Ed "Spooky" Nored
RVN Sep 69 - Sep 70
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7-1-70 Boonies (log day)
(Nored) Lt. Holden is going in on the log bird to take a 7 day leave. Doug Gorton the old timer of 3rd.platoon is finally getting out of the bush after 11 months. It was good to see him finally get out of the bush with about 24 days to go. I'm very glad he was going to miss out on July 12. He didn't need that.........We all got wet this morning. It had rained all night till about 9 AM. 3rd platoon went on patrol and then came back and waited for the log bird. Duty officers log says "Serpant 237" was designated log bird. The log bird arrived with its first load at about 1310. 8 sorties later the log was complete about 1550.
(DOL) Very little is noted in the DOL about Delta Company except for Map coordinates. It was Alpha Companies log day and after completing that task they saddled up and moved out. They had moved less then 100 meters when the enemy opened up and on them. One man was killed and one wounded. See entry # 30 for details on Alpha's loss. Alpha's K.I.A. was Larry R. Brenner.
(J.W.) Humped about 700 meters down steep hills and back up other side, about an 80 degree angle. Company sets up a patrol base and 3rd. platoon goes on patrol then returns to the company parameter. The company saddles up heavy and moves about 200 meters and sets up a night lo.
(DOL) Another bad day for Alpha company. As they were working a trail they encountered the enemy at a bunker complex and suffered 2 killed and 8 wounded buy small arms and B-40's (RPG). One of the K I A was a Kit Carson Scout. See enty # 22 for more on the Alpha contact. Delta also found a trail and a couple of old bunkers.
7-4-70 Boonies (log day) No I.D. is given for Log bird. Received 9 sorties between 1500 and 1740.
J.W.Got up early and humped to log pad. We had to chop one out of the jungle. Got logged late. It rained all day and got real soaked. Everything was wet. After log we moved to a night lo. We set up about 19:15. Went to bed wet.
(DOL/Nored) Though we got logged yesterday, according to the DOL between 1300 and 1330 we received one flight or sortie of resupply. (JW) Jim Wastradowski's diary info below matches up well with the DOL times. This bird picked up 2 of our guys who needed to go to the rear.
(Nored) Quote from July 5th letter. "This damn rain is really getting to me. Its overcast 24 hours a day. Im caked with mud and half the time soaked. Its miserable and always a hassle. Damn the monsoons!" Letter also mentions Jay Selby and Eugene Laurie go in for R&R next month and Dick Fowler and Jim Schmidt will go in later this month.
(J.W.) Got up early again and humped back to our log pad. We sat there till 1400 to get 2 people (airlifted ) out . We then moved to another hill top. We went on patrol down to the river. It rained and showered all day. It was very rough going in the mud. Went to bed wet and muddy..
(J.W.) Our squad (Ketchams) has point for the company and leads it out of the night lo. We move a ways and then set up a patrol base. It showered all day. (Jim also mentions the friendly fire incident described in detail below.).
7-7-70 Boonies (log day) No I.D. is given on log bird. Between 1125 and 1520 Delta received 7 sorites.
(JW.) Received log today,had point,moved out at 1600 and set up night lo at 1730.
(Nored) My letter of the 8th mentions we got clean clothes on this Log.
The old platoon sgt. Chris Luecke came out and B.S'd with us.
(Nored) In a July 8th letter I commented our new C.O. (Perry) is pretty good. Everybody likes him. He believes in a good "Log". We've been getting hot meals, plenty of beer,sodas and clean clothes every 9 days. I dont drink half the water I use to. I use to hump 6 qts.. Now I only hump 4 and drink only 2 of them. I mentioned the company size seem to be down around 80 guys. Letter also says "The last 2 times we've had to chop the (log) pad for the copter to sit down."
More rain. Heard on the radio that one of 1st Cav's Generals copter crashed and he was killed.
(J.W.) We (3rd.plt.) went on patrol about one "K" and then came back to the old night lo for lunch. After lunch we went on patrol again and returned about 1630. We set up in old night lo. It rained all night.
(J.W.) The company moves out of the night lo at 1000 and moves about 800 meters and sets up a patrol base. We ate lunch then went out on patrol in the afternoon and came across an enemy trail with signs of recent use. We had movement and called in artillery in area of movement. We then returned to patrol base where we set up for the night.
