This thread contains more memories on C-Rations and sprinkling of other topics brought on by these memories, ie; resupply, M-16’s, AR-15’s, well you get the picture.
If you would like to add your comments to this thread please email them to David J.
Email’s may be out of order as they were received due to poor record keeping on my part, in fact I didn’t keep this tread at all and had to rely on Eli to save my butt once more, Thanks Eli.
Hey fellers I don’t know about you but if we still ate some of those C-rats today we might still be in great shape. I think I lived off of Beans & Meatballs for six or seven months until a brother showed me how to prepare Ham & MF. Drain the grease off the top add a can of carroway cheese heat to boiling and a little Louisiana hot sauce A meal fit for a King.
Cobra 1st 327 66 67
Thirsty in Nam? Come on? All those sweet jungle streams. Ah yes, uh huh?
Then there were those times… how many remember the connection to the Kool Aid Company? Somebody in A Company, maybe it was a platoon, had praised them, and the Kool Aid company responded by sending us – (I think it was the whole battalion) literally cases of suger free Kool Aid. The packets were passed out and subsequently easily carried. I remember one time, like with Tuck below, where we were getting so dry we filled our canteens with rice paddy water – and we all know what that’s fertilized with. To offset the feces flavor I used strawberry Kool Aid. Still I drank sparingly, and after a few hours of humping as I looked into my canteen for a depth check I observed a large leech swimming in the olive green and red interior. What did I do? I tried to get rid of the leech by pouring the Kool Aid into another canteen. That f-er wasn’t going to deter my liquid supply. We can talk about thirst, but it is difficult to fully appreciate this particular level of thirst until you are in the high sweltering direct sun heat, fully loaded and forced into a long, dry, humping of hills. I too sweated off pounds. I remember my fatigues at nights, stiff, cold and salt starched from sweat. We bitched because we were stretching ourselves beyond the usual call of ordinary endurance.
This collective memory thing, it is a reflection of a group unity, and it serves to keep some of those alive and talked about. I have greatly appreciated the precision provided, the times and dates and names that swirl within the myriad of heads willing to co-align their minds and experiences for a collective refresher course when my mind has apparently been muddled with malaria and time.
I now have new memories to forget. Was it Bill Hall that was wounded on Firebase Birmingham? And I need to retrieve that date again, I was off, and surprised by how much I was off.
It is painful as well. At the heart of it we were lacking the necessary, sweet, unencumbered time to process the things that were thrown at us, (like our friend’s traumatic and horrible deaths) and a lot of us suppressed the pain of the entire experience with the anesthetic of choice the memories are thus more than a bit sketchy. It seems as we’ve aged we’ve been able to become a little more comfortable with our roles and definitions, with the natural “survivor’s guilt”, or the other stuff of the greater cultural dump that we’ve had to endure. At this stage we seem to have the capability of drawing on a strength of larger definition and thus are capable of retrieving some of those experiences and memories and accessing some of the depths. Maybe it is just the usual aged focus on the past when the short term memory takes a walk.
There is that cadre of men, those who we know we will never get a chance to see again in this lifetime. It wasn’t a mere football game. It was playing for keeps. That adds a boulder sized rock to our backpacks. The void of their missing voices should be carried and felt by us as brothers.
While recently in California I got to visit Rion and he had the great consideration to contact and invite Jeppeson as well. It has been 38 or so years. (67/68 tour of Gilligan’s Isle). Jeppeson is a middle aged comfortable and like me, packing an extra middle, for middle aged, this from some good food and good care. This weight is easier and more fun to pack than the M-60 and ammo he used to hump. Jeppeson, post 67/68 had gone from enlisted man to officer, became a colonel, did a second tour. He tells us that evening that he was with the Golden Knights. He mentioned the number of jumps he had made and it was damned close to a thousand. His wife, Marsha is a military wife and a pistol of a lady, and has parachuted as well, no shortage of guts, and nerve that one and her dry sadonic wit had us falling out of our chairs laughing.
Jeppeson, Rion and I have all had children. We’ve had long, stable relationships, a lot of love. Jeeps two daughters have graduated from college, and their family’s love for their father/hero positively glows. “Jeep” is currently working on his second career for some corporation.
For those who don’t know, Jeppeson, was British, still has the accent.
We share some remarkable common memories. The courier day (the day I was nearly offed) or another day when we were in the larger rear area, was it Da Nang? where we were challenged by being ordered to climb rope/cable ladders to hovering Chinooks to see if there may be a better injection extraction method than cutting LZ’s. So in the rear area as practice we used the greater safety to test the idea. Jeppeson tells me that he had actually been in the first group, and had thus made the climb into the hovering chinook, these things seeming like something like 60 feet in the air. This was a climb on aluminum treads, with steel cable rope, this with a full rucksack, and in Jeep’s case, with a machine gun. You have to appreciate the way those ladders swayed in the wind and bounced around with the air turbulance. Jeep said it was the most difficult thing he had ever done in his life, and I believe him. I was barely beginning my ascent when one of the guys above me, who (was deeply fatigued) as he neared the chinook seemed to forget to keep one hand gripping, and thus found two hands flailing the empty air, trying to revisit the split second before where he had a grip on the rung. He toppled backwards falling like a dead weight past those on the ladder below, those that had the vantage point of looking up and seeing him coming down. That would be a dead weight with a protruding rifle and a full rucksack. Those below him tightened their grips as to not to create a bowling scenario. After he landed, those the bottom scrambled down and off, those near the top, went up.
