Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stories from My Father

In one of those friend of a friend connections, I "met" a man through email who was attempting to find men who had helped his unit during the Vietnam War. This was his email to me.

I was a young 23 year old 1st LT stationed near the DMZ. I was in the Army but we were attached to the Marines, the 3rd Marines, 3rd Div. I was there in '67-68 and in many battles along Rt 9. We were constantly in contact with the Choppers and several times went to the aid when one crashed. We would secure the area until other Choppers came to pick it up.

I was with the Dusters and Quad 50's. The Duster looked like a small tank and the Quad's were on 2 1/2 ton trucks. After I was hit and flown out 25 Jan 68, my men continued to fight along Rt 9. Some of them would have been there until late '68. If you wouldn't mind, could you ask your Father if he knew of the Dusters and Quads. It may well be that he helped save some of my men along the way.

I forwarded it to my father to see if he recognized the name or the unit of my friend. Dad replied quite quickly.
Yes I remember the Dusters. I was at Quang Tri from August of 68 to September of 69. My squadron was VMO 6, our call sign was Seaworthy, we were the Huey guns.

I don't remember working with the Army until around January of 69. Sometime in April a Duster platoon started a big fight in the middle of the night just outside of the deserted town of Khe San. We launched as air support. When we got there the North Vietnamese were almost in their wire perimeter. None of the Army personnel were hurt at all. They captured one prisoner which we collected and returned to the ground Marines. I don't know how many Gooks were killed and wounded because the survivors collected the bodies and wounded, at least as many as they could. By daylight the NVA retreated back into the woods and elephant grass. I don't remember being shot at, the whole event was just a little skirmish to us. Flying in the night between the mountains to get there was a bigger deal than the little fight. The men on the ground firing point blank into their perimeter wire probably have a different point of view.

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