(Nored/Linda) July 9th."Well once again tomorrow (the 10th) we get logged and we have to chop a pad cause we didn't find one today. The sun has gone down and I can hardly write to the glow of the lightening bugs that fly around here at night". The next letter I wrote wasn't until July 16th.
7-10-70 Boonies (Log Day) No I.D. was given on log bird. We received one "kickout" sortie at 1615. Dol says will get 7 sorties tomorrow.
(The following information on 7-10 and 7-11 was taken from Jim Watradowski's diary he sent me in early 1988.)
The company saddled up heavy and moved out about 10 am. We moved about 100 meters and then turned around and returned to our night lo. We then began chopping and clearing (log pad) for the re supply copter (log bird) to set down. We chopped on it most of the day and finally at 5:00 the C.O. decided it was too late and asked the company rear area to give us a "Kick-out" of c-rations to get us through one night until we finished the pad tomorrow. After receiving the kick-out the company again moved to a new night lo.
NOTE: During the month of Jan. 2017. The events of July 11 & 12 1970 were rewritten and reorganized with new information, photos, including a detailed account from Don Ketcham.
7-11-70 Boonies (Log Day) No I.D. on log bird was given. Between 1310 and 1635 Delta received 7 sorties.
(JW) Jim Wastradowski, of Ketcham's squad, noted in his diary. “Got up and moved back to log pad, finished chopping at 1200. I was told to get my things ready to leave for R&R. Left squad at 2:00 for L.Z. Moe.” (on log bird) Jim was going to meet his wife in Hawaii.
Don Ketcham - Also leaving on the log bird was Randolph Forriest, “Treetop”, my M-60 gunner. He had bad ringworm around waist of beltline. My backup gunner was Steve Von Cannon, “Hoss” who took over the M-60. Hoss's M-60 rounds were spread out to the rest of us for carrying. I carried one since most of the others were pretty well loaded down with ammo, food, water, night gear. machetes, grenades, smokes etc.
Harold Hoopengarner- (one of the Decatur 7. see page 8) “ I was RTO for 3 rd platoon. I had just returned on log day from Cam Rhan Bay (sp) for Malaria that I had previously been medivaced for. I arrived with an FNG (new) medic. I had asked Ketcham to pick up a couple of things for me while he was in Hawaii on R&R. Well the guys had already drank my booze and one of them (I cant remember who) was wearing the T-shirt I had asked for.. Such is the way of the bush. Once you are gone it is iffy if you are coming back. The biggest thing that struck me was how bad these guys smelled. *I had just had a shower the night before and they probably had not had one in days or weeks.” (*it would have been 16 plus days)
Ed Nored- At some point during the log. The CO. Capt. Perry tells 3 rd platoon to saddle up light and take 2 squads on a patrol. With my squad at point and Gary Borkowski's squad in drag we ventured out in a designated direction. We had traveled about 200 meters when the point man stops and passes word back he has come upon a well established trail. We turned left onto the trail and only moved about a minute or so when the distinct sound of someone chopping on bamboo was heard ahead and off to the right. We called this into the CP and they told us to return to the log pad. Which we did. Looking back on the decision not to investigate the chopping. Completing the Log was primary. It rarely takes 2 days to resupply a company. All the C.O. needed to make matters worse was to have a platoon make contact. After rejoining the company at the log pad and with the log completed. The company saddled up heavy and retraced our trail from the previous patrol. We traveled a short distance and began forming a parameter to set up our nightlo. I could not tell if our parameter extended across the trail or not.
Don Ketcham-(night-lo) It was an awfully dark night with lots of canopy and no rain. Made note that our Ho Chi Minh (Kit Carson scout) personal in platoon was smoking a cigarette and not cupping the glowing tip. Easy to spot from a distance. The area assigned to my squad was level and then sloped down to the left and to my right sloped up to a small hill to a ridge. The M-60 was placed in location with a good field of fire. I made sure “Hoss”, Steve Von Cannon, cleaned and oil'd the “60”. Once I was satisfied the trip flares were tied in with the squads to my left and right and our defences were complete it was time to eat. I most likely pulled out a can of Beans and Franks with that gob of white fat in it. As I heated them the aroma would have rose and joined the scent of 90 or so other meals being prepared by Delta company grunts. If the enemy was near it must have smelled good, since most of their foods consisted of small amount of rice.
