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.

(Nored) These next 6 photos are shown in the order they were taken. The situation regarding the first three is this. The company has set up a parameter just inside the tree line on the edge of a huge field that has been cleared for crops. The company needed to have 2-3 individuals picked up for unknown reasons. In this photo a Cobra gunship is making firing runs on the opposite side of the field. This was done to  discourage any enemy soldiers from getting too aggressive  and possibly try to get a shot at the bird that is in bound to pick up  our guys.

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( negative # 9. photo taken June/July 1970.)

(Nored) The 2 men wearing their packs are the ones going to be picked up. I am not able to identify  anyone in photo at this time.  The company set up their night lo at this location and I remember that during the day a small group of enemy soldiers had walked up to our parameter. It caught both us and them by surprise to say the least. There was some shooting but the  gooks turned and got the hell out of there. They were fired on  by either 1st. or 2nd. platoons side of the parameter.

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(photo info. This is negative # 11 ( 10 and 12 not posted ) photo taken June/July 1970.)

(Nored) Violet/Purple smoke marks our location as  "Chickman 2-6" comes in for a landing. Well almost a landing anyway.

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(photo info Negative # 13. photo taken June/July 1970.)

"Chicken Man 2-6"

(Nored) Because of the bamboo sticking up, the pilot hovered as you see in the picture. It was much like climbing out of water and into a boat.

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( photo info Negative # 14. photo taken June/July 1970.)

(Nored) Most likely another log day. You can tell by the way the bamboo is piled on the ground that its  been cut down by us.

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(photo info negative # 15. Photo taken June/July 1970. Tail number on this ship is either 810 or 610.)

(Nored) Joe Rucci crossing stream.

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(photo negative. # 16. Photo taken June/July 1970)

 

7-2-70 Boonies

(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.

7-3-70 Boonies

(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.

7-5-70 Boonies

(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..

7-6-70 Boonies

(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.).

 

Dear Linda, July 6th V.N.Boonies

Hey! I got time 4 a letter. I better tell you while I gotta chance. Lately hon we've been humping or rear ends off. We go from one hill top to another. And damn what a hassle. The hills are nothing but mud. Its not unusual to hear someone fall down and go sliding down, pack and all till he's stopped by a tree or clump of bamboo. At the moment it looks like its going to rain. But it don't mean nothin cause its all ready soaked me once today. My squad had point today and wow! What a bitch. These next 2 months are going to be miserable. My pants are ripped from you know what, to my knee. Tomorrow we get logged and I hope to hear from you. The winds blowing and its raining. Be good honey. I'll write more later. (letter continues after setting up night lo) Hi! Theres a lot of guys trying to get in for different reasons. One guys has a temperature of 102 another has a boil under his chin that gets bigger all the time. This rain makes everything miserable hon, no kidding. Everybody is really down. I thank God I'm going home soon. I can't take too much more of this. Today we set up our patrol base and 1st and 2nd platoon went out on patrols in 2 different directions but somehow got turned around and ran into each other. The point man of 1st platoon fired on the 2nd. He wounded 2 guys and was lucky he didn't kill any one. That doesn't happen too often. Here in the boonies its easy to get turned around. The area were in , which is still close to the Cambodian border, is thick and hilly. Theres thorn bushes everywhere and there always catching on you somewhere and ripping at you. Good grief you wouldn't believe the dreams I have. I have about 5 different dreams every night. There mixed with home and Nam. Once me and my squad was running a patrol in my backyard. In another dream me and my mom was riding in a cobra gunship. The other night I dreamed Joe (Rucci), Jerry (Allen) and myself walked into a cave. There was a pond to one side of the cave. Joe and Jerry were checking some foot prints out when a gook walked down the tunnel towards me. I lifted my "16" and he walked into the water and I fired at him, hitting him. He then sank into the water. The next thing that happened a (white) bird flew out of the water and out the tunnel. Then I woke up. Now isn't that stupid. Why can't I dream about you n me and doing beautiful things. This place effects you, no doubt about that.

