TDY to U-Dorne

Discussion in 'Vietnam Memories Forum' started by Admin, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. Admin

    Admin Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Feb 9, 2001
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    (9/30/02 9:31:09 pm)
    TDY to U-Dorne
    TDY to U-Dorne

    There were times , during my sojourn in the land of the zip, that some of us were ask to go on TDY to perform some sort of duty that no one else could do or wanted to do.

    These were usually just three of four days of time any from the normal duties. Sometimes a short trip to Da-Nang or maybe to Saigon.. these short tours were mostly a welcome respite from the time in camp or between missions which, sometimes… well… MOST times could be considered a real drudgery.

    One such time, Tom Rundles, Jack Tomey, Mike Tappan & yours truly were asked by our Division Colonel to find out where an enemy transmitter was; he knew that we had found the weather transmitter earlier and we were also the ones that located and silenced two major enemy transmitters shadowing Khe-San.

    No biggie,

    So thinks the four of us….

    Now… to set the stage a bit, Rundles & I are RTO’s & ditty-boppers (Morse users), the others were traffic analysts & ARDF people…good ones too!! And by this time, Rundles & I had a good amount of time doing Ground DF work also. So we pack up and get taken to the airport and from there are shuttled down to Ton-san-ute (Spelling?) for a briefing…We left on a Monday morning (I THINK it was a Monday… time runs together) and by the next morning, we are in the largest air base I have seen since Chicago….. one big monster!!

    After a short time to take us to our billets (OH MY GOD!!!!!! A REAL FRIKKIN” BED!!!!… OK.. we ARE dead now ain’t we?? NO Tom we are not… knock it off!!… but, I secretly said the same damn thing under my breath!!)

    So the briefing went as usual… they told us what they had….. what they wanted to have…… what they think they had, and exactly what they wanted us to give them.

    They told us that our Zoomies where coming out of Okinawa and U-Dorne Thailand in B-52’s and striking at Hai-phong and other places they would not tell us about (as if we didn’t know already!! Geezz…..but that’s another story)

    They had....................
    information that showed that a transmitter was letting the powers-that-be in Hai-phong that our B-52’s were on the way. And that this particular transmitter was Russian one (Therefore Rundles & I were needed- both of us knew Russian Air traffic and transmitters from ten months in Panama together while tracking Ch…..well… from other places… but we don’t need to go into that just now…. That is another story also)

    They wanted to have......
    THIS particular transmitter shut down…… yesterday…..if not sooner.. some sort of big thing was due to come down and they did NOT want it telegraphed!!! (Naaaahhhhh……. no S&*T Sherlock!!.. it was all we could do to keep from laughing!!!)

    They though they had.........
    the general location of the transmitter …But (and it was a very BIG BUT) after many missions to use “ArcLight” to eliminate it and many ground incursions into the area they believed it was in…. Turned up nothing…..

    Every mission out of U-dorne was telegraphed…. So every mission hit very little….and, therefore, an abject failure….every Chief Zoomie in the pacific theater was red-faced over this one..

    And here is the kicker…. The enemy using the transmitter KNEW WE KNEW they were doing it, and THEY KNEW that we could not find them…. so they seemed to show a certain disdain for us because we could never stop them…. Let along FIND them!!! They kept broadcasting.. even in broad daylight!!!!

    Now…. If you take a large map of indo-china (Southeast Asia as we call it) you can see that the Air Base of U-Dorne in almost in a direct line to Hai-phong and the surrounding area.

    So.. trips to and from there are almost straight shots… that time.. they told us that most raids with B-52’s , since they flew so high.. did not have to come from the sea-ward side of the harbor … they just flew to the target … released… and turned south to go to Okinawa or back to U-Dorne.

    They told us that the transmitter was suspected to be about fifty to seventy miles to the northeast of the base and right along the path of the B-52’s.