Here's a link to a detailed map of the location and the company location of the actions that took place on 7-12-70. LINK
(3 rd plt RTO carrying the radio for SSGT Kaheiki) I remember that 2 radios in 3 rd plt. were malfunctioning. *Terry Lawrence RTO of Ketcham's squad and John Sanchez RTO of Nored's squad both had bad radios. One would only receive and one would only send. SSGT Kaheiki said to put them together and that's how we left the night lo. ( All the platoons had 4 radios. One per squad and one for the platoon leader.) * Terry was one of the Decatur 7.
(end of comments from Hoopengarner)
Don Ketcham -
3rd Platoon was chosen as the point platoon for the company and 3rd Squad as point for the platoon. Pulled in claymores and trip flares, even in the direction up the hill toward the top of the ridge with no significant changes in environment to the immediate area. In other words, claymores were not aimed back at the company nor were any trip flares pinned, nor any comment from 3 squad or the adjacent squads. Began my morning with good ole Pecan roll and applesauce, required no heat and the two tasted good cold. A fresh swig of water and I was off. Lots of others were brewing small amounts of coffee, with heat tabs, and I know that coffee smell permeated the air — did it make it to the top of the hill?
CO issued the azimuth to take, most likely from the Battalion Commander, pulled out map, checked terrain, verified with compass (my nice one) looked up the small hill to the ridge. Azimuth was taking us just to the sloping down left side of the ridge. Took awhile to get everyone saddled up with equipment and get moving. The order of 3rd squad was Ho Chi Minh guy, Walter Cezik (Short-round), Ketcham, Terry Lawrence (RTO), Doc Kloss, “Hoss” (Steve VonCannon), Craig Sherwood. Followed by Nored's squad then Borkowskis's squad. Began trek out of company perimeter on the azimuth given and had just moved out of night perimeter, not more that 100 feet, a large tree was only a few feet up and to my left. The Ho Chi Minh and Shortround were just a bit ahead of me and came to a stop. Shortround and the Ho Chi Minh came back to me and announced that there were fresh diggings immediately ahead and the Ho Chi Minh signaled many gooks. I radioed the CO and made notice to him of the fresh diggings and what the Ho Chi Minh was signaling. He began reaming ass and told us to get moving, it was taking too long to get out of the night lo [ hard to believe the NVA would be that close to us and of all things, almost directly in front of the azimuth chosen.] I informed Shortround and the Ho Chi Minh to try and move forward a bit for better observation and see if there was anything to be seen, and as they turned and left to get back to their original position, not more that a few seconds after the three of us talked, the shit hit the fan. Following information literally has no time frame. It all happened so quickly. One loses track of time. What I thought would be a long period of time, may have only been a short one. I immediately got down, dropped my pack in front of me, lost my helmet, could see it out in front and to my right. Then here comes Shortround and the Ho Chi Minh hollering that there were Gooks up there, I told them to “Kill the Mother Fuckers” and I did not see them anymore. Found out that Shortround literally had a firefight going by himself on the initial volley of rounds [Found out from the company roster of Gordon Swensons web site, Shortrounds real name. All most of us knew him by was his nickname. I remembered in the past talking to him and found that he was from Romeo, Michigan to be exact. I got a telephone number from an individual that lived in the area for him, called, and sure enough he answered the phone. Shortround is loaded with detail of the events of that day], and he indicated he squatted down with M- 16 at his side and started firing. A picture LINK of Shortround is in the web site and shows a bullet crease to the side of his helmet. To this day I believe the initial burst from their 30 cal straight ahead of us, was deflected by that helmet and would have hit me. Shortrounds head height was my chest height] I am also sure that Doc Kloss was hit in this first volley. I could see him setting on the ground and not moving Terry Lawrence was immediately in back of me and Kloss was in back of Terry and off to his right. Hoss was in back of Kloss and ended up in back of the big tree to my front left with the machine gun. The NVA to the front must have been just holding that trigger on the 30 cal machine gun. I was on the ground behind my backpack and could feel and hear the bullets pass through it. I felt the buttons on my fatigue jacket were too large and I couldn't get any closer to the ground. I had lots of fragments