The kid was unconscious and needed a medevac and the brass hastily called off the experiment. It was memorable enough that I haven’t forgotten it. But I had forgotten that “Jeep” was there, and it was only with discussion that we realized we shared a common memory of that curious exercise. It is nice to know that it wasn’t all some foggy illusion.
Jeep remembers that the pilots had instructed him that if danger presents itself, “to hang on, we will be out of there with you still clinging to the ladder”.
Of course as I watched the cumbersome swaying Chinooks, saw the delay with the climb, I saw large sedentary and dangerous targets. (I was glad we returned to Huey’s and cutting the occasional LZ).
Rion is lean and fit, probably not mean and lean anymore because it is no longer necessary. He had scheduled some mountain climbs 4 peaks in four days. He stays active. Looks Airborne all the way. What I found interesting was I had long heard Rion tell how impressed he was with the Tiger Force, how for three days straight the guys who woke up to pull point that day had been killed. On the fourth day, I think it was Sgt. Trout that asked for volunteers to pull point and every man in the unit indicated their willingness. Rion as a medic looking at this group expressed how impressed he was.
What I didn’t know when he had related the story previously, what I didn’t know until this visit, was that two of those guys, the previous point men were guys I knew. They were Runyon, and Davis. I had become good friends with Runyon in A company. I knew he had been killed but I didn’t know the details, and now, here was the medic that had last seen to his final evacuation.
I recall a time when Runyon had recently been released from the hospital, having been shot in the leg when serving with A company. We were temporarily back together rubbing shoulders while in transit to our units, by pulling guard together with the mortar platoon. I had been in the Tiger Force for a while and he was on his way back to A Company.
That night he had asked me how I liked the Tiger Force in comparison to A Company. The position we occupied was reasonably secure. We were on the hill of a firebase that had good bunkers and a clear perimeter. There were a lot of people. It was well dug in. In our whispered conversation I remember telling him that for me, the Tiger Force was a step up. Yes it was more risky, but the Tiger Force members were really good. Due to their small numbers there was an extra edge of seriousness. They were consistently more professional, much quieter, but these were small and vulnerable teams. It was only a couple of years ago that I read a bit more about the Tiger Force’s history in the book “Special Men” by Dennis Foley. I learned then about how the Tiger Force had been started by Col. Hackworth.
At the time they had the “crazies” reputation as “the suicide squad” and Runyon had expressed his awareness of that. When I later heard that he had joined the Tigers I thought it may have been because of me. I didn’t know he was interviewing.
Davis was just a character and a kid. Funny little guy. He’d freaked us all out when was fairly new to the field and one day he tripped on some root or something and had his rifle on full automatic and with the jolt inadvertantly sqeezed the trigger, and sprayed the general area in front of him with a loud short burst. We can say how there was this and that criteria to join the Tiger Force, but often when the ranks shrank, they weren’t quite as selective as was purported and if you were able to survive there was very quick OJT. (on the job–) Davis was a bit gung ho in spirit, wanting to prove himself, wanting and volunteering for point several times but we all saw him as a way a bit green. It was after a month or so, he was getting the hang of it, and we razzed him that we’d put him on point for the safety and comfort of the guys who didn’t want him behind them. A screw up like that full automatic thing was pretty glaring and we knew it. In this case it was only a raw luck that he it hadn’t taken someone out with the accidental slip. Of course, the chastise, the, “you can keep your finger on the safety if you want, but please leave the safety on when you’re not pulling point. (Were we really that polite? Use your imagination)
As an aside, I was surprised Rion didn’t remember about bending over the grenade’s cotter pins. The humbugs that resulted from the occasional guy who slipped through the cracks, the famous one being Max Clelland, who bent over to pick up a dropped grenade, there were those in our ranks, like Whitey, the Captain’s RTO when I was with A Company, who didn’t survive, but in the case with Max Clelland, that grenade blew him all the way home, and left him in pieces. And there were the “humbugs” of the guys who accidentally shot their own men. If it can happen hunting it can happen anywhere, but it can happen under the fatigue and stesses of combat a whole lot easier.
Still, hmm. Davis was from northern California. Had a mole on his face.
I mention these guys like Davis and Runyon because they deserve to be mentioned. They are not getting the publicity of Casey Sheehan. I am one of the few that gives them a place of remembrance and somebody needs to carry them along. Rion is another. “Jeep” another.
