We got the mission to run the roads all night (Westy's way of proving he controlled the Delta). The base camp girls all said "Don't go tonight, GI. Beaucoup VC. VC everywhere." As if it were a choice.
So we were out running the roads, down to Dong Tam, up to Saigon. In the early morning hours we were turning around by the triangle on the south side of Saigon (Cholon actually) looking for a Vietnamese beer truck to unload into our tracks (one of our favorite forms of entertainment) when these guys frantically waved us into this little base camp just off the highway.
Our 1st and 2nd platoons reinforced their perimeter on the Saigon side. They had me take my platoon to the far side because I had two 50s on all my tracks and a 106 on mine. At first I didn't realize what they were pointing at. The wave, an unbelievable number of people. We hosed it down with the 50s from about a click and a half. The whole sky was orange (from the 3/4 Cav on the other side of Tan Son Nhut. The little base camp was under attack on the Saigon side. A Cobra took out most of our 1st platoon with its rockets. Took the head off a guy who had been my driver for a while. Mac.
Then the people who belonged to the base camp (199th maybe, a unit with clean tracks and full squads standing in the cargo holds) returned and we started toward the race track and got into a real mess in the wharehouse area ( that's what we called it) south of the fish market. Then we were told to break contact and react to My Tho. My driver was in shock, didn't want to drive over all the bodies littering the road. Nothing else to do. I still hear the squishing sound, the low overwhelming moan of the injured. Nothing else to do. We moved out. I don't remember whatever we did in My Tho when we got there, if we got there. Oh well.
Got some Patsy Cline songs, maybe if I turn them up loud enough I can block out the squishing sounds, the moan, or blend it into one of her songs. Mac was a good driver, good person.
Probably told this last year too. Sorry, it comes around this time of year.
Copyright © 1997 Ted Moen All Rights Reserved
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