of cloth from the backpack landing on my head and back. I had to wait for that NVA machine gunner to stop firing, run out of rounds or reload. When that happened, I put my M-16 up over my pack and let a volley of rounds go, I did not hear any more firing coming from immediately straight ahead. Now come the issue with communication, I needed a medic, Terry indicated the radio had been shot and was not functional. [ likely rounds just passing over me were penetrating the radio] What a din, and on top of that, hollering back and forth to the rear to maintain communication. The call came up to mark my position with a smoke, for Cobra gun ships were on their way and artillery was going to be looking for adjustment. It took several smokes, before I found one that Charlie did not have in his possession. I would throw one and he threw the same color (twice this happened), on the third I had the right color identification and in come the Cobra, scared the living shit out of me with that mini-gun, I could hear that static buzz of electricity and the rounds penetrating the canopy. Only problem was, those mini-gun rounds were right in front of my nose and almost on top of Hoss and to his right. [ rounds would hit the ground in front of me by a few feet and spit dirt back in the air about a foot. The NVA were so close and those rounds had to have been put right between us.] I was hollering to the rear to move the bastard out (gunship) for he was on top of us — I do think the NVA were only about 15 to 20 yards out from my position. I was still hollering for Medic and I finally could see Doc Quinn coming up from between the trees, low crawling to my right about 15 yards out, damn he had guts, then I see he was hit, dropped down, started calling for his mother, then the NVA threw a hand grenade on him. [ direction of crawl put him just about in front of where the ridge leveled out and where I believe the bulk of the NVA had positioned themselves, up and off to my right I still could not see them, but could hear a lot of hollering and shooting] All the while the hollering was going on and still no rounds coming from in front of me, but from almost atop the ridge and to my upper right, just about in front of Doc Quinn. I looked at Hoss and told him to get that machine gun going, he looked at me, frozen, and indicated he was too scared. I told him that when some of the shooting eases, get the hell out of the way, because I ‘m coming. In the meantime to my right, with all the din going on, here comes and NVA with a 30 cal Machine Gun with bipod setting up between Quinn and me. No Pith helmet, had black hair and green fatigues and was he moving to get that thing in position, could not tell of any camouflage material on him [ twigs, grass, small branches], and he was kneeling and busy with that 30 to get it ready to rock and roll, of all things. I do not think he even saw me square around with the M-16, I unloaded a full magazine into his head [ have done that, but the adrenaline was flowing, for I had to fetch another magazine from my bandolier quickly, that meant moving quite a bit and risk even more possible exposure] and over he went. [ reading John Butlers account of coming up there, I saw no mention of any dead NVA or NVA equipment, after I was hit by quite a few RPG's, they had to have picked up their wounded / dead and pulled out. No one mentioned any blood, nor did anyone mention going up atop the ridge a bit further.] Next thing I did was holler some communications to the rear, and I thought I heard artillery rounds going off. I checked Hoss, he was out of the way, and I got up from my position behind my backpack and moved in behind the M-60. I pulled that trigger and nothing happened, I lifted the M-60 cover atop the rounds, removed the rounds and slapped them back in, put the cover in place and pulled the trigger again, nothing. I did the same thing again with no luck and was on my fourth try when, an RPG hit a small tree adjacent to my right leg. [ RPG came from my right front, almost directly in front of where Quinn was lying] The explosion lifted me up and deposited me atop Hoss. then indicated for me to “Get the Fuck off Me”, hollering — and difficult to hear him, [ explosion knocked out our hearing] and began to shove me off. I managed to get off him, get in back of the M 60 again, and then I had to check for wounds, the family jewels came first (OK), but when I got down to my right leg, I could feel the warmth of the blood, it was a large wound in the lower right leg with ragged skin. I managed to grab my M-16 (I believe I finally gave up on that M-60), turned around on hands and knees with M- 16 aiming to move back to the rest of the company and passed out. I found out later from Part-Time (Scott Lemanski) that there were several