    “What makes you think so?” asked Rundles…

    “Well.. every Air Force and Navy DF cut taken shows that the transmitter is inside an area we have consistently plotted to that region… it is right on the border with Thailand and Laos… the Thai army has scoured that area for months and we have sent units into Laos to search also…. But neither of them every finds anything”

    This did not sound right!! If the Navy & the Air Force together couldn’t pin it down…. Well…. What is wrong with this picture.??

    “Colonel Sir….can we listen in one of these missions?”

    “Sure… one is leaving in about two hours… take a break and be back here at 18:30



    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 10/7/02 11:39:22 am

    V.I.P. Member
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    (10/1/02 7:40:52 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    We got back just in time from chow (a guy has to eat ya know… we are on an AIR BASE….REAL FOOD!!!!!) listen to the radio people start their check out sequence with the big planes… that were still many miles away and on the ground at U-Dorne. Everything was being monitored up here in Ton-San-ute just like the planes were right outside.. we listened to all these people “doin’ their thing” and I started to get the idea that preparing for a flight like this was WAY more complicated than the missions Rundles & I had gone out on…. MAY MORE complicated….

    And as this mission progressed, the radio dude here says (to no one in particular) “ first one is lifting off, second one powering up”

    And sure as the sun rises, a frequency that was being monitored at a receiver next to Rundles starts up… they were broadcasting…



    IT WAS IN THE CLEAR!!!!, they weren’t even trying to encode the transmission fer cripes sake!!!

    The room was alive with people yelling out co-ordinates, others making the cut plot, still others trying to radio to the Thai Army, our Marines and anyone else they though was close to that transmitter to “go get it”..

    And we stood in the middle like a couple of green colored lumps!!

    I have never seen such total and utter confusion, well, at least confusion that did not entail serious fire-fight or ARTY duel!!

    We picked up headsets and listened in to the transmission….. they were right… it was a Russian transmitter alright and it sounded like one the newer small portable ones that only the Russians had. Well.. up to this time at least. We had never heard one outside of the middle-eastern area before…. But it was definitely Russian.

    When the last bird departed U-Dorne, the transmission stopped just a suddenly as it had started. They had told the North that seven planes were coming and they had departed two minutes apart and … well… they told them all sorts of stuff, even the markings were transmitted….

    This was really unbelievable, because, when it was all quiet, the cuts that had been taken from here and U-Dorne and other places , AND two that were taken from the air in western VN, ALL showed the same area for the transmitter….. a triangle right on the Thai/Laosian border….just as they had said.

    But, Rundles and I had a real nagging doubt. Not one that you could put your finger on, but a doubt none the less.

    Tomey & Tappan were the teams real DF experts, and they had doubts too!!. Something in the way ALL of the cuts came back in almost the same area, every time.

    The transmitter signal never “Moved”.

    That is, all transmitters physically do not move, unless the RTO is packing and walking while transmitting, but atmospheric conditions in some parts of the world play havoc with the transmitters carrier waves.

    Like waves on an ocean are different then one on a small lake and then again on a large lake and so forth.

    Even in the desert, the waves can be different from one minute to the next during the day and positively clear and fixed at night.

    And… why were ALL the cuts & fixes always in the same area!!!

    We felt that something was really not quit right here.

    We got permission from the OIC to take the tapes and plots back to the billets to study for the night.

    Of course we had a couple of nice and large AP’s to escort us, just so we wouldn’t get lost! And back in our little “hotel room” we started going over the tapes and stuff…..

    After about two hours, we tried to convince the AP’s to let us go get some liquid refreshment.

    Nothing doing!!

    But they would go for pizza & Beer!..

    Good God it must be nice to be a zoomie!!! Good rooms, good food, good brew….good wo… oh wait… they didn’t have women either… oh well… three out of four ain’t too bad!!!

    The night wore on, but easier because of the Pizza & beer. And one of the AP’s produced some Jack Daniels and this little “jam session” shifted into high gear along about midnight!..


    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 10/7/02 11:40:37 am

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    (10/1/02 8:25:40 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    The night got longer and longer, and the four of us were spending a long time discussing all the possibilities. Anything and everything we knew was thrown into the discussion.

