First Hand Accounts
One of the missions of F Troop was intelligence gathering. Flying to Hawk Hill on a first light mission north of Chu Lai, we would go up along the coast & fly due west of the base. We would sometimes see people running from the beach but could never catch up to them.
One morning we changed tactics & approached from a different direction and caught a man & boy on the beach. I held them & after checking the tree line, called for a "snatch".
Marked by a red smoke, the lift ship came in and the "blues" grabbed them, threw them aboard and flew them back to Chu Lai for interrogation. They were on the ground less than one minute. We were later told that the man had been classified as VC and turned over to the ARVN.
The pictures below, (click to enlarge) were taken over the course of just a few minutes!
|Our loaches were equipped with an M-60 machine gun hung in the doorway on a bungee cord. Also hanging from the cord was a red smoke grenade. These were for the crew chief to use. The smoke grenades were kept handy to grab & throw to mark an area if we started "taking fire". This is a picture of one that was never thrown. A bullet went through the bottom while it was hanging in the doorway only inches from the crew chief’s face before it could be grabbed. I have tried to recall who was the crew chief.
CW2 Gary Freeman remembers that this was Pvt Paul Miller – KIA June ’69 and that the smoke grenade was in his hand at the time it was hit.
A BDA (Bomb Damage Assessment) of a B-52 strike (arc light) near Hiep Duc
|The picture on the left shows how the jungle was stripped away after two 500 lb bombs exploded. Center shows that they were right on target. Notice the well worn trail next to the crater. Right – what used to be an NVA bivouac area.|