Love you Ed

  "This place effects you , no doubt about that."

(Nored) I remember the following incident happening sometime after returning from R&R. We were on a patrol. Just another day like all the others and it was raining. We did not have our packs on. I remember that. We moved slowly and cautiously and were mindful of each step trying not to slip in the mud. Any noise we made would have been cloaked by the rain trying to beat its way through the canopy above. We are all soaked to the bone. The only dry spot on us might have been a small area underneath our helmet. We had stopped for a brief minute and while I stood there waiting for us to move I suddenly felt a wave of fatigue and depression swell up and then sweep through me physically and mentally on a level I had not experienced before in my life. It lasted only a minute or so but at that moment I just wanted to sit down and cry. I had been fortunate in life to be born with a healthy body and strong immune system. I was seldom sick and had good stamina. I had worked long hot days on the highways prior to the Army and still had not experienced what struck me that day on patrol. I bring it up now because in this letter of July 6th I had, for the first time, questioned how much more of this I could take. "This", being the lousy, stinking, blood sweat and tears" infantry. When the patrol moved again I moved with it. Looking back on this very small 60 second incident I figured it was much like the warning light on your car dashboard telling you your low on gas. I don't remember another incident like this occurring. Concerning the dream I had of going into a cave or tunnel with Joe and Jerry and shooting the soldier. During my tour I had never set foot into a cave or tunnel. If you look at the center of the photo shown left. That's a trail running into the jungle. The overgrowth gave the trail a tunnel or cave like appearance.

Photo taken March/April 1970.

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John Butler's Account of the Friendly Fire incident July 6

John Butler joined Delta company sometime in March. 70. He was placed into 1st. platoon when Lt."Moose" was in charge. He was one of the shooters in the friendly fire incident. 3rd platoon was securing the patrol base why 1st and 2nd platoon went out on patrols. The following is what John remembers." When I was new on point we had been sent out in one direction and another platoon (2nd) was sent in a another direction but parallel to us. Me and the old point man, who was carrying the 60, were not informed of the other  platoons actions. We had just crossed an open area and had started to move back into the cover of the bamboo when the old point man came up to me and commented that I had made a mistake in moving out into the open area when I should have stayed in the cover of the bamboo to move around the open area. About that time we heard movement to our front.The old point man dropped to one knee. I was on his right and we both raised our weapons and aimed in the general direction of the noise.Then came the familiar noise of someone stepping on a piece of fallen bamboo. We both opened up on the area of the noise and needless to say we shot two men from the other platoon. One man was hit in the shoulder and the other in the side of his face. As the Medavac was coming in "Moose" was frantically breaking down the bamboo by hand with the other soldiers. Not a nice day. Sure wish we had been told about those guys before going out."

(DOL) The  two men wounded in the "friendly fire" incident that Butler describes above were Frank D. Opozka who was hit in the left shoulder and James H. Lynch who  was hit in the left side of his face. They were both picked by the "Charly Charly" bird  (command and control) at 1420 hours. It also mentions the CC bird received 5 blade strikes during the medavac. I assume this means his main rotor blades struck vegetation  while  landing or lifting out.

 

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.

The 1st Cavalry Division suffered a tragic loss early in July when the 1st Cavalry Division Command Helicopter, piloted by Major General George William Casey, enroute to visit wounded Skytroopers, crashed in a remote area in South Vietnam. Six members of his personal staff perished with him:


Major John Alexander Hottell III, Aide-de-Camp; First Lieutenant William Frederick Michel, Pilot; Command Sergeant Major Kenneth William Cooper, Division Sergeant Major; Sergeant William Lee Christenson, Door Gunner; Sergeant Ronald Francis Fuller, Crew Chief; Sergeant Vernon Kenneth Smolik, Aide & Stenographer.

General Casey took command of the 1st Cavalry Division, considered the Army's best, in May, while the division was engaged in the operation against the communist sanctuaries in Cambodia. He served as the Task Force Commander in that operation.