    Hell… we even got the AP’s talking about it, and two more AP’s that came to relieve them and the two after that! We had the four of us and six AP’s all arguing and shouting and eating and … did I mention the JD??


    Well THAT helped a lot!!!

    They all admitted that they did not really have a clue what the hell we were talking about, but as we explained each and every thought and how we believed it related to the problem, they started to contribute ideas to the discussion.

    By sun-up, we believed we had an answer.

    But proving it would be a real trick!!

    We did our morning SS&S, changed uniforms, and the morning shift of the AP’s drove us back to the block-house.

    When we explained what we thought was happening, several of the Officers started to berate us and the idea.

    “That’s not possible!!”, “That can’t be right, our equipment is calibrated correctly”, and other stuff like “you’re full of S*&t!!” “Oh what the hell do these ground troops know!!??” and so forth.

    Other than the “ground troops” statement, we held our peace..

    The OIC finally stepped into the fray…”Gentlemen!!!… we know these things… the equipment is calibrated, the people making the cuts are well trained and everyone… and I MEAN EVERYONE associated with this effort knows what they are doing……now…..(turning to me) what do you need and when?”

    “Well Sir… we need to be AT the airbase…at U-Dorne…. On the ground ….We believe that that is the only way to prove our theory and find them”

    “You leave in the morning, “ and that was that!!

    The nice AP’s took us back to the billets and we got a days rest out of this… because.. the whole presentation of the theory only took two hours….we thought that no one would buy it!!….

    The rest of the day, and that night were interesting in and of themselves… I will not go into much about it here as this story is not about the time at Ton-San-Ute.

    However, we got into two fistfights in the mess hall, (food fights really)

    Caused a uproar in the movie theater that night, (the boys were throwing popcorn at the screen… something that is ALWAYS done in the northern I Corp!!)

    Accused of rape by a house girl, (one hell of a ugly one too!! The Zoomies that hired her must be stupid or blind…or both!!)

    Stealing a motorcycle, (it was broken and Rundles was sitting on it making obscene noises!!)

    Were to be placed on charges by the Air Force for not saluting officers on post (they were dick’s anyway!)

    Disrespect to an officer for not calling him “Sir” , (we kept calling him “Mam”)

    Rundles was charged with indecent exposure (he mooned a QC guard)

    Tappan was cited for peeing in public (well… he DID do that one!)

    Tomey & myself were only cited for being drunk & obnoxious…. A very normal thing for me in those days…

    As I look back on it, it was a miracle that we were not charged with sabotage, and mining the local rivers and running a prostitution ring.

    But all of those would have seemed like a great ideas at the time….

    With all of that… we crashed for the night!…


    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 10/2/02 2:17:18 pm

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 470
    (10/2/02 1:10:40 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    Excellent read Mith .....

    Pizza? Beer? Motel Rooms? Air Conditioning? Jack Daniels?

    I just "knew" I joined the wrong outfit ...

    Six Out!

    "Its True ... We Are A Department Of The Navy ... The "MENS" Department"

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 310
    (10/2/02 2:34:43 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    Yeah... thats what I thought at the time also...

    AF zoomies are really civilians in a fancy suit...

    My younger brother was one... and he always said that I liked the bush too much for my own good..

    He may have been right... I still love the stink of the jungle....

    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 10/2/02 3:35:47 pm

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    (10/4/02 6:12:12 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne

    Morning comes…. And pretty damn early in that part of the world me bucko!!!!

    We do our SS&S ritual and are driven out to a C130 that is to be our ride to U-Dorne.

    We get seats close to the front…. All of us have had experiences with 130’s that had no seats (in cargo mode) and all of us had seen the holes that always seemed to appear at the back end of the plane all the time!!!.

    However, even so, we put our helmets on the seats and sat on them….

    As other started coming onto the plane… some of them started to sit by us, but then they moved farther away..

    I guess they didn’t like our looks or something….

    Of course, maybe it was because we were busy tapping the magazine on our helmets and pushing it into our rifles, zipping up our flag jackets and so forth!!