We sat at the expensive table in the very nice Northern California house. Rion is an excellent cook, an intense gardener with a beautiful yard, and he had labored intensely to make the meal an amazing contrast to our former dinners with heat tabs and c’s. We all also have these really great ladies as companions now, and there was much talk and laughter, talk about our long marriages, our comfortability, our children. Our lives.
Somewhere, in the conversation, in the laughter, while swallowing a bite, there came a thought, it surfaced like a buoy, floating up of it’s own accord, nearly insuppressible. It is one of those things that I’ve probably gotten used to, the rebellion of one’s own mind, a thing that causes one to speak when their mind is not longer at peace with itself, the kind of thought that wafts from seeming nowhere, much like a plane commandeered by terrorists directed into a World Trade Center on a clear and otherwise sunny and peaceful day.
The hit comes out of the blue. Maybe it merely needed the neccessity of being back with this group, or maybe it was a kind of “group memory”, a collective consciousness thing.
This particular thought, however powerful, struck me then, as a kind of truth. It was the depth of the truth of what the three of us had been through.
Accompanying it was the horribleness of the situation where it was “kill” or “be killed”. None of us in this room wanted either of those options to explore. There were attendent elements of horror with our positions. Maybe it just more profound because it stood in such sharp contrast to the wine, the dinner, the female companionship and the crystal clear, very clean and good, iced water.
As we sat there, it was the fulfillment of a very ancient and hoped for pleasure of reunification. A barely dared hoped for idea. Then here we were surrounded by novelty that far exceeded the boundaries of our youthful imaginations. Somebody had to sit at this table. Somebody had to laugh and we took that job seriously as well.
It seemed so far away, and it was far away, and here we were in that hoped for “world” that we had barely dared to envision for the painful
distance that had to be lapsed to achieve it.
DAN THANKS FOR SHARING…
I’M GOING TO READ IT AGAIN, WE HAVE ALL BEEN DOWN A VERY LONG ROAD. IN A
WAY ALL TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH IT WAS DIFFERENT TIMES AND TACTICS… I
MARVEL AT THE FACT I CAN TALK TO GUYS THAT WERE IN KOREA AND WWII AND
THE THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES ARE VERY SIMILAR….
THIS WILL CHEER YOU UP!!!
HOORAY FOR GOOFY GRAPE, INJUN ORANGE, ROOT TOOTIN RASPBERRY,,, AHH YES
THE COOL AID,,,,BUT IT DIDN’T MIX WITH THAT JAPANESE SUNTORY 45
WHISKEY…THAT STUFF WAS SO BAD WE WOULD BE IN OUR LITTLE ONE OR TWO
MAN PUP TENTS WITH A PONCHO IN THE CENTER WHILE IN THE REAR PLAYING
POKER,SOMEONE WOULD KNOCK THE CANDLE OVER , SO WE’D POUR THE SUNTORY 45
ON THE SAND AND THROW A MATCH, IT WOULD ACT LIKE GASOLINE!!! AND WE’D
FIND THE CANDLE…IN THE BONDS
Now if somehow we can get Pat to quit yelling at us all the time………….. PAT, PLEASE TAKE YOUR CAP LOCK OFF!
Now this brings back memories!
I’ll never forget sitting by the small creek that ran past the Bn area, in about 90 degree heat, mixing Beefeater Gin with creek water, Goofy Grape and Rooten Tooten Raspberry in a canteen cup, and drinking it like it was iced tea.
At least I remember the first part of it. The next thing I knew, it was the following morning, it had rained overnight, and I was laying face down with my head hanging over a big hole in the ground with about two feet of water in it. It’s a wonder I didn’t fall in and drown.
But I ain’t like that anymore. As Raider Rick is fond of saying “I’m getting better.”
This whole string has sure brought back memories. Lots of different perspectives and memories. It was slightly different from week to week and day to day. The WX playing a key factor on when and IF we got resupply. It was always a bright day though regardless of it being 4, 5 or 6 days between resupply.
I “seem” to remember doing a three day and four day rotation on resupply for the guys in B-1/327. Of course it depended on whether they were humping and stationary. Also depended on whether the helicopters were flying on any given resupply day.
Somewhere out there is a duffle bag with my name and serial number on it. In it was the Purple Heart that had been presented to me by Colonel Morse in the field hospital. Who knows where that stuff goes? When I went to get that duffle bag, (that was the storehouse of all of my earthly possessions at the time), the Company Clerk looked up at me startled, he asked me to repeat my name several times. Don’t know how it worked for others but the pile of duffle bags in the rear was our small closet of stuff that we didn’t take to the field.
The clerk told me that he had been told I was killed. Dead. KIA. He had sent my duffle bag to the states.
Now this was the second time someone had indicated that they had heard I had been KIA. The other was several months before, with Marshall, the young Hawaiin friend that I had encountered in Phan Rang. We had served with the “Five Oh Deuce” together in Fort Campbell Kentucky, and he told me that First Sergeant Collins had announced my death to the battalion. So he mourned the loss of me, thought I was cooked.