The Division, the Association, the Army, and the Nation, lost a dedicated and gallant leader. As one of the youngest Major Generals in the United States Army, General Casey was an outstanding soldier with a bright future.

General Caseys' son was recently in command of all of the American troops in Iraq. And is currently the Army Chief of Staff.

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7-8-70 Boonies

(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.

7-9-70 Boonies

(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.

(Nored) July 10th. Shown left to right. John Sanchez, Dick Fowler and Ed Nored of 3-3 begin chopping down a large tree to clear a place for our resupply ( "LOG") bird to sit down. 

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(Negative #1)

(Nored) July 10th. Its not just the big trees that's a problem. Its those huge clumps of towering bamboo. Once you cut it down where do you put it all.?  .

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(negative # 2)

(Nored) July 10th. In the early days when I first joined Delta we would have  wrapped C-4 around the trunk and blown the tree down. Over time C-4 seem to become harder to obtain. Perhaps it was too many accidents and the realization too much of it was being  wasted heating C-rations.  Either way were victorious over the tree.

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(negative # 3)

(Nored) July10th. SSGT. Kaheiki of 3rd. platoon (no shirt) is shown in the center of the clearing or "log pad" as we called it. Its still overcast  and may have been drizzling at the time. You can see in the photo the tall trees that surround us. Put yourself in the pilots seat of a Huey. Thank goodness those pilots and crew were great at getting into tight spots.

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(Negative # 5. Negatives # 4, 6 and 7 are under exposed.)

(Nored) Company is in a parameter. Good shot of packs is shown. Another card game is taking place. Participants look like Rucci, Selby and Allen. The sky is overcast. Our packs are ready to go and were just killing time waiting for the next order to come down. Photo taken  July 10 or 11.

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(Negative # 8)

(Nored) The artwork on back of this letter states. "73 days till wake up". Assuming my math was correct I would speculate that this photo was taken  July 10 or 11. July 11 to Sept 21 is 73 days. I have all my  letters and envelopes sent to Linda and my parents. I do not have this particular envelope and it most likely went to one of  two high school friends who had joined the Navy.

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(Negative # 9)

(Nored) Dick Fowler poses with our little friend the Claymore mine. The two people I served with the longest was Dick and Earl Falkinburg. They both joined the company about 8 days after I did. We wound up in the same squad for our entire tours. Dick woke me up a lot at night out in the bush because I snored. Photo taken  July 10 or 11.

Richard Fowler passed away on Oct. 11, 2016.

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(Negative # 10. The photo from negative # 11shows nothing of substance and is not shown.)

(Nored)  Killing more time. Jay Selby left and Jerry Allen right.  Photo taken  July 10 or 11.

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(Negative # 12.)

(Nored) A "Hunter-killer" team checks out Delta company's  location. Photo taken  July 10 or 11.

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(Negative # 13.)

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.

 

7-12-70 Boonies

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

Hoopengarner-

(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).

"And in came 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."    In a photo taken earlier at LZ CANDY. Don Ketcham poses with a Cobra named  "Arizona Gambler". The multi-barreled mini-gun can be seen in the chin turret to the right. The pilot sat in back and the gunner up front. You can clearly see the gun sight and hand controls in the photo. (This setup is nearly identical to WW 2 B-17 nose gunners).

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Wally "Shortround" Cezak. The crease on the left side of his helmet was from a bullet encountered on the ambush of the 12th of July.

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NOTE:

Wally (shortround) Cezik died Aug 14th 2012

We received notice that Wally passed Tuesday morning. Wally was a member of "Ketchs" squad of the 3rd platoon and walked point many times. The most memorable moment was when he was hit in the hemet by enemy fire. (see the dent in his helmet).

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Nored- 

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)

 

Click here to go to "Doc Kloss" tribute.

 

Click here to go to "Doc Quinn" tribute.

 

(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.)