    Seems we were the only ones armed and in the army on that ride!! Oh well… the crew didn’t seem to mind.

    The flight there was very uneventful… geeez we even slept!! Not something we have ever done on a 130 before….

    When we landed, along about five in the evening, we were met by a AF Capt. and about five AP’s, who then, after a quick introduction, took us to a briefing room. We had no idea where the hell we were, not having been here before. We could have still been in VN for the sights and sounds and smell of the place. Except the local workers were definitely NOT Vietnamese… they were way too tall for that.

    The AP’s immediately took our rucks and tried to take our rifles from us… that did not go over well….but the Staff-Sgt assured us that since we were on a secured part of the post and that THIS post was not in VN, there would be no reason for them… Rundles grunted, Tomey just stared at the guy… we compromised… the rifles would stay on the plane with the crew, since they were to take us back when this was over. It was sort of an R&R for them too since they had not been out of VN for months. The pilot assured us that they would take good care of them and have them locked in the cabin.

    We relented…. Seemed like an OK idea…..

    While we were being driven to the briefing area, this Capt. Kept talking and talking and talking… but we were not sure that he really SAID anything!.

    Anyway, the gist of his briefing was that they had this “in hand” (His words) and there was “no reason for this team to be here, …. So…. Go eat at the mess hall and then you will be shown to your billets. Tomorrow, you can take your flight back to VN and be there by dinnertime.

    As soon as he quit talking, three AP’s stepped forward and started to lead us out the door…

    Just then… the four of us hit the ground!!!! All at once… there was a deafening roar and the building shook!!

    “INCOMING!!” yells Rundles & Tappan at the same time

    I unconsciously reach for the rifle that is not there anymore!!… I am under a desk and the others are scattered about in the room !!



    And… the AP’s are……….laughing!!!!

    OH GOOD GOD!!!… it was the first of the flight of B-52’s going out!! Right over the building!!!

    As I got up, I commented to the AP’s that they obviously have NOT been anywhere near a war at all and stated, in effect, that they were obviously virgins….in more ways than one… and I bet him that he has never fired a rifle either!!

    THAT… shut them up……the staff-sgt apologized….

    But the Capt….. well… he was being a dick!! I will not go into it, but he just told them to take us to chow and then to the billets …

    So we went to eat… damn good food, excellent mess hall, clean, with CHAIRS & TABLES even, we had roast beef, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, corn, rolls (REAL ROLLS!), there was ham, scalloped potatoes, greens beans, and all sorts of pie, cinnamon rolls… and food coming out the wazzooo!!!

    Oh Jesus above! Touch us with you finger and turn us into Zoomies, cause they live right!!!

    Even Rundles and Tomey were impressed…. You know how I knew that???? Because they did not even try to start a food fight!!!! They had their faces buried in their plates the entire meal!!

    This good was even better than the one we had yesterday at Ton-San-ute…..Two good meals in two days!! I had the feeling that something was going to go wrong at any minute!!

    After the meal, the AP’s drove us to some of the best looking billets I had even seen (up to then at least) MAN!, large brick buildings that had real glass in the windows and they were three stories high!!!! Rundles remarked that they didn’t had pockmarks and bullet holes in them!! And there were no sandbagged bunkers on the roof! The rooms were four man rooms…. The beds……and yes. they were REAL beds… not the narrow racks the Army has nor the wider racks that some Air Bases have… these suckers were HUGE!! And SOFT!!….and….

    I went right to sleep!!

    Only to be woke up a short time later.

    It seems that I have a phone call…. Gee… now I wonder who THAT could be!!… As I take the phone, I notice that the AP’s are still with us…. They are in the room across from us.. anyway..

    “Hello, Sgt Long speaking”

    It was our Division commander!!.. he wanted to know what progress we had made….



    I considered lying to him…….

    But I didn’t…

    “Well Sir… we have had dinner and been shown to some rooms, but we haven’t done anything else and will, most likely, be on the flight out tomorrow morning”…

    “Excuse me Sgt. …. Would you say that again?”…. so I did, explaining the situation and the Capt.’s comments during the briefing…..