An interesting aside is that a couple years ago, via another 502nd buddy named Walsh, (Boston)
I told the story, and Walsh said, “Did you know Marshall died?”.
So I checked the virtual wall, and there was Marshall’s name. He had died shortly after our our reacqaintance in Phan Rang. He had died in combat. He was still with the “Five 0 Deuce” when I saw him, the whole company had come over from Ft. Campbell in mass. – Go Figure.
So like I say, in this case the HHC 1/327th Company Clerk said that he had sent my dufflebag to the rear and off with an accompanying report that I was KIA and he had no idea where it went.
Now for me, to the best of my knowledge I was not KIA. Sometimes I suspect I may been. It is possible that another entity, some alternate multi-dimensional self was killed and this current thing sitting here typing this is spiritual representation, another off model, representing the strength of will with a refusal to admit it and thus carry on. I am merely a huge dimensional alternate shift thrown into the gears of another dimension, an alternate reality, out of synch. In this world I have the opportunity to explore the fantasy of what it would have been like had I lived. I like this idea, hope those others may have the same thing happening with them, those others that I think are dead.
In the meantime, in another dimension that other alternate self may have been laid to rest and his duffle bag went to his “real” family. In that world my “real” family are capitalistic wealthy Republicans, and the country remained full of “real” and committed Americans that backed up our military efforts, held strong, and like I say remained “United” in purposed in order to win the day and save the lives of the people in South Vietnam. In short they won the war. (And of course everybody lived happily ever after… except maybe me)
In this world though, I would like to find that 38 year old time capsule. It would serve to assure me that it wasn’t in another dimension after all.
My ruck and rifle were more then likely not on the chopper when I left since it was policy to hump the troopers stuff until the next resupply bird and then send it to the rear. Usually we split up the food and water and the team the guy was in carried his weapon. The platoon leader took the personal stuff out of the guys Go Go box, Ruck sacks was destroyed by enemy contact during enemy contact or tactical necessity. By the time I left the platoon I didn’t have anything much. I hade just come back from R&R a few weeks earlier so I didn’t have more then a tooth brush and maybe some other hygiene items. My fatigues were gone when I woke up in the hospital so I had only some GI shorts to wear. The day after I woke up someone from A Company’s rear (I was at Camp Eagle’s Evac) brought me some clothes and a pair of Ho Chi Minh sandals. About two hours later I checked myself out and went back to the company area where I was told I wasn’t going back to the field because of a profile in my med files. Got a pair of boots from HHQ supply sergeant when the HHQ Top Kick noticed me shuffling into his office to report…
Yeah jim when I was med evaced, they got all my stuff dear to me at the 8th Field hospital. Nha Trang..
They did give me my $80 bucks which I used that night to get drunk on…surgeon told me to stay in bed for at least a week, how about two hour’s!!!!
I remember getting hot food in the field twice. Probably a coincidence but both times the following day the AO got real bad. We joked about it being sent out as a last supper.
SP packs had a plug of tobacco (Peach Tree I think) that no one ever wanted. I always kept my mouth shut and grabbed them up. I chewed it on night ambushes to keep the nicotine monster away.
Remembering all this sh** is hard work at our age.
I was also in B co in 67. Can’t remember how often we were resupplied but do recall it was often a day or so late and we were always hungry. Luckily we had a couple Rangers that knew some about how to live off the land while on the move. That helped our diet a little.
Did you know Neil and David back in the day? I do remember the chew. It’s easier to remember back then when everyone stimulates a neuron and the picture comes back. Had this guy in my platoon from Texas, I think because everyone called him Tex, his last name Calca or Kalca I think. He offered me a chew. Never having had such a thing in my mouth I didn’t know no better. Ended up with the hiccups for like three days and I ain’t never put that in my mouth again.
I’m sure Neil and I crossed paths, as we were there the same time. Dave I think was later but both fine B co Gentlemen I am sure.
Maybe when David J. gets time he will post the thread on the site. I carried as many canteens as I could and always had two small stones I picked up from the roadside at Nuoc Ngot bridge. I would put them in my mouth to make saliva when humping the ruck by the time I was medivaced (7/70) they were as smooth as pearls. Lot them along with everything else I had at the time on the trip to the hospital or Patti might be wearing them as earrings today…
This is when I knew I was in trouble, didn’t save anything just went my merry way and wham…..Not even sure who started all this, maybe it was Pat, by the sounds of it and there goes yelling again.