 

(Hoppengarner)

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)

These are the bodies of Doc Kloss and Doc Quinn. A few minutes later a copter hovered above the location, lowered a cable and lifted them out. 8 months later the entire 1st Battalion  8th Cavalry was pulled out of Vietnam and sent home as part of the American withdrawal from the war.

( Negative # 14)

(Nored) There was not a dry eye to be found among us in 3rd platoon as we watched our friends being pulled up through the canopy of the bush. I certainly have not been the same since that day. I'm not sure what it was that died in me. Maybe it was because Kloss was so young. He had just turned 19 the month before. He seemed like just a kid doing a mans job. I remember how in April he had rushed to help Leonard Bauer when he was hit.

You couldn't help but admire the job everyone was doing. Our involvement in this war was winding down. From late 1969 troop levels were declining because America for the most part had decided that we should get out. Delta company was filled with a mix of opinions for and against the war. some of us had been drafted and others had enlisted. Every one of us could have found a way to avoid military service if we had really tried. But yet here we were. Standing in this dark and gloomy world watching the true cost of the war slowly rise up to the heavens and disappear.

Seeing Don Ketcham get hit again broke my heart. I believe that since his arrival in country. The squad he happen to be in suffered the most casualties of 3rd platoon during my time in country. Compare that to every squad I was in that didn't even get a scratch and in order of march, was always next to his squad.

Before the last copter came out I walked over and took a picture of Kloss and Quinn in their body bags. I was very uncomfortable doing this. I even thought one of the guys might come up and hit me. But I was keeping a diary and had taken photos of every aspect of our experience in the bush and to not include this reality didn't seem right. It would be hard to explain days like this back home. Maybe the photo would say more than I ever could.

As the last helicopter pulled away and the trees and brush settled down from the wake of the rotor wash. The jungle turned quiet. Soon word was given to saddle up and we moved out heavy. I just remember being numb. I had 70 days left in Vietnam and wanted very much to leave the world I was in.

(Nored) Medic Richard Quinn is shown left. Gordon speculates the photo was taken during the construction of LZ Kathleen and adds the man in the background ,far left, looks like Capt. Perkins. Perkins ,when standing, would take on a particular body position or stance while smoking that was unique to the Capt.  This photo was provided to us from a  friend of Richard Quinn who is working with the Quinn family and old friends to put together a story of his life. Richards younger brother in particular is working close with Fern Malkine-Falvey  in gathering  details.  Richard Quinn was the only  person from Woodstock, New York who was killed in  Vietnam. He was born July 23, 1948. If you have any fond stories or photos you'd like to share. We will pass them on to Fern. (please click on the "email me" button at the bottom of the page and I will forward the information to Fern. Thanks Gordon)

Back in late 2005 thru the freedom of information act I requested all related official paperwork concerning Kloss and Quinn. In Feb. 2006 I received the documents titled, Individual Deceased Personal File.  Both reports had about 40 pages each of typical Government  records. Personal addresses and SSAN numbers were censored out. Receipts for the expense for shipping and transporting  "the remains". Per Diem for the Escort. Casket cost. Cost of uniform (decoration and insignia). The flag and flag case etc. etc.  The escort from Dover AFB to the Lasher Funeral Home, Woodstock N.Y. was SSG. Bruce E. Maner. The certificates of Death as well as the Anatomical Charts  both for Kloss and Quinn show they died of  gun shot and frag wounds.  As you go thru this paperwork it is obviously very depressing especially if you knew these people. I suggest you never , never request these forms.

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(Nored) Richard Quinn (2nd. from left) poses with unidentified  friends in this photo taken most likely Feb/March 1970. Processing stamp date on photo was Mar 1970.  3rd man from left is a "Kit Carson" scout. Written on the back of the photo is: "L to R: Mick, Doc Quinn, Chung, Kurt"

Photo is from family via Fern.

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Doc Kloss is shown with  his arm resting on the shoulder of Dick "the Bitch "Fowler. In the background is Pat Toone with shirt open. In the foreground is Ed Stoffel with shirt open. All from 3rd plt. Pat and Ed have plastic bags over their weapons. All the men are standing in line for chow on one of the firebases.

