie camera (remember before VCR cameras?) and a couple of large lights (klieg lights I think they were called),,and we shot some film of all the drunks,,, the guy with the camera decided to get some shots of the neighborhood. So, out on the roof we went, cameras, lights, and all. We got over on the edge of the flat roof and shined the lights down on the street, 6 floors below. When the lights hit the people on the street, they scattered like crazy, running for doorways, etc. We thought this was pretty funny at the time, but did not know what was going on. We would shut the lights off, and people would come out, then we would turn them on again and away they would run. Soon, most of the party was out there and we were all just having a grand old time. Finally, the Major’s Vietnamese secretary came out, saw what we were doing, went back in, down stairs, and we could see her questioning some of the locals. Soon she returned and told us we must stop doing that. We asked her why and here is her response.
    During Tet, ’68, the VC had taken a lot of the area around the Cholon district and the near by Pho Tho Racetrack. They were entrenched into the local houses and buildings and dug in at the racetrack pretty well. Our troops (101st I think), along with ARVNs were having a tough time getting them out, so called in a C47 gunship. It was dark when Puff arrived. As the plane flew over the area, it had those big, bright lights on, searching for the targets. When they found targets, they let all hell loose. As most of you remember, it is a pretty scary sight to see,,the mini-guns streaming fire,,at least I know if they would have been firing at me it would have been VERY scary! They shot up the area pretty heavily, that night, and for the next 3 nights, until finally the VC were routed out of there. I understand it was some pretty hairy fighting, but went almost un-noticed because of the action down in the Delta, plus the battle for Hue, which seemed to get most of the media attention.

    So, that night, as we shined our bright lights down on the street, the civilians below us thought it was perhaps the return of Puff, and they wanted no part of that.

    In that we were just a happy bunch of drunks, we agreed to knock it off and find a better way to get “entertained”,,,

    But that is a sight I will never forget,,,

    Other memories of Puff later,,,,

    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    Senior Chief Moderator II
    Posts: 1334
    (11/5/01 1:02:37 pm)
    | Del
    Re: Memories of Puff

    Well, Hawk, you got one up on me. Don't remember ever having 'dinner' in Vietnam nor being in a hotel. But I sure as hell remember working in and out of areas where Spooky worked. Particularly during Tet of '68 when most of Vietnam was hell in the works.

    Used to often have to go to areas that were being hit hard or over run for medevac pickups. Often, through the course of action the call for Puff/Spooky would be made. The amount of firepower that came from that thing was absolutely mind boggling. But I suspect that the recipients of that fire power were hard pressed not to keep their heads down and hope they didn't become swiss cheese. Often in the middle of their hosing down of the area, we'd have to select a good path into and out of the area to avoid being hit. The good and bad thing was the tracers illuminated the area quite brightly which was good to be able to see where we were going into the area but bad that we were seen. As you might suspect, though, we seldom took fire in areas where Spooky was doing his magic. It was a good thing.

    Posts: 509
    (11/5/01 4:28:10 pm)
    | Del Re: Memories of Puff
    Dave, as I have said in the past, I was and always will be, a REMF,, I enjoy my comforts,,

    having a Thanksgiving dinner (made mostly from care packages from home) in addition to fighting off all of those Saigon "ladies" was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!

    and you are right about Spooky,,a couple of times, while setting in a guard bunker atop the MACV building, we could see them in action,,looked like a beam of red light going to the ground, not actual bullets,,,of course, we were a good distance away,,I think they were being used to support some local ARVN assigned to protect the city,,,but not sure about that,,I do know it was a remarkable sight.

    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    Posts: 1705
    (11/5/01 6:15:40 pm)
    | Del
    Re: Memories of Puff

    Forgive the shout...two fingering calls for my eyes to see the letters, not the screen.
    ...and two hard boiled eggs.

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 209
    (11/15/01 4:11:46 pm)
    | Del Puff
    I remember a night at Tam Ky when Puff was called to hose down an area outside our fence. We had just been over run in the Highlands and had been moved to Tam KY to regroup. Everybody was edgy and the perimeter had been staffed with cooks and clerks to make up for the losses of line doggies. They had actually called Puff to kill one VC with an M1 carbine!
    Puff sprayed the area as it circled and then made another pass throwing out football size flares. Everytime the flares went out the VC would pop out of his spider hole and fire at Puff. We could hear the kip POP of the carbine. This went on for about twenty minutes, I left the line before it ever finished so I don't know the outcome but the VC was still shooting while I was there.
    The mini guns looks like a hose of fire. We could see the change in the stream as the gunner moved the muzzle up and down. Puff also used the familiar searching traverse pattern.

    Posts: 38
    (12/4/01 11:52:25 pm)
    | Del Re: Puff
    This brings back memories of watching Puff/Snoopy at night along the DMZ

    Edited by: GRUNT at: 12/4/01 11:55:27 pm