more RPG rounds fired to my general vicinity — explained why I also had wounds on the left side of my body also. I was hit in my lower right leg, behind both knees, my butt, back of my right shoulder, my head in the back scalp, above the right ear and just atop the head. Also having difficulty breathing, and found out later, had a collapsed lung. I was also informed that I was bleeding from both ears. Things that saved other areas of my body were the bandoliers of magazines across my back, the folded map in the right fatigue leg pocket, don't know why the blasting caps or debt cord I was carrying in the map pocket also did not explode] Next thing I remember is being slapped in the face, by Doc Sipe, I believe, and seeing him and Part-Time, I asked for Morphine and received a shot into a leg, then I went out again. Next time I awoke, was when I was in a litter, being winched up to a Med-a-Vac. A piece of bamboo came between the liter and me. I promptly threw up my pecan roll and applesauce all over the people below, the only one I could vaguely recognize was Ed Nored, not sure if my vomit hit him. As the Door Gunner of the Med-a-Vac was pulling me into the chopper, I remember giving a thumb up to anyone looking. Next events to remember were hearing (what I could) many people talk and having an out of body experience, I could see myself and it appeared I was floating and looking down at my own body, and all was white, I felt the scalpel go into my chest (had a collapsed right lung) and it just felt like someone was lightly touching me and then I was out, I don't know where.
(end of comments from Don Ketcham)
.To Follow Don Ketcham's journey from the firefight to the hospital and finally home. Go to the next page (19).
(UPDATE from Gordon: 2/1/2018) Thanks to Fern (a friend of Doc Quinn) We have located the 'missing' 3rd medic that was wounded during this firefight. Doc Tommy Hunt. With his permission I'm including a copy of his memories of the day. On a side note: Doc Hunt was awarded a Distinguisted Service Cross for his actions this day.
"From: Tommy Hunt
Circa. 1970 Phouch-Vinh Province, Vietnam
Early morning about 8:35 am to the best of my recollection: We had stayed in the area a little too long that day and we were on our way out of the area. I had already taken care of my guys earlier that morning with their iodine and malaria tablets.
We moved out early in the morning as usual and then I heard the guys up front had found a site with some enemy weapons all prepared to fire. Upon hearing this we all decided to take cover. Then we heard weapons, the distinct sound of AK-47's, Russian rifles and M-16 being fired. So, I knew we had made enemy contact. After a lull in the fire, my Sgt. Kaheiki informed me that I had to go upfront where the main firefight was happening. I was to administer medical aide to some wounded soldiers. I followed orders and moved quickly up front. When I got to the main action up front, I saw Doc Quinn laying on the ground. He was moaning and saying Tommy, Tommy, help me. He was still alive. I saw his arm badly hit near the elbow but other wounds if any, I did not see. The next few seconds, a B-42 rocket propelled grenade hit a huge tree in front of us, exploded, and threw shrapnel in all direction including ours. Richard (Doc Quinn) was killed instantly. At that same moment, I was very seriously injured. I layed there for about 10 minutes as the firefight was going on. There was a small lull in the firefight. During that lull 2 of my friends came up to get me out of there. I do not remember their names but I wish I could remember. One was a young Puerto Rican soldier. When I got back to safety, we waited for the Medevac helicopter to pick me up. I was the first to be lifted out during this contact. When I got up into the helicopter the machine gunner winked at me and told me that I would be ok. Of course, he didn't know but was instructed to or his inner feeling told him too. He was still firing the M-16 to keep the enemy fro m shooting at the helicopter.
We quickly Medevaced out of there and I was taken to the 24 th EVAC Hospital, Long Binh, Vietnam, where a Catholic Priest administered Last Rites to me. I remember this distinctly. After that a nurse came over to me and told me she would take care of me. I asked her if I was going to die but the medication was taking effect and I was becoming unconscious. I woke up in bed with a chest tube inserted in my chest to drain the blood from my lungs and other tubes in other areas for reasons we all know.
I stayed in that hospital for an unknown time. I don't remember how long. During this time the movie star George Peppard came to my bedside and lifted my spirits a bit. It was pretty cool to see the actor there as I liked him in the movies I had seen.
