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J. Wilborn
Posts: 25
(2/8/01 3:38:42 pm)
Reply THE SMELL
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THE SMOKE SMELLED BAD--KINDA!

John Wilborn
Fri Aug 18 06:19:05
Recently I related this story to Bill B.--along with another
frightening yarn--Bill
thought this story was alright to share, but the other was
just downright
bad--the statue of limitations had never or would never
expire--I recently told
this story to Mike L.--Mike, you won't be shocked or
sickened again.

In April 1969 on Hill 327 South of DaNang RVN an event
occurred--probably
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 men vomited--most could and would not watch--those
impressionable
young men of mine was someone's brothers, and husbands, and
lovers--the
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--.

Wilborn sends
 
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