    I then notice that the handset is melting in me widdle hand!!!!

    And then the line goes dead…

    Rundles says…”what was that all about?”

    “I think…. Now, I only THINK, mind you, that a certain Capt. Is being targeted!!!!”

    I guess that I was right, because it wasn’t ten minutes that the Capt appeared on our door-step….



    Out of breath

    And generally missing several chunks out of his ass!!!

    He did not talk to me, or us, he just turned to the Staff-sgt and said “ Sgt, please drive this team over to the block-house at 8PM and then show them into the blue briefing room” and then he just turned and left.

    8 PM…. Air Force talk for 20 hundred hours…… or Marine talk for “the little hand is on the 8 and the big hand is on the 12” and Navy talk for…. Oh hell….who cares how the navy tells time !! and “the blue briefing room”…. What is that? Code for the room with the velvet picture of Elvis on the wall? Well… if it is… there better be a bar in it!



    Esse Quam Videri

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 312
    (10/4/02 10:14:47 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne

    About 7:45 (I think I like non-military time), we were driven back to the area that we first were briefed at. But next to it was a smaller building or block-house. When we went into it, we could see that it was not “just” a block-house, and after winding left and right down several corridors we went into a room that was, indeed, “Blue”.

    The walls were covered in some sort of blue colored baffling or sound deadening stuff. Hell… you couldn’t ever hear what someone was saying on the other side of the room! THIS, was a dead serious briefing room.

    And I was right, the only thing missing was a velvet picture of Elvis on the wall. And NO BAR, …..


    Well…. The Capt. was talking, and he STILL wasn’t saying anything that we could use in this situation.

    Rundles asked…”Sir, can’t we just review the tapes?, there may be something on them we can use”

    So… as we listened to the tapes, all the same things we heard when we were in VN can back to us.

    “Sir, is there any films shot or taken of the flights as they leave and return for documentation purpose?”

    “Yes… but there is nothing on them that could be of help here?” he sort of snapped….”But I will have them brought in while you review the rest of the flight missions”

    And with that he left the room.

    Now we were getting somewhere.

    What the team had hoped to find was something unusual about the flights, or rather, something in the vicinity of the flights.

    Security was such that we knew that no one could see the flights leave and return unless they were either ON the base or somewhere the flights flew directly over them. We had been told that that had been thought of and that the AP teams had found nothing unusual at all, anywhere on the base. And that the flight paths were all over empty ground that is covered by the Thai army and AF security personnel. This was out to about ten miles. Everything and everyone that was under the flight path had been removed; and regularly patrolled.

    The film they brought in, and ran, showed the flights from the ground, front angle left angle and every other angle that could be taken. They even had arial shots of the flights as they left.

    The film showed how the base is sealed about an hour before the flights take off. The gates are all rolled shut and locked down. These gates were very large chain-link affairs on rollers. And they were always locked with chains and bars during these missions. No one could come in or out during the last hour before they left on a mission.

    So as the film ran, I turned to the guys and said something to the effect of……

    ”what does that overhead shot of the whole base look like to you guys?”

    The images showed a rather large rectangle of steel encircling the base. One long continuous piece of chain-link steel .

    The other guys all perked up and looked again.,.”Sir… can we stop the film at the overhead shot?”

    So the Capt gets the projector guy to reset the film to the overhead shot. This takes about five minutes and we are talking amongst ourselves about what we THINK we just saw on the film. The film is reset and now we are all standing almost on top of the screen!!

    “Well I’ll be damned” says Tomey “a ROMBIC!!”

    “F&*KIN’ A………………a real ROMBIC………..Antenna!!!

    A note here about this…... A ROMBIC antenna is one that has been set up to point a long-line antenna directly at a given point on the magnetic compass… a line for EVERY one degree in that compass. There are many of these type antennas set up all over the world. WE did that, the U.S. that is, because during WWII we needed to listen in on all sorts of countries and we couldn’t be on the ground there to do it….so…. a ROMBIC antenna does the trick.

