Ed "Spooky" Nored
RVN Sep 69 - Sep 70
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DOL. Based on the final map locations of units. Third platoon,3/6, is spending the night separate from the rest of the company. DOL gives good info on equipment and supplies needed to build an L.Z. or fire support base.
(J.W.) Patrolling in area with very thick vines all over. At night one of the guys while showing a new guy how to safety works on a claymore accidentally sets on off.
3-2-70 Boonies (log day. It was a "kick out".)
DOL. Kickout logs could be dangerous. A helicopter hovers just a few feet over the canopy of the jungle and from both sides of the bird they start throwing supplies out. At entry # 12 of the DOL Bravo company, Pig Iron, during their kickout log had one man hit in the head and another in the shoulder. Both were seriously hurt and a medavac had to be called.
(Nored / J.W.) Jim and I both logged the following situation. 3rd. platoon spent most of the day hacking away at the jungle to make room for the log bird to land. At 1600 were told were only getting a kickout of "Cs" (C rations). Wasted energy that pissed most of us off. More dented cans to try and open. Jim says we got water from a stream and humped about one K and set up for the night.
3-3-70 Boonies Log Day . Designated Log Bird "Chicken Man # 624".
DOL. From 1030 to 1505 Delta was receiving log. The log bird made 4 trips or sorties.
(Nored) I wrote that I felt that I was coming down with something. My joints ache and my neck is stiff. Living like we were out in the bush I'm sure our bodies were fighting off a lot of bugs. Malaria being the biggest fight going on inside all of us. Drinking water from the streams with out using the purification tablets was a bad habit most of us had. I know I never used the tablets.
After setting up at our night location word was passed around the parameter that one of the men was going to be medivaced because of a high fever of 104 degrees. It was all ready dark and we were underneath the canopy of the jungle so I was I quite impressed when the all too familiar sound of a Huey approached our location. I believe they had put a strobe light inside of a helmet and then raised it as high as they could so it could be seen from the air and not the ground for obvious reasons. You could not see the bird as it hovered in the dark just above us. The blast from the whirling blades stirred up leaves and debris. A metal chair was lowered and the sick man was slowly lifted out and on his way to the hospital. Jim Wastradowski"s diary mentions that this may have been Sgt. Stanley. But adds it may have been "possibly Sgt. Ski.". So at the present time no confirmed ID on the man medivaced..
(J.W.) Got up and went on patrol, light, all day. Returned to the night lo and saddled up heavy. Moved about 1 K and set up for the night. The company changed from using trip flares to smoke grenades.
3-5-70 Boonies (log day) ( Designated Log bird Potato Masher # 754)
DOL. We received resupply between 1155 and 1350. The log bird made 4 trips to our location.(J.W.) Log day. We get a full sit down log. We humped about 1 K and found a well used enemy trail. It was wide and had bicycle tracks on it. We set up night lo next to it. It rained very hard at night.
DOL. Tim Kleeber during the night has cut his hand on a machete. Delta company request he be picked up. It is not urgent so first platoon takes him back to our log pad we had cut yesterday and the Charly Charly( "Duke 2") bird picks him up.( Klebers DEROS date is Sept. 23 1970) The DOL also says Orbie "Jay" Selby of 3-3 platoon is confirmed to go to the rear and take the CLC (Combat Leadership Course) A Jon Whitfield is picked for sniper school. See entry # 29 in regards to items we found at 1440 in regards to info below.
(Nored.) The company moves down the well established enemy trail. We soon find some bunkers with 13-200lb. bags of rice, 5 bikes and 2 rockets of some kind.
(J.W.) Adds we went on 3 patrols. Very tired.
(J.W.) Crossed Song Be river. It was really beautiful. Too bad this country is at war. The water was really warm. After crossing we moved to the top of a hill and set up. (night lo?).
(DOL) Between 1100 and 1200 Delta company was lifted out of the bush and delivered to L.Z. Audie.The previous days log mentioned Delta had 114 Pax or people to move. (Nored) Though it has been quiet for us First platoon (1/6) of Echo company yesterday afternoon made contact. Third platoon (3/6) from Alpha company was inserted for support and after some difficulty linked up with Echoe 1/6 at the late hour of 1900. By 1930 Echo Company reported they had 2 KIA with 7 wounded. Alpha's third platoon had 7-8 wounded. The gooks were shooting at the Medavac birds. It was a long night for those guys. A long night for sure.
(Nored) The company was airlifted back to L.Z. Audie. Dick Fowler got back from Bien Hoa after having his teeth worked on. He has to go back soon for false ones. Also the main headquarters for the company has moved for Quan Loi to Song Be.
(J.W.) Jim heard that Bravo company found 100 SKS rifles and continuing to find more. Area is hot and other companies are making contact..
3-9-70 L.Z. Audie
(Nored) Ron McGlothlin has returned from his R&R. He does not want to be squad leader and says that I can keep the position if I want it. I say yes. I mention in my letter "Ron came back from R&R and he's home sick as all get out. He wanders around in a daze thinking of his wife." I really felt sorry for him. Doug Gorton had left for his R&R and was going to Bangkok. Capt. Perkins has expressed to me twice he thought my side burns were too long. Each day at Audie a cook mixes up a large batch of Koolaid. What's unusual is its in a cleaned out garbage can. The company is told to shoot up the old ammo we've been carrying and for about an hour the company takes its revenge on the boonies and kills every tree and bush surrounding Audie.
(Swenson) I remember shooting up the ammo. I was sitting down firing off my M-16 and leaned back a little to far. I got off balance and pulled the trigger on full automatic. The recoil pushed me back and my leg and foot went up towards the front of the barrel. All of this happed in a split second but I remember looking real close at my jungle boot to make sure I hadn't shot myself in the foot!