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Map of area and actions that took place on July 12th.

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Terry Lawrence at the hospital. He was wounded on the 12th. We got a chance to see him when the entire company went on its 3 day R&R 7-20-70. Terry was one of the "Decatur 7"

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Photo was taken at Camp Zama in Japan Aug 1970. Don Ketcham & visitor.

Dons' comments: "Kenny Rogers and the New Christy Minstrels came to visit us in the hospital there. There are occasional benefits to injury. Trouble was - I was still deaf and loaded with stainless steel stitches."

(photo courtesy of Don Ketcham)

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Some of Ketchs squad.

L-R Craig Sherwood (wounded 7-12) Jim Watradowski (he left the company less than 24 hours before they were hit.) Bob Angle had left the company in June of 70 because of a death in the family. Leonard Bauer (wearing sun glasses) was killed on 4-18-70. Steve Voncannon was hit on the 12th of July. Don Ketcham was wounded in several places from either rocket propelled grenades or a hand thrown conventional grenade on the July 12 firefight. He also lost 2 or 3 toes. Terry Lawrence also received shrapnel and related wounds on the 12th. The Vietnamese person holding up the classic "peace sign is a "Kit Carson" scout. This is an enemy soldier who decided to change sides and work for us.

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L-R - Clint Hammer from Memphis Tenn., Bill Pease (of 2nd platoon) Doc Quinn (KIA July 12th 1970) - and a "Shake and Bake" Sgt whose name we can't remember.

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(photo credit Bill Pease)

Doc Kloss tends to Mason-Norris

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(Ed Stoffel photo)

This photo best depicts the image we had of our medics. We looked upon them as loving and caring individuals who were there for the sole purpose of taking care of us no matter what the situation. Doc Kloss applies some medical ointment to "Pineapples" arm to counter the many infections we picked up in the bush. (Lt. Piekarskis's photo)

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7-13-70 Boonies

(Nored) No letters written.

7-14-70 Boonies

(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) As mentioned above a Life magazine reporter has joined us in the field looking to do an article on the subject of the soldiers attitude vs. that of the career people and the winding down of the war. Article was eventually written on Alpha company and includes the accident Alpha had that killed 3 of their own. See DOL info at bottom of 5/29/70. Article was written by John Saar.

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7-16-70 Boonies

(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.

(Nored) River crossing. Normally we would set up a couple of M-60 machine guns on both sides of the crossing for protection while our guys would cross the river.

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( This photo was most likely taken on the 16th. It matches up with info written in letter from the 16th. Negatives # 15 and 16 are underexposed. This photo is # 17.)

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.

 

(Nored) This photo and the next 6 were taken on L.Z.Moe. The photos were  shot during the first hour and half after arriving. The large group, standing from left to right is. A Bearded Nored, Joe Rucci, ?, Dave Camp, Ron Robbins, Dick Fowler, Jay Selby ,?, The man standing to the far right is Robert "Bob" Turner. Bob is fairly certain he joined Delta's 3rd. platoon 2 days earlier on the log day of July 15th.

Kneeling left to right Eugene Laurie, Jerry Allen and John Farrior.

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(negative 18)

(Nored) Jim Schmidt and Ed Nored. Gordon Swenson had to censor this photo because my pants are ripped out. I want to say more about the photo but its difficult. Enough for now. Saddle up and drive on Ed.  Yes sir!

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(Negative # 19 not shown and the last shot # 20  shown.)

(Nored) John Farrior took these five 35mm shots  soon after we arrived on Mo on July 17th.  Jerry Allen of  3rd platoon  is shown teaching one of the pet monkeys of the "arty" crew a bad habit. What stands out in this photo is Jerry's clothes. I think the only thing holding the shirt and pants together is dried mud. Jerry took over the "60" from Jay Selby when we arrived on Mo.

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(photo by John Farrior)

Ed Nored and the monkey (not sure which is which).....

