BRAVE RIFLE Company ’65/’66
My first recollection was on the way over on the General Leroy El Tinge, it seemed like everyone was topside banging on quarters or fifty cent pieces with a spoon to flatten out the edges, then boring out the center with bayonets to make rings.
That didn’t last long, when the powers to be got wind, the word came down anyone caught defacing govt. property would be written up. The next event was Subic Bay, in the Philippines.
It turned out to be not so special, as the Big Red One had ruined it for everyone that came after them. I guess they tore up the town, and all 4,000 of us would be confined or restricted to the base bar. As I remember we got all of two hours to pound as many beers as possible.
Then on to Cam Rahn Bay. It was a beautiful site after the long trip. We would stay in Cam Rahn for about 30 days to get acclimated and then on to Na Trang. C-rations , a trip to the beach, and a lot of humping are the first things that come to mind.
After three months in country, we were in Quinhon. The old man thought we needed a haircut so he brought 3 barbers from town an their chairs. Thirty-five cents got you a haircut and a shave.
I left out Ahn Khe where we set up a defensive perimeter for 1st Cav. Headquarters. Anyway that’s a story in itself. Mean-while in Quinhon on the morning of October 12th we were on an search and destroy. Our squad was providing flank security when we came under fire . Carl Bennett was wounded through the calf, broke the bone and he was in a lot of pain. We were all yelling for a medic, and Plt. Sgt Bobby Spaulding and a medic I didn’t know came running. Jim Batey and I ran 50 to 75 yds. to a small stream to cut some bamboo for stretcher poles. Not long after we got back the sniper cut loose again and wounded the medic Plt. Sgt. Spaulding in the face and myself. We were eventually medivaced to Quinhon field hospital. I was in the hospital for 16 days, then sent for a brief R&R at our first permanent base camp Phan Rang.
Rested a few days there then went on a listening post over night. Somehow contracted severe Bronchitis and by morning back at camp was sent to field Hospital where they admitted me to Na Trang International Field Hospital. While being treated for bronchitis, it was discovered I had hepatitis. I would remain in the hospital for a few weeks and then via the Philippines be sent Stateside to Great Lakes Naval Hospital for nearly five months to recover.
On my release from the hospital I received a three months early out and was discharged on 4/26/66. It pained me deeply to leave that way, never to see my buddies again. No goodbyes, and of course the guilt of leaving them behind. I wouldn’t understand that for years to come.
KIA’s while in country, Benny Coe, Jesus Mariano and Roger Hubbard.
I’m currently married to a wonderful lady, Bobbi, I have two children Jeff and Gina.
Five grandchildren. Jeff lives in Boise, Idaho and Gina in Redding, Calif.
My current address is P.O. Box 1034 Puyallup, Wa.98371
After a few years of wandering I became a commercial plumber and have been for over 30 years.
All E-Mail Welcome.