After that I was shipped to Japan to recuperate further, staying in Japan for about 5 weeks. I was then shipped to Chelsea Naval Hospital, in Chelsea, MA as it was close to my home in Connecticut. It was here I got well. "
(End of comments by Doc Hunt.)
By the time the 3rd bullet had left that NVA's light machine gun in his opening burst at Ketch's squad we were on the ground. With one pull of the quick release on my pack I was free of it. I had my 16 aimed at the direction of where I thought that gun was. We were all facing up the slope. All I could see as I looked to my right and then left was a wall of brush and thick bush. We could not see a damn thing. As that NVA continued to fire his long burst I looked up to see if rounds or tracers were coming over our heads. I looked and watched to see if any limbs were being knocked down. Zero. I waited for and expected the call for us to move up. I noticed there was very little return fire. Doc Quinn suddenly appeared and dropped down on his hands and knees in front of me. He asked something about "should I keep going" or "how far up is he" I don't remember his exact words but do remember his face. We replied he's "further up" and Quinn, still staying low, fades into the brush. The next people he will see is SSGT Kaheiki and Harold Hoopengarner the RTO. I remember hearing an explosion and minutes later a larger one that jolted all of the jungle it seemed. This final explosion I believe ended the firefight and the NVA withdrew. SSGT Kaheiki or Hoopengarner called back to us to bring up the "gun", the M-60. I told Jay Selby to move on up with it. Then a few minutes later word was passed to us to move up and pickup the wounded and dead and pull back to the night lo. I moved forward and stopped at the first body, knelt down beside him and then looked left and could see Ketch sitting up against the tree. Another man helped me with whom I'm sure was Doc Quinn. The both of us carried him back to our previous night lo where the casualties were assembled. At this point I have to acknowledge the fact that mentally something was happening to me. A few years ago someone wrote that they remember "most of 3rd platoon seem to be in shock" after the contact of the 12th. Since I've never been in shock before I wouldn't know what that feels like. But it seems a reasonable diagnosis and in no way do I mean to suggest we were somehow worse off then the wounded in Ketch's squad. A medevac is requested, classified as urgent and it will need 3 rigid litters and 3 jungle penetrators to extract 6 WIA (Line 2's). According to the DOL (Duty Officers Log) the bird arrived at 1108 and completed at 1150 and again at 1245. Upon its arrival the medevac hovered about 100 feet above us. It lowered a rigid litter and I helped put Ketcham in the litter and we strapped him in and then gave the thumbs up to the crewman hovering above us. I stood there and watched him every inch of the way. The prop wash from the bird swaying the jungle back and forth. When Ketch got about half way up he began to vomit and a second later I saw one of his hands extend out as far as it could and give a thumbs up sign with it.
(end of comments by Nored)
(Comment from John Butler)
I was point for my platoon but in the rear when the front started taking fire. I dropped my ruck grabbed a can of M60 ammo and moved forward. I came upon one black soldier behind a tree to the right of the trail the forward platoon had been using, he asked for ammo and I gave him one of my M16 bandoleers and asked if anyone was ahead of me, do not remember what he said but I continued to move forward. I came upon the two dead medics one was over the other as if he had been trying to work on him. To my left behind a big tree was a M60 gunner and maybe his assistant gunner both had been hit by RPG no one other then that was there, I turned around a yelled medic two or three times and moved to the two wounded guys I grabbed the one who was on his knees; he said he was not able to hear what I was saying to him. When I turned around it seemed like about 15 guys were trying to get up there and they started grabbing everyone and taking them back. I was standing on the right side of the tree after they moved them back, Snowball from my platoon had came up and grabbed the M60, unknown to him or for that matter anyone until later was when the gunner had cleaned his 60 he had placed the plug in backwards this was the reason it was not firing. I also fired off a magazine in a moment of being dumb but we did not get any return fire from that.
We pulled back and later me, Snowball and Platoon Leader and two others moved forward again and picked up some of the rucks we were trying to get more when our platoon leader told us to fall back and unfortunately we had to leave a lot of the rucks there, have always hated that fact. Our platoon medic did an outstanding job that day not sure but think he was the only medic not wounded.