WELL I DIDN’T THINK THREAD WOULD LAST THIS LONG…
OUR RESUPPLY WAS DETERMINED BY WEATHER; LOCATION; HOW MUCH AMMO, MED EVAC’S ETC… TOWARDS THE END I WAS SO TIRED OF BEING THIRSTY ALL THE TIME I CARRIED 5 CANTEENS, ALONG WITH MY 45, M/16, PRC 25 WITH THREE BATTERIES…
I ENTERED VIETNAM WEIGHING 220 PD’S OF JUMP SCHOOL MUSCLE. NO FAT ALL MUSCLE, WHEN I LEFT I WEIGHED 145, NO MUSCLE, NO FAT,,, WORN OUT!!! I GAINED 30 POUNDS ON MY 30 DAY LEAVE…
WE HAD ONE CHARACTER THAT WAS SO TIRED OF BEING THIRSTY HE CARRIED A FIVE GALLON JERRY CAN ON HIS BACK FOR AWHILE, WHEN HE FIGURED OUT IT SLOWED HIM DOWN UNDER FIRE HE GOT RID OF IT…
THE THIRST IN THE HIGHLANDS WAS UNBELIEVABLE…AT TROUNG LOUNG I DRANK STAGNATE BLACK RANCID WATER ONE INCH DEEP THAT HAD WATER BUFFALO SHIT IN IT,,, I DIDN’T CARE… AND I’VE NEVER HAD REPERCUSSIONS FROM IT…
WE NEVER RECEIVED COKES OR BEER IN THE FIELD, BUT WHEN WE GOT TO THE REAR, LOOK OUT!!!
THAT WAS REGULAR RIFLE COMPANY NO LRRPS OR ANYTHING ELSE, ARE TACTICS WERE BEING “BAIT”, COME AND GET US SO WE CAN ANNIHILATE YOU WITH FIRE POWER, NAPALM AND ARTY, WE TRAVELD IN PLATOON SIZED GROUPS THE LAST HALF.. DID ALOT OF MOVEMENT AT NIGHT AND WOULD SET UP IN A VILLAGE AND PATROL OUT OF THEM FOR ONE OR TWO DAYS THEN MOVE ON, OR JUMP HUMP UP AND DOWN THOSE MOUNTAINS.. LOOKING FOR TROUBLE…WE DID ALOT OF OPPS WITH THE C.I.D.G, THEY WERE GOOD, USUALLY A S.F TYPE WOULD BE WITH US, CLEARING OUT HIS A.O SO THEY COULD GO BACK TO THEIR AIR CONDITIONED BAR IN THE MIDDLE OF TE JUNGLE…(NEVER WAS PRIVVY TO GOING INTO ONE BUT HEARD ABOUT THEM)
THATS MY STORY AND I’M STICKING TO IT…
PAT NOONAN A. 2/327 OCT 65 OCT 66
But only if you want to…
OK. I can only speak for B 2/327 from June 67 – Jun 68. But Jon Protzman, Darrel Ashley and Buckshot can back me up (hopefully). We always went about a week between re-supply. Say 6 – 8 days worth of C’s. If it wasn’t a quick/hot re-supply, we got a meal that day out of the containers. Got 2 beers and 2 sodas. Cigarettes and candy (I only remember the Chuckles but I am sure there was some other things). The first time we saw LRRPs was right after Tet and we were sent down to Ton Son Nut (?). The Air Force was so glad to see us they set up their fire truck for showers and gave us a bunch of LRRPs. The ‘early’ style where you had to use HOT water to make them work. Still better than some of the C’s. Later we got some of the newer LRRPs and you just added water. Peaches and pound cake and toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, mmm, mmm good!
LRRPs were nice because they were light. I used to wet one for breakfast eat half and keep half of it in my pant leg pocket. If we stopped without dropping ruck it was easy to lean against a tree, take the ‘spoon of the month’ out and have a snack. Down side with LRRPs, they used water and after they were in your stomach every time I would drink water it felt like they continued to expand. Also the beans in the Chili LRRP never ever got soft you had to worry about breaking a tooth. No peaches and no pound cake either I never recall getting a full resupply of LRRPs always a mix of them and Cs. The SP packs I like Dick remember the Chuckles too. Besides boot laces and smokes I don’t remember what else there was in them. I don’t remember the soda & beer supply once we were in the mountains but do recall it in the flatlands.
I was with A and C 2/327 July to October 67 and my recollection is pretty much the same as Bills on the resupply days. Five to seven days was the “standard” and we did get one 10 day supply but I don’t think we actually went 10 days before we got restocked..
I was thinking it was 1 coke and 2 beers or 1 beer and two cokes..
Someone slipped up and sent us some LRRPs in September 67. Good stuff for sure. (Compared to C’s)
I don’t remember ever carrying more than 3 days worth of C-rats, and in all the time I was in country (6 months) I had ONE LRRP (spaghetti with butter sauce, I think). Most guys in my platoon carried and drank up 2 canteens per day; a few guys could get by with one, and a few needed three. I was the only one who carried and drank 4/day. we refilled our canteens from the creeks and swamps every day, and only once had to have water delivered by a chopper.
each case of rats was a 5 day supply. (3 meals a day, or i quit humping). we got re-supplied every 5 days. we got llrp’s once in a while, but the need for water in it’s preparation made it prohibitive. we carried up to 16 quarts of water, since we rarely found water in the mountains. i traded my peaches and pound cake for pineapple bits.