    Now…. The air base is a rectangle, not a circle. So it COULDN’T be a true ROMBIC … however….. the fence IS the antenna!! ONE BIG FRIKKIN SIGNAL GENERATOR, and all it would take is one small Russian transmitter to do it!!!

    All of us agreed that that had to be the answer…..


    Where are they??..

    The AP’s patrol this fence from the inside AND the outside while there is a mission going on…. Four patrols inside and four patrols outside. Each pair drives along at a pace that stays even with the team on the outside of the fence….this means that a patrol passes a given point along their route every three minutes (or so).

    How come no one ever sees them??

    “Sir… we have to look at this fence”

    “Fine, Staff-Sgt…. Take them were they what to go”

    The Staff-Sgt has this silly grin on his face… I think he “gets it”

    When we get outside, Rundles make the comment “Hot damn… look at the posts!!”

    Each and every post that made up the fence had a nice round ball at the top. Of course the fence is topped but barbed wire but the “crown” of the post … was always a ball.

    “There is a mission that will be going out in two hours….” Says the Staff-Sgt.

    “So… where does it get dark here” I ask….

    “Two hours” comes the answer

    “Well… that will do us no good if we can’t see anything”..

    He starts laughing…..”the base is lit up like Christmas tree at night… this isn’t a combat zone… every light in the world in on at night… this place is brighter than downtown New York City!!”

    “Then… we will be riding with you?”


    Now… all we had to do was to wait for the lock-down sequence.



    Esse Quam Videri

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 317
    (10/5/02 8:27:20 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne

    Rundle and I went with the Staff-Sgt. and the others with team two. We were to travel on the outside road and the others one the inside.

    “I noticed that we have company tonight eh Staff-Sgt.??”

    “YUP… decided that if anything comes up… we will be prepared. I have twenty more AP’s waiting at the main grate for another back-up team”

    I knew he was understating the situation. Twenty at the main gate alright…. And an extra twenty in each deuce and a half teamed up and following each of the other normal patrol jeeps. And every one of them packing heavy!!!

    The lock-down sequence started and the gates all swung shut at the same time. The locks where in place; and each of the gates personnel reported their status. Now the inner & outer fences were secure.

    As we started their normal, slow drive around the base, I asked “ do you guys speed around or do you just take your time?”

    “well… normal procedure calls for at least two times around the base as the sequence starts and two more time when it begins to shut down. Oh.. average speed is about five to ten MPH and no more”.

    And his monitor radio starts squawking, “they have begun transmitting” he shouts over the engine noise

    “By the way… what the hell are we looking for anyway??”…..

    “Anything that could be an antenna… especially a big one… we think that the fence is the antenna”

    “what?… jeez guys that can’t be right?… can it ??”

    “As you say…YUP… if they are using the fence as an antenna… then ALL of the DF cuts are nothing more than reflections of the real signals… that is…. The fence will transmit the signal and all the DF cuts will NOT be able to get it right… because it is a BIG antenna!!”… it is a trick of the atmosphere… a “reflection” …. Normally when we have “reflections” it will move, because the transmitter is moving…or because it is a small antenna and the radio waves are reflected or refracted off of something. Like the ionosphere.. that was what was happening in Panama a while back.. but we won’t talk of that just now….

    “This transmitter and antenna are fixed.. and the antenna is BIG so the reflection is always in the same place.”

    Our little jaunt was slow… and the Staff-Sgt. was right… this base was lit up ! it was almost daylight out here!

    “They have stopped transmitting!” said the radioman…

    “And the flight has not completely taken off!” said the Staff-Sgt.… so he called a halt…

    “That is the first time they have done that… and speaking into his radio “everyone keep a close eye out!!”

    Everyone was looking around and I am sure most of them didn’t have a clue as to what was going on, but the Staff-Sgt. and his team leaders were very good.

    “OK .. they are transmitting again…..”

    Soon.. the last plane was off the ground and then gone…

    The transmission stopped and all became quiet..