(end of comments from John Butler.)
We set up in the night loc and everything seemed OK until I started getting reports on the radio that people were seeing red lights. The CO said that is was the 3rd Platoon smoking dope again so ignore it. As I remember it 3rd platoon had walked point the day before so it was not our turn. The CO who had a real hardon against us decided we were to go to point again. I can not remember the exact order but Terry Lawrence and Shanchez's radios were crap. One could receive and the other could transmit. I relayed this to Sgt Kaheiki and he said to put them together so we had communications with the point squad. That is the way we walked out of the night loc. Five minutes later all hell broke loose. The next thing I hear is (Voncannon, according to Terry) yelling HELP ME! HELP ME! There is firing going on everywhere. Sgt tells me to get a medic up so I called for one on the radio. The redheaded medic (sorry I do not remember his name) crawls up to us and Kaheiki tells him to be careful as he crawls past. I am on the radio with the RASH bird giving azimuth and yardage for support. Kaheiki tells me to call up a gunner. I do so and Jay Selby comes up and goes beyond us and starts laying down fire. After a while he calls for more ammo. I relay the message and an ammo can hits me in the foot. As I reach back to retrieve it a sapling in front of my eyes disappears. I managed to kick up and pass it on. There were B-40's going off as we were FU at this point. I gave the RASH bird a 50 yard starting point. The only problem was that the smoke was drifting up and through the canopy. His first and only pass was so loud it was deafening. Also add to that the fact that Terry yelled get that SOB out of here! I called him off. The enemy fire subsided and we called a medic (only one left was the FNG I had just came in with). Sometime during all this the Sgt and I see Short-round running towards the rear to our left. He suddenly does a 720 degree spin. Sgt Kaheiki yells " Shit they got short-round!" A very short time later he comes crawling up to us. The round went 3/4th of the way around his pot between it and the liner. The next thing I see is Terry running at us and I yell for him to get down. He is badly wounded and I grabbed the FNG medics bag and grabbed what I thought I would need and sent him on. I abandoned my radio and left it for the Sgt to take care of. Once all our people were medivaced we moved out. They had bombed and napalmed the area. As we were on the run we popped smoke. They had identified violet. The support identified red. I radioed to smoke the red but the CO said no. We continued until we met up with another company that had been sent in to support us. They had been attacked when they hit the LZ, killing 3. We finally set up for the night and were attacked at first light. This probably had something to do with the fact that we lost 2 radios in the firefight.
(end of comments from Harold Hoopengarner)
(Nored) No letters written.
(Nored) No letters written.
7-15-70 Boonies (log day)
(Nored) No letters written.
A Life Magazine correspondent has joined the company gathering information on a future story on the morale and attitude of the average soldier. (In the October 23rd 1970 issue of Life Magazine there is a story done on our sister company, Alpha company, 1st Bn 8th Cav)
(Nored/Linda) In July 16 letter I apologized for not writing. I mentioned a reporter from Life magazine showed up in yesterdays log. He has long hair and sideburns and all the guys are staring at him. He looks so out of place. Its still raining everyday and my pants just ripped out again. (They lasted 9 days.) This morning the company crossed a river that was waist high. You should have seen all the guys decline from the muddy riverbank into the cold icy water. I have 5 new guys in my squad. Earl Falkinburg went into the CP to work as a 5-Mike or resupply man for us. John (I presume Sanchez) went to another squad with the shake and bake Sgt. Ken. I think his last name was Needler. I mention that I saw the "Life" reporter take a photo of Earl.
7-17-70 LZ Mo Boonies/LZ Mo. Between 1223 and 1301 Delta company is lifted out of the boonies and taken to Mo. Previous log says Delta has 95 (PAX) people in it. It took 18 sorties total to move the company.
The company was extracted from the field and taken to LZ Mo. I became platoon sgt. I gave the squad to Jay Selby. A company of the 2/7th Cavalry killed 1 gook and on his body they found pictures of Doc Kloss and other personal items. This was because on the July 12th ambush we had to leave their packs behind when we pulled back.