I agree with your assessment. I thought for 30 years, that all infantrymen in Viet Nam did as we did in the 327th. I had no idea that most, and I say that from talking to other men in different divisions minus the obvious wannabees considered a long patrol two or three days. What was so different about the 101st in the Ashau Valley that our patrols were never-ending? In A/2/327th in 1969, we carried tremendous loads with re-supply scheduled for every three weeks, weather permitting of course. I have a friend in the 2/502nd that told me that they were supplied every five days. Was this a battalion thing, mission requirement or what.
Thanks for bringing this up, as I was afraid to broach the subject for appearing dumb. I don’t remember much about Camp Eagle, spending about three days there, total. I don’t think there was a tenth of the
grumbling about conditions in the Ashau Valley as there was when I was profiled to the rear at Bien Hoa. How many units were supplied with LRRP rations? How many were supplied with C Rats? It would be very interesting to compare all these things among different units.
I would agree with you….I assumed everyone did it the same way we did. It’s a bit blurred by time but I seem to remember we were resupplied every seven to ten days or so give or take depending on where we were and the weather. I do remember an officer telling me our rations were based on two meals per day. Ours was a mix of C-rats and LRRPS. I thought the LRRPS were great but tried to eat the C-rats first so as to lessen the carried weight. I found that my favorite C-rat was beef slices with potatoes and gravy followed by everyones favorite….peaches and pound cake. Remember the canned white bread?
I “seem” to remember doing a three day and four day rotation on resupply for the guys in B-1/327. Of course it depended on whether they were humping and stationary. Also depended on whether the helicopters were flying on any given resupply day.
Hope I don’t piss off any SF but we used to call those SF outposts, “Charlie’s resupply depots”.
The most water I carried was 3 canteens with charlie co and an aid bag big enough to open my own aid station.Then with Delta co I went with recon and had 2 canteens and an aid bag the size of a lunch pail.Only bandages and sutures, scaples, forceps and plenty of morphine.With recon we were light except for ammo where I helped carry my fair share.Dropped from 135 to 125lbs in just a few weeks.Had 6 months to do at Ft. Hood “Hell on wheels” tank division and went from 125 to 225lbs in that time and remember the Quarter Master rasing Hell about having to swap my clothes every few weeks to a larger size.The reason for the large gain was to inspect the 4 mess halls every morning after roll call and those Mess Sgts sure were competitive with each other and I was fed better than anyone on post.
No Slack Doc Burton
16 gallons,,,,i carried 6-8 and i couldn’t find enough places to put on rucksack,,,,,,,,,i had said something before about this and i was deleted………..so……..
NO SLAXK,,,,,,Lurch,,,The White Gook,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I pretty much remember the 3 to 5 day of c’s, only got a couple LRRP’s and I remember really liking them. I should remember the re-supplies being the RTO I had the privilege of calling in the order and disbursing the goods once they arrived. Smoke Winston’s then and always made sure to get those. As for water, can’t remember how much I drank, but I do remember filling canteens from streams and such and not just mine, several of us would take all we could carry for as many trips as it took to fill everyone’s. Then there was Phan Thiet, I was never so thirsty in my life, before or since. We finally got a elephant rubber choppered in but only enough water for about one or two canteens apiece until the next day. Well my tongue was already so thick and my mouth so dry I would have drank elephant piss at that point.
*Have to tell you guys, my memory is pretty bad about those days, which is sometimes a good thing, but reading these things sometimes kicks in a memory or two.
David J’s memory not so bad. During ’66-67 we generally started out with 5 days c-rats and usually resupplied 3 days at a time. Saw some LRRP rations but fortunately that was after PHAN THIET, where water was extremely scarce. Remember sharing canteen and half of water for the fireteam for nearly two days. Tried dropping water cans to us but they burst. While crossing a boulder strewn ravine, one trooper dropped his helmet and it clattered down between the boulders. When he climbed down to retrieve it, found a spring. First fresh water in days and it couldn’t have tasted better!!
WHILE IT MAY HAVE BEEN AN AKM THE 47 REFEREED TO THE YEAR 1947 THAT THE SOVIET ARMY ADOPTED THE AK SERIES AS THE MAIN BATTLE RIFLE, KINDA LIKE OUR 1903 SPRINGFIELD. OR THE 3006 CTG CAL 30 ADOPTED IN 1906.
What interested me more was the country where the AKs were coming from. Although most of them I handled were badly shot up the majority of them were made in Bulgaria. Anyone else notice were the weapons were made?
Not me, Jim. I barely noticed my lower receiver was stamped Colt AR 15.
I just put out my original send for anyone who might have considered buying a WASR 10 but backed off because they might have thought it was a newer variant they wouldn’t have encountered. There are some milled receivers out there but I don’t off hand remember running into any milled receivers. Egypt makes a cleaner looking version but they weren’t a Soviet Bloc country and AKs were cheap, ugly, utilitarian, military weapons which in my mind is their beauty.