    “Well… we didn’t get him….and we might as well start back. And again speaking into this radio…”normal patrol continue.. all others report to the assembly area”.. he threw the handset onto the seat and told the diver to go …

    just then…. Tomey was on the radio.. “Hey guys… did you see that??”

    “What? What did you see…??”



    Esse Quam Videri

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 1081
    (10/6/02 12:17:09 am)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    Mith....this is great! Waiting impatiently for the next episode.


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    Posts: 318
    (10/6/02 10:15:52 am)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    “I thought that I saw that post move!”

    “what post?, which one?”

    “we are backing up to it right now”

    Our driver swings the jeep around and drives back to where the team Tomey is with….

    The Staff-Sgt. Radios the deuce drivers to prepare to rally on him..

    When we stop … we are right across from Tomey ….we see nothing unusual….

    He yells out… “I swear to God I thought I saw THAT POST move” pointing to it…..

    “Stay here” says the Staff-Sgt. And he gets out and orders several others to lock and load, then points to two more to follow him. They spread out like a combat team….

    For ground-bound Zoomies… they are following initial contact protocol pretty good…

    I can see them all looking around at the posts, the ground, and there is a little ditch right behind the post. But the whole fence looks all right, there are no holes in it, it is not bent like someone was going under or over it. Two of the guys are trying to see if the post moves at all…. It does not…

    Our AF RTO dude says to me “you have a message”, he hands it to me and I read what I knew it was going to be

    “Hey guys.. wanna here a big surprise? The fix reads on the Thai/Laosian border”….

    The RTO shouts out to the Staff-Sgt. “you have a message from the Capt.”

    So the Staff-Sgt. Walks back to the vehicle and reads the message.

    “Yeah right” he says with some disgust in his voice. “Our Capt …(insert heavy pregnant pause).. ”thinks this is all a waste of time and has ordered us back in”…”you guys are to go home”…

    So now the whole group mounts up and proceeds back to the rally point. When we get there the staff-Sgt. informs us that the Capt. has ordered that the normal patrols continue and everyone else is to stand-down and return to normal duties. We are to be debriefed, fed, and shipped home “Tonight if not sooner”.

    Well.. none of us will ever argue with the “fed” part……

    At the debriefing, we are informed that… well…hell.. we knew what he was going to say.. “this mission is over”. “the fix must be right”, “waste of time”, so one and so forth. You can pretty much insert anything else you want here.

    A couple of the AP’s drove us to the dining hall (we were beginning to show signs of becoming Zoomies!!!,,

    “Dining Hall” not mess hall,

    “Dormitories” not billets,

    “food” not “C’s",

    “mess stewards” not cooks and so on.

    Oh well…. All things end….

    After we ate… and back at our rooms, no one said anything…..we all just crashed out …. But.. no one could sleep…that is not like us… we are a group of guys that if we have five minutes of “non-metal storm” time.. we crash… and if we have twenty minutes… we can get a weeks sleep in….

    In today’s terms… “We were bummed out”…. Royally!!” and in terms of the time we settled into a blue funk.


    The staff-Sgt. comes in… “Well guys…. Your flight is scheduled for a 7 AM flight out of here, so someone will come and get you about 6:30AM”….

    “OK’, “yeah, OK” “thanks” are about all we can get out.

    The night passes fitfully. None of us can sleep very well.

    Along about midnight I get a chair and pull it up to the window, so I can look out at the base. Yeah, this is one BIG ass base.

    Rundles comes over and pull up another chair.

    “DO you think that we were on the right track?” he asks.

    “yeah, I do… I can’t help but think that the Capt. doesn’t want us to find anything, he may want the “glory” for himself”

    And a small voice, coming from the AP room across the hall says “ He couldn’t find his ass with a search party”

    Laughter and guffaws follow…. The dark is split by the humor of the statement… his own men think he is a ,

    in their words,

    “a dickless, social-climbing-butt-leach”..

    And more laughter….

    “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE” bellows someone from down the hall…..