"to Gordon from Ed. I'm the one with hair on my face."

L.Z. Mo 7-17-70.

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L.Z. Mo 7-17-70.

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105 howitzer gun crew on the LZ. These guys fired in support of us when we were out in the field. During our time on the LZ they would fire all night long sometimes.

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(Photo by John Farrior)

105 being fired.

These 2 photos were taken at L.Z. Mo and most likely  fired in support of us on July 12 th.contact.

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(Photo by John Farrior)

(Nored) Actor Ron Ely from the 1960's T V series Tarzan pays a visit to L.Z. Mo. His visit was courtesy of the U.S.O.  Jay Selby is kneeling down in front of Mr. Ely.To the left with a beer in his hand is "Junior" from 1st. platoon Behind and to the right with glasses is Lt. "Moose" from 1st. platoon. Up front on the right is Jerry Allen. What impressed me was he didn't have to be here. He had left the place we were all dreaming about getting back to..... home. He and others like him of the U.S.O. came all this way  just to say hi and to let us know that we were not forgotten. Thanks Mr. Ely.

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(Nored) L.Z. Mo. L-R last names only. Hoopengarner,Sanchez, Masson-Norris, Rucci, Fowler, Selby, Allen. The next man might be the guy I mentioned earlier who  fell down a lot. I think he was a shake and bake named Ken. Not sure about this.In center in the foreground is Lt. Holden.The man holding the can up I cant ID at this time. Laurie is behind this man with the can. To the right is Sgt. Kaheiki. Behind him is Smichdt then Bakowski. (update) Man on far right with boonie hat with sides turned up is Robert "Bob" Turner. Walter Cezek is in front of Kaheki. Man closest to camera I believe is named Dave . Not sure though.

 

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(Nored) L.Z.Mo. Of the two men who just got off the copters the tall gentleman grunt is Randolph Foriest aka "Treetop". The other man I cant I D at this time. On the lower left of the picture you can see where empty shell casings have been tapped into the ground to spell the word Mo.

(note: There appear to be 3 letters spelled out for the LZ. Could be it was spelled MOE however the DOL and the aerial photos taken by the army show the LZ as Mo.)

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(Nored) L.Z.Mo. I'm holding up an RPG round. This same type of round is what killed and wounded our people on July 12th. Ironic enough this photo also captures a half drum of human waste being burned in the upper left of the photo.

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(Nored) 3rd.platoon's Jqachim Masson-Norris is shown being used in a demonstration of how  to secure a wounded man into some sort of medavac harness on L.Z.Moe. ( The spelling of Masson's name is taken from orders for an Air medal.)

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I believe this may be another "Chickenman" bird. Number on the nose is # 610. Its lifting off from L.Z. Moe.

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Unidentified soldier on Moe dawns a humorous T shirt. It reads "Fly the Friendly skys of Cambodia"  It shows a B-52 dropping bombs. It was a takeoff on the popular advertising slogan for United Air Lines.

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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.

(Nored)  This photo  shows 3rd. platoon loading onto a Chinook at Moe on July 20th. The Chinook flew us to "Snuffy" where we transferred onto an airplane and was flown to the Bien Hoa airport. Here Delta Company would finally get its R&R. I always hated walking to the rear of a Chinook because the exhaust from both of those engines fanned hot air right at you.

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(Nored) Delta company walks from the plane that has delivered us to the Bien Hoa Airport for the Company R&R.

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L-R Doc Steve Sipe and Jay Selby

Steve "Doc" Sipe served with Delta company, 3rd platoon during the first half of 1970. He was first to arrive when Vinny was hit on L.Z. Candy.His weapon he chose to carry was a WW2 45 cal "grease gun". I don't know where the hell he got it but I couldn't help but laugh to myself every time I saw him with it. At the reunion he told me a terrible story of an accident he witnessed on one of the Fire bases. He was sitting on the top of  a nearby bunker watching the crew of a 155 or 105 artillery piece being fired. They called a seize fire but one of the crew made a mistake and somehow did something to set off one of the rounds out side the gun. It blew one man in half and this person was blown out of the gun pit landing next to Doc Sipe. Steve remembers the man with his last breath mumbled something and died.The potential for accidents was everywhere. Of the 58,000 people killed in the Vietnam war about 10,400 were accidents or non-hostile deaths. In W.W.2 and the Korean war the accident/non hostile death rate was much higher.