Your lower receiver was stamped AR-15? Anyway in an earlier thread about the 16 I stated my favorite model was one I had made by H&R. It was tight and very accurate when I fired it off the Chopper Pad into a small cave overlooking FSB Los Banos. I don’t remember who made the M60 I carried or the M-14 but I remember that sweet “16″.
Yup, Jim, at least my first one was. I remember thinking how the Army always had to slap their own nomenclature on everything. I think I was curious at one time who made 60s but didn’t find a manufacturers stamp. Haven’t found it yet even with the internet. [:-) I know I saw a .45 grease gun stamped American Can Co.
Interesting about the AR 15 stamp. Was it a three pronged flash suppressor model or the closed basket type? Just curious… The only difference between the early model 16 M16A1 and the AR was the sear that allowed full auto fire. I don’t recall ever seeing a manufactures mark on the 60 I was intimate with. How about on your thump gun? I remember that a 50 Cal on T’Hawk had been made by Daisy Washing Machine Co. I have two M 1 carbines one made by Rocola (Juke box Co.) and the other by Singer (sewing machines).
But again, this is only for your convenience, you don’t have to got to the top if you don’t want to.
OK, Jim, in all I was issued three 16s. The first two at least were stamped Colt AR 15. All three were full auto, had bolt assists and three blade, open suppressors which were convenient for cutting the wires on C Rats cases. How did you guys with the closed suppressors all keep from starving? LOL Don’t know who made my 79. Pretty sure there was no manufacturer’s stamp on it although I was getting so blase’ by then I might not have cared to look or remember.
I never saw an open blade flash suppressor on a 16 so you were defiantly carrying an earlier model then I’m familiar with and they may have all been build on AR-15 lowers. Anyone else out there know about this? We opened up our C-Rat cases by placing the metal strapping bands between our teeth and twisting our head back and forth the way a dog shakes a rabbit. But that may have been a field expedient tactic only used by No Slack! …
I believe at the time, Jim, Colt was the only company producing the Armalite, (A)ssault (R)ifle 15, there was only one version of the lower receiver and M 16 was simply the army’s nomenclature. We must’ve had the earlier model Cs too because the outer slip case and the inner case were held together by round wire not flat banding straps.
Armalite sold its rights to the AR-10 and AR-15 to Colt in 1959 after which the AR-15 was adopted by the United States military under the designation M16. Colt retained the name AR-15 for its semi-automatic civilian/law enforcement model. Today the AR-15 and its variations are manufactured by a plethora of companies and have captured the affection of sport shooters and police forces around the world. Please refer to M16 for a more complete history of the development and evolution of the AR-15 and derivatives.
I’m trying to jog my memory as to the strapping on the C-s case. I do remember a wire but also a flat banding. Maybe someone else can clear it up. I don’t remember ever seeing the AR-15 designation on the lower receiver but do recall having a Colt made 16. Good link, I’m sure everyone will enjoy checking it out.
somebody mentioned finding a spring comming down a boulder ravine in the ashau. i remembered the area and searched my photo’s (yes, i have too much time on my hands) and sure enough, there is doc tracola getting a refill. i wonder if it was the same local.
Weren’t you there in like 1970, Jim? I’m talking 1967 and a lot can change in three years. I doubt many of those earlier 16s survived to your time and had probably all been scraped by then. The first one I had over there was near worn out when I got it.
Yes I was there fall of ’69 to Sept 70. Like I said I never saw a 16 with the pronged flash suppressor. I did mention that the M-60 I carried was well used and that the butt plate would not stay on, so we did have some “well used” equipment then also. I’m wondering if anyone else recalls seeing the AR-15 on the lower receiver just out of curiosity. My thinking is that maybe lower receivers were used from the original rifles that went over with the boat people by armorers for replacement and refitting or that to keep weapons in the field DOD bough up civilian supplies of lower receivers to fill the parts inventory. Someone on the list may also know when other manufacturers began production of the 16 because the demand was up by my tour for the rifle, not for US Forces but for ARVN. I never saw an ARVN with anything but a brand new weapon. My last bit at the TOC put me in a position to see the PFs receive new 16s and 60s as they turned in their M1s, grease guns and other WWII type weapons so I’m sure that they had to ramp up the production and it required contracts to be licensed under Colt’s patent. Same, Same with C-Rats. My first meals were canned in the 50s and then later mid 60s stuff, then we started getting supplied mixed meals of Cs and LRRPs. K-Dog Ihle told me the boat people didn’t have ruck sacks, just the old style day packs. He said that they humped cases of C-s intact. I think I heard they didn’t have jungle boots either. So the whole time frame was one of development of tactics and gear. The only thing that didn’t change over time was it was still No Slack & Above The Rest.
I remember the construction wire holding the c-rat cases together. there was a trick to sticking the flash suppressor of the M-16 and giving it a sharp twist and the wire would be cut.