(Nored/DOL) Delta company of the 1/ 12th CAV was working a trail when they took fire from an old bunker complex. D 1/12 suffered 4 KIA and 7 WIA. Just a reminder to be careful when reading the Duty officers log (DOL) not to get the "D" Delta companys mixed up. In the DOL you will see "D op-con 1/12" which means our company, Delta 1/8th, is temporarily under operating control of the 1/12th.
7-18-70 LZ Mo
(Nored) On this date back in the U.S. Doc Kloss was returned to his family and was buried 2 days later in South San Gabriel, California. As fate would have it. Mike Mahr of Nored's squad had his tour in Nam cut short because his brother had been assigned to Nam. Policy at the time was 2 brothers could not serve in a combat zone at the same time. Mike lived in the L.A. area and was still serving the rest of his time in the Army stationed close to home. He was picked to be on Honor Guard ceremonies for a veterans funeral. Mike had been at the ceremonies a short time before he realized he was attending the funeral of the medic from his old platoon.
7-19-70 LZ Mo
7-20-70 Bien Hoa (company R&R)
The company was flown to LZ Snuffy, then by airplane to Bien Hoa for a company R&R. Our platoon Lt. took our platoon to Saigon for dinner. I believe this was the only time I had eaten at a civilian business the entire time in the country. I never had much interest in venturing off the military base. I am pretty sure it was due to not really trusting the people. In my letters I described how the odor of "pot" was everywhere and just about everybody was drunk. The officers ignored what was going on and everybody let loose.
7-21-70 Bien Hoa
7-22-70 Bien Hoa
7-23-70 Back to the boonies
The company was flown to LZ Snuffy by plane. Then by helicopter into the field. A rumor circulating at the time was that "Charlie" company had 21 wounded when our own artillery fell short. Fired from "Snuffy"
(Nored) On this day I'm still platoon sgt.. Jay Selby is squad leader for 3-3. Staff Sgt. Kaheki. (spelling may not be correct) is the acting officer for 3rd. platoon. My letter says we have 11 "cheeries" . I mentioned how ,"the whole company looks unfamiliar".
Bravo company is supposed to be building a new LZ called Betty. The area we are working is flat and open.
Nored/DOL " C " (Charlie) company has a friendly fire incident while out in the bush. From there night location they send their 3rd platoon out about 325 meters. 3rd platoon stops and then sends a single squad out about 25 to 30 meters from their location. The lone squad sees an enemy soldier hiding close by and opens fire. The enemy returns fire with an AK-47 then evades to the north. The DOL only gives brief information. It says a machine gunner from a platoon opens up and wounds two friendly soldiers. I am speculating that this machine gunner was still in the 3rd platoon area and when the lone squad opened up on the lone NVA soldier he too thought the enemy was firing on him. One friendly was hit in the leg and another in the hand. A short time after this an aircraft (most likely a Cobra gunship ARA) makes a gun run in support of the unit and wounds 21 friendlies and a scout dog. The DOL doesn't mention any KIA friendly and reports only 10 individuals were lifted out . Theres no mention if the friendly's were hit by rockets, M-79 rounds or mini-gun fire. Any info from a Charlie Company vet would be appreciated.
7-25-70 Boonies (log day)
The guys in the rear forgot to send our mail out cause they thought we were still back in Bien Hoa. After we got logged the company saddled up and moved about 300 meters. In the distance we could hear jets and "Cobras" shelling an area close by. It was reported that they blew something up. The company was ordered to change direction and head for a large open field where we were picked up by copters and flown to L.Z. Snuffy. The copters refueled there then returned us to a new location in the boonies close to LZ Betty. After setting down we had to wait for them to bring out a dog team. (I also mentioned in my letter that Lt. Holden had 27 days left in country. He had just got back from R&R in Australia and was crazy in love with some 18 year old girl he had met and was talking of marrying her.)
7-28-70 Boonies (log day)
Jim Wastradowski returns from his R&R.
7-31-70 Boonies (log day)
Company left the night-lo and moved to an area where we began chopping a log pad. There was some sort of screw up and we only received a partial log. The last bird came in a 6:00 pm. We moved to a night-lo and set up for the night. (Also during the log they brought out a mortar crew who set it up and periodically fired rounds around our parameter. J.W.)
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