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3rd Platoon SSG. Francis Kaheiki (He also had the nick-name "Pineapple".)

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L-R: Ed Bryson, Johnny Farrior, Ed Stoffel, and Larry Antici (drunk as hell!)

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Group photo taken during the company R&R.

(Click on the image to see a larger view with names of some of those we could identify.)

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(Nored) Jay Selby wearing a well deserved silver star for the July 12th contact. Photo taken during the company R&R.

On July 12th during the contact Sgt. Kaheki called back to my squad to send up the gun team. Jay Selby and assistant gunner Eugene Laurie moved to where Ketcham was by the tree and began firing till his gun jammed. He then sat up from the prone position did his best to clear the jam including kicking at the bolt. When word came to pull back. He went over to Ketcham and threw him over his shoulder and carried him back to our night lo.

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(Nored) Larry Antici and Dick Fowler at the "Cav" rear during the company R&R.

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7-21-70 Bien Hoa

 

Lt. Holden takes the entire platoon to Saigon for Dinner.

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Group photos taken during company R&R

L-R Back: Steve Brucker, "Dud" (face covered), Ron Robbins (red hair), Junior, Tom Krupa (round shades), Jay Selby.

L-R front: Mike Eklund (with no shirt), Joachim Masson-Norris

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(Nored) Apparent in the photos of many of the men taken at the R&R were the jazzed up boonie hats. Two good examples are shown above. Jerry Allen makes his "grunt" fashion statement by adding the pull rings from smoke or frags to the hat. The line from a popular song at the time "Give peace a chance" is sewn into one side. The man on the right I believe is Ken last name might be Needler. In letters I mentioned he fell down quite abit getting used to humping that damn pack, like we all did when we were new. He's had the name Brenda sewn into the side of the hat and Viet Nam can be read in the colored ribbon circling the top.

Update. (Nored) I have confirmed that Ken is Sgt. Ken Needler. shake n bake

Awards Ceremony photos taken during Company R&R at Bien Hoa

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Lt. Holden, "Top", Cpt Perry

This well equipped Grunt with M-60. And if your wondering if he jumped off the helicopter with that beer on his back, he didn't.

(Jerry Allen)

With our R&R over and it's back to the same old grind. In this photo the company boards a plane at the Bien Hoa airport that will take us back to L.Z. Snuffy where there is a dirt air strip. A couple of hours later the helicopters has us back in the bush. (7-23-70)

 

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"

Nice photo of Jay Selby. Taken as the rest of the company is sitting on the floor of the C-130 in flight headed back to Snuffy. Jay has a white towel wrapped around his 16 just to keep it clean. If I remember correctly, all of the weapons were taken from us upon arrival at the R&R center  ( a very good idea I might add)  and taken to the armorers for cleaning and  inspection. Other people shown (out of focus)  on the right of the photo from front to back are Gary S. eyes closed, Larry Antici with hands behind head. Eugene Laurie with boonie hat and mustache.

(click on image to enlarge)

 

7-24-70 Boonies

(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.)

7-26-70 Boonies

7-27-70 Boonies

7-28-70 Boonies (log day)

Jim Wastradowski returns from his R&R.

7-29-70 Boonies

7-30-70 Boonies

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.)

(click on image for a larger view)

(click on image for a larger view)

(Nored) It was a rare occasion for a mortar crew to come out and fire H&I fire around the Log site area as we received our resupply. I had finally purchased a 35MM camera at Bien Hoa while at R&R and these are some of the first I took with it out in the field.

 

You are on page 18

Grunts & the gear we carried (start here)

Maps

LZ's

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-misc

 

 

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