Erick W. Miller

We had a mission once to be security for an artillery raid. My company air assaulted to the top of abandoned fire Base Tennessee. We formed a perimeter and dug In. They flew out culverts to support sandbags but didn’t send sandbags. Plain old dirt doesn’t work In the rain. Oh well, at least we had a place to dodge the raindrops. Those bright shiny culverts sure made great targets when the sun was up, not a good place to hang out. Whatever were they thinking?

Once we’d secured the hill and sent out a few recon patrols was when they flew out the cannons. We left out OP’s like the book said, then we took a break while arty set their guns. We had one of those rare, sunny days that wasn’t over a million degrees. I happened to be looking out over this beautiful valley that led to the notorious A Shau. Right before my very eyes, a small, isolated hilltop rose suddenly into the air. The thing went up quite fast. I was impressed and puzzled at the same time. Next came the sound of several big explosions. Distant thunder to rival the skies. Finally the B-52’s could be dimly heard in the invisible part of the atmosphere. I sure was glad that they got the right hill. I heard that it used to be Fire Base Whip.

Erick W. Miller 17 Nov. 1997 Rewritten and revised 5 July 2002