    “Ah shut the F^&K up, we are having a private conversation here!!”

    I think we were looking for a fight…..

    I hear the heavy-footed, STOMP STOMP STOMP as this person come up the hall and into the light, which the AP’s across the hall had just switched on..


    We are all up now… ready…

    And then the bellower comes into sight…. “ah shit Staff-Sgt., what are you trying to do .. start a fight??”

    “Well… I thought that you guys might want a little something before you left… you nearly ate us out of house-and-home last night…so I brought Pizza..and beer!”

    “BEER”… we where on it like flies on a ‘’’’well… use your imagination here….

    “and you guys did a great job too” speaking to the AP’s ….”so come and join in!”..

    And “Lo… it came to pass…. The Lord God said….. Let there be a party, and all the fish arose from the sea”.

    By morning… the entire billet…er…. Excuse me… dormitory.. was in on the party…

    Hell…. Even the AP’s had to call the AP’s on us….and THAT was some trick too!!

    But that might have been because Tappan & Tomey ordered up twenty Thai prostitutes and the AP’s didn’t want them on the base…

    At all…

    Like they were a security risk or something….

    Go figure!!…

    “Well guys… your ride is here. And we have a mission about an hour after you leave… so… it is good-bye for now at least” and don’t worry about cleaning up the mess…. We will just have the building burnt down… it might be easier on the clean-up crew…”

    “And NO… you can’t take the women with you”

    He was right…. We did make quit a mess last night…. I only hope that they don’t find any bodies in the debris before we get back to VN.. and he wouldn’t let Tomey & Tappan get one of the girls over the fence and into a rucksack before we left…

    What a spoil-sport!!

    A hour goes by and we are on the flight back to VN…. Home…. Loosely used term I know… but… home is where the bunker is….

    All of us are sleeping as best you can on a bucking bronco with wings…..

    After two hours…. The flight crew-chief comes down and hands me a note.. ”Just came over the radio for you” he shouts.

    The note reads…

    “Sent the dogs in between the fences during the 8AM mission… of my boys was standing next to the post you guys id’d… a small air hole next to the post… we dropped CS grenade down it…………eight VN sappers in a hole under that post… the top of the post was attached to a twenty foot antenna that was raised and lowered from INSIDE the post…. Two brand new Russian portable transmitters, several PRC-10’s and all other equipment has been secured……you will be briefed upon landing….. BTW.. the Capt. reported in sick today….” Staff-Sgt. End….

    I passed to note to Rundles who read it and passed it on…. By the time we landed… we were ecstatic!… floating!

    We had been right….

    Upon landing… we were whisked into the debriefing area…. All we were told is what we already knew…

    AND… the last two missions over the north caught them SO flat-footed!…. Evidently the damage was really serious!! We were told that, not only Hai-phong hit pretty hard, that Hanoi got hit hard too, with nary a missile coming up at all since they were unprepared for the attack.

    We were all given five days off as a reward of sorts….

    “Yeah… five days…. In VN… Oh gee… were to go to have a restful time?”….says I….

    “I don’t think you get it… five days in Thailand, Malaysia or VN if you wish…”

    All this guy could see of us was four fading shadows of our previous forms as we sprinted for the 130… the same one we came in and the same one that was just going back !!

    “Hey Tomey… you still got that phone number for the prostitutes??”

    “F*&^KIN’ A I do!!!”

    But THAT my friends…. Is another story…..


    Esse Quam Videri

    Edited by: Mithrandir at: 10/7/02 11:45:32 am

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 1084
    (10/6/02 6:00:05 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    Mith.....More, More, More!!

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 320
    (10/6/02 6:22:48 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    Damn Hope6970...

    I haven't had a woman tell me that for years!!!! LOL


    to all of you out there in the dark....

    Esse Quam Videri

    *VMBB Staff*
    Posts: 1086
    (10/7/02 9:37:07 pm)
    Re: TDY to U-Dorne
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- least no one on here can say "you didn't perform", lol

    Good story, imagine the many readers you held in suspense that kept coming by to read. - Hope