SPREAD OUT ..... WAY OUT

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

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    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 100
    (3/28/02 4:21:29 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All SPREAD OUT ..... WAY OUT
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    Have yet another combat tale that kinda goes along with what you see here and the title of my post. This however is not a fairy tale but one that is true and another one of them that kinda sticks inside and never goes away. More in a moment .....

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    Actually thiese pics were taken prematurely to the point I am about to make here in regards to walkin' around in the bushes. Its another one of them "lessons to be learned" and the experience you gather from learning the hard way the first time around.

    Location: Phu Loc 6 and the Phu Loc area had alwys been known to us to be refered to as "booby trap alley". Now first of all I would like to add that I had the opportunity to speak with many a fine Marine Engineers (they were responsible for locating and detonating explosive devices) and in my conversations they would get that big ole' swelled head and start telling me how well they had been trained and could find ANY type of booby trap. Speaking from "experience" now I had begged to differ because I had seen far too many ways of locating these nasty little (and BIG) things. I am sure that once they had gotten to wherever it was they were going over there (they were enroute) that they had more than likely learned the same way that we did....which was the hard way.

    In any case .... You get your usual BANG and if you happened to be close enough you can't hear anything for quite a while until your ears stop ringing and bleeding. Once you regain your hearing what you will hear are the blood curdling screams of your fellow Brothers not to mention the sights and horrible smells of burnt flesh. Not wishing to cause anyone here any harm but merely trying to relate to you what I had experienced on an almost daily basis.

    The story: We had been on a patrol all morning and were split into three different squads paralleling each other as we proceeded through this area called Phu Loc 6. It was hot and humid (the norm in summer months) and the flies were being the normal pests that they are as we trudged along through rice paddies and moving from treeline to treeline looking for Charlie. One of them "Search & Destroy" type patrols and we were lookin' for anything that moved. We had entered a treeline and were in the middle of this extremely dense area. It got quiet....real quiet but we kept on moving along ever so slowly and looking. WHAM! We all dropped to the ground like sacks of concrete trying to figure out exactly what it was and whatever it was it was CLOSE....VERY VERY CLOSE and one of them "bell ringers" I mentioned earlier.

    Kinda comes natural to you but the first thing you do is start lookin' and feelin' yourself over to make sure you ain't been zapped and immediately start checking in with each other by calling out for a response. I could faintly hear the screaming off to one side and as time went by it became louder and more intense. We were ordered over to the area of detonation and were told to remove our trouser belts and boot laces and anything else we could get our hands on that could be used as tournaquets (not sure of spellin here but I hope you know what I mean).

    Moving closer the screams for God & Mom got louder and louder and the smell of burnt flesh filled the air. It was terrible and there was blood and body parts EVERYWHERE. Some of them were literally cut in half and due to the trauma and shock did not even realize what condition they actually were in as they screamed out and some even talked with us in a calm manner. All of the ammo and grenades they carried on their cartridge belts had detonated due to the concussion of the booby trap which literally cut these guys in half and although we tried so very hard to save them with what little we had it was not enough.

    We had found out later that this particular booby trap was in fact one of our own 155mm howitzer rounds that was evidently a dud. It was found by Charlie and redone up in booby trap style and used against us. They were very good at using anything and were somewhat innovative at making things work for them.

    Sad part about this was that the point man had gotten tangled up in some thick brush ... the next in line came up on him and the next on those two and then eventually the remaining members of the squad were all bunched up in this itty-bitty spot where the trap was set. I don't think I need to explain any further but this day of loss taught us a very valuable lesson and one that I have not forgotten to this very day as it affects me with crowds of people. I would much rather spread out ..... WAY OUT.

    This is a true story of one day in the life of 2/5 Marines in the Phu Loc area so many many miles from home at a little tiny dot on the map in a place called Vietnam. I was there.......

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

    SixTGunr
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 101
    (3/28/02 4:29:43 pm)
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    With regards to the pictures in my post above .... Even THIS is not quite the distance you need between each other in a combat zone. Pics compliments of 2/5 Marines. Thank You for your attention. Six Out!

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

    Winter11
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 713
    (3/28/02 4:42:23 pm)
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    You know... I hear of the distance that should have been kept between men when they were walking... and as you said, and as many veterans agree, there never is enough distance.

    It's strange, but reading your stories I find myself now viewing "war" movies very differently. I find mistakes in them. Especially when men are walking in hostile area... whatever it may be in the movie... they are always too close... and now, I know this is a movie, but, I just had to smile at myself when I started doing that!

    Six... keep writing.... cause... I just keep on learning.... and some would say... what in the world could you be learnin' from this? I'm not in the military, I probably never will be... but what I learn is that men, like you, who did such things, who faced such things ought to have their **ses kissed and thanked every day!!

    Always Faithful

    high2fly
    *Senior Chief Of Staff*
    Posts: 822
    (3/29/02 5:47:58 am)
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    Again Gunner, you rang my wake-up bell with your story---this may sound grotesque to some, but the smell of burning flesh is not unlike the smell of roast pork or ham---like I said, you would think me 'kinky' for the comparison. Another place that has memories for me that you mentioned Sixty---Phu Loc---that was where my battalion had it's rock crusher site---Camp DuShurley---I went there many times, usually out of DaNany by hitching a ride on a Huey--hated to go into Phu Bai by 24's or 30's---then had to hitch a ride over Hwy 1 in trucks or jeeps. Winter, if you still have the cruise books---take a look in them at the rock crusher ops at Phu Loc--and there are some 8x10 photos in there of seabees topping/repairing the highway---maybe repairing mine damage. Keep up the good work Guns---you're doing great!!! wilborn

    Winter11
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 718
    (3/29/02 10:13:26 am)
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    JW... Kinky... nah... and you know... I'm not really surprised about the camparison of smells. After all a boiling head smells like pasta.