In the dry times in summer of 68,,we ran out of water and food. I think going on a water run with a squad was very scary, We was around the 900 meter mts, right around where Laos and ”Hamburger Hill” then it was just a number of meters. After that I started humping 6-8 Canteens not gallons…….and a sock full of rice and dry onions, and not to forget chili sauce and hot sauce. I always started topping of canteens anyway I could…Rainstorms and elephant ear plants and poncho. We made an agreement to hold out, the food you didn’t want by your sump hole’s others could have them, also we had a trading stack on your left side. The Lrrp rations had about 6 flavors,,,we got more of them when we was in Hawks. There was one time we was out of water and we found a quick running stream,,,nice and cold,,,we all drank till we slashed we was so full and filled all our canteens,,,,,,we took off up stream and we found a ripe dead NVA,,,,Talk about the dry heaves…………Life is Unfair,,,,,,,,,,,,Lurch,,,,,,,,,,,
Hey Dan, Jim, Brothers,,,,,,,,I remember using the prongs to twist the 1945 C-Rations wire off. It was EXM-16 , I know it would shoot about 1400 RPM. On the Night fire at Phan Rang, my rifle was really shooting good, everyone else was jamming the NCO in charge told everyone to pass there ammo down to me, I set the woods a fire, the gun barrel started to turn cherry red and the area around me started on fire, finally the gas rod melted, but I only had a couple of Mags left. Some of you guys ought to remember that.(2nd or 3rd week of Jan 68) They brought out the EXM-16A, then EXM-16A-1, then the final M-16A-1 With 800 RPM and the Bird Cage. We started to twist the wire with the Barrel. When we first got the XM117A-1 we use it to walk point with,,everyone was wanting to walk point,,,,That was a Change,,,after all it was all a matter of numbers the rotation of being on point. When your number was up it was up. Ham and Lima Beans food of the Gods who carried the Little black sticks of death with the chickens on there arms,,,,or so they say…………or the 27 lb PIG………Honor and Country,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Lurch,,,,,,,,,,
Actually if my memory serves me right my First M16 April 1967 was a colt XM16 E 1 The X was for experimental, then In Oct 1970 I received a Colt M16 A 1. By this time the 3 prong flash suppressor was changed to the bird cage, interesting the flash suppressor used to day is a bird cage with a closed bottom we got that from Canada where they did not want snow blasting up while shooting in the prone position. In the 80s while in the army reserve my M16 was made by Harrington & Richardson The forward assist on this one was round instead of tear drop, At the H & R factory which also made M 14 rifles there was a sign above the door, “Make every rifle as if your son will carry it into battle.” The factory was in Fitchburg Mass.
The H&R 16 that I had was the finest build 16 I had in Nam and was better built then the AR-15 I owned later. It’s quality may be because of the sign they had posted at the factory. Having the bird cage flash suppressor closed on the bottom would also act as a muzzle brake. The escaping gasses push the barrel back down keeping the weapon on target as it is fired. Muzzle brakes started appearing on civilian firearms a few years ago I believe the Soviets were the first to use them on their assault rifles.
i don’t want to say that i was the source for the quality of the water, but your question did bring back memories of one week in the ashau. the tropics being what it is, we were constantly susceptible to all sorts of infections, bug bites, and diseases. well, my luck being what it is, i got some kind elephantiasis on my penis. it was swollen and sore and made life hell trying to hump with the constant friction.
doc tracola did what he could without success. on re-supply, the only chance you had to get out on a bird, doc took me to the CO (capt Raymond) to get the OK to have me go to the rear for medical treatment. as you know, it was not easy to get out of the field. so anyway, I’m standing 5′ from capt Raymond while the doc is explaining my situation to him. capt Raymond looks at me and say ” OK Aries, drop your pants”. i comply ( we didn’t wear skivvies, as they cramp your style while you hump). so the capt looks at my problem, cocks his head from side to side as he is pondering the situation and says, “Aries, if it hasn’t fallen off in three days, I’ll shoot it off”. i will never forget those words. back to the point of the story, being in constant misery, i found that the only relief was water. so every time we stopped at a stream to fill our canteens, i dropped my pants and hung my beet red swollen member in the water. i can still feel the total Ecstasy of relief vibrate my entire body. the problem, of course, was the other troops were somewhat irritated at the fact that i was perhaps polluting their drinking water while filling up their canteens. my needs outweighed their objections. in any case, that is perhaps the reason the water tasted so sweet.
I always reminded the guys too use their water tabs even though it made the water taste like crap. Humping up a stream one day we stopped to fill our canteens and the point man went on ahead. Several guys drank as much as they could hold. The point man returned and said he found a dead VC in the water ahead about 50 to 75 yards and some of our guys lost their water .The VC had been there several days and was quite rank.I emptied my canteen and walked up stream and got fresh water and dropped 2 tabs in mine as did the others. Do you remember what they called those grayish looking tabs. My minds gone blank but I’m sure one of the guys will remember.
No Slack Doc Burton.
Halcyon tabs and they made the water taste like iodine. I don’t remember seeing them after my first month there. I asked about them once and was told we don’t have any.