3-10-70 L.Z. Audie
(Nored) Our platoon (3rd) is going out in the bush on its own. In preparation for this about 11 a.m. a copter takes myself and the other 2 squad leaders (Ketcham and Gary) along with Lt. Piekarski and the company C.O. on a recon of the area. We paralleled the Song Be river for about half hour then returned to the firebase and about 2 p.m. humped off Audie. Our platoon moved till we came upon a trail and spent the night on ambush.
Concerning the tree top level air recon that Piekarski, Ketcham, Borkowski and I took this day it was the wildest ride I had been on in a Huey. The pilot banked turned and twisted trying to match the bends of the river and I learned real quick as I sat there on the right side floor dangling my feet over the side that with the absence of my pack and its load acting as a counter weight that I was nearly thrown out. I thought my left hand would start bleeding as I squeezed tighter and tighter onto that hole in the air frame. I remember the blades "whopping" loudly as they beat thru the air. The Huey was too big for this mission. I think ,at the time ,had an enemy seen us coming he would have thought we were about to crash.
(Ketch) I also remember taking a scouting mission in a Huey, I believe with Nored, Piekarski, and possibly Capt Perkins. The ride was most memorable with the way the pilot flew along the Song Be river. While setting at the door on the skid, watching and looking along the rivers edge - all the while flying just above tree level, had one of the rides of my life. When the river turned, the pilot turned the ship, sharp. At times, could have fallen from that bird while being at a right angle and facing straight down into the river. Didn't see much, but, as you can see, this is where the company ended up going, looking for the ever evasive Charley.
3-11-70 L.Z. Audie
(Nored) My squad goes out on patrol by itself and we find a spot where the gooks had spent the night. We found batteries and used N.V.A. hyperdermic injection of penicillin. Later in the afternoon our platoon is suppose to move across the river to a bombed out area where we'll be picked up by copters and returned to Audie.
3-12-70 L.Z. Audie
(Nored) The company is at Audie. I cannot determine from my letters whether our platoon was extracted the morning of the 12th or the afternoon of the 11th. Either way out platoon was on Audie on the 12th.
(J.W.) We came back to Audie. "E" company replaced us in the boonies. One half hour later after we arrived at Audie, Echo company made contact with the enemy. Lt. Piekarski receives a package and we all surrounded him as he opened the package. As he pulled items out of it all the guys jokingly reacted with exaggerated ooos, ahhhs and wows. He was cracking up. Our platoon Sgt., Lt. and some other men managed to steal 3 cases of beer and we had a party.We drank beer all night and went to bed about 3 A.M. Vinnie Sciaretti got sick. Woke up at 7 and felt pretty good.
(DOL) Delta company saddles up heavy about noon time and between 1230 and 1330 does a "Daisy Chain" with Bravo company. As Bravo grunts fly into Audie from the bush and unload . Delta grunts climb on the birds and fly to where they were.
(Nored) The company is air lifted back to the boonies where we begin working a system of gook trails called the "Jolly Trail ". The platoon has 3 squads. They guys in my squad are Jay Selby (not with us at the time because he is back at Bien Hoa taking C.L.C.), Jim Smicht (Also not with us at the time because he has malaria.), Ed Bryson, John Sanchez, Johnny Farrior, Gene Laurie, Earl Falkinburg, Ron McLaughin, Dick Fowler and a "Kit Carson" scout.
(J.W.) Airlifted out of Audie. Were patrolling by Song be river. Were working a wide enemy trail. The packs are heavy and it was hard going. Vinnie had a rough time. We set up late..
(Nored / J.W.) There is a new guy from New Jersey named Joe Rucci. He's in my squad. Earl "The Duke" missed this mission because of his foot. Jim W. mentions he saw a 3-4 foot long lizard . Looked like he weighed 25 lbs. and when startled, moved very quick. This was probably the famous "Fuck you" lizard. This lizard made a very loud "Cuckyou" sound or call.
Note from Gordon: I found this link to wikipedia that discusses a Tokay Gecko. (our famous lizard). There is also a link to a sound file so you can hear what is sounded like.
(J.W.) 3rd. platoon had palace quard. 1st and 2nd platoon go out on patrols while we stay at the patrol base and secure everyones packs. Capt. Perkins strolled over to me and asked me about the M-79 grenade launcher I carried. He then made some marks on a piece of paper.( Jim speculates it all relates to a promotion in rank. ) We cleaned up in a stream.
3-16-70 Boonies (log day)
(DOL) No name of the designated log bird was noted in the DOL.The company finds and clears a log pad and from 1100 to 1740 we receive 7 sorties of resupply.
(DOL) Battalion intends to air lift our company closer to the area Alpha is presently located tomorrow. DOL mentions Deltas company has "120 pax" ,meaning 120 packs or people to be moved.
(Nored) We sat around all day where we got logged yesterday. We were suppose to be lifted out and flown to where Alpha company was because the gooks had hit them. But around 1600 they canceled the pick up. So we saddled up heavy and moved down off the hill as it began to rain heavy. We crossed a river and moved up to another hill and set up our new night lo. About 15 minutes later we heard machine gun fire and 2 rockets exploding from the other hill top where we had been all day. Our artillery was directed into our old location and arty worked the pad over with several rounds.
(Nored) Today were suppose to move past the previous log pad again and then proceed to another new hill top where were supposed to get logged. I was of course concerned because my squad would be leading the company up the hill. As it turned out 1st platoon was sent back up to the old pad. A loach helicopter is working just ahead of them checking out the hill. Above the little observation copter you can hear the comforting sound of a Cobra gunship. At about noon we get word to saddle up heavy and the company moves again across the river and up a ass kicking hill. Nearly straight up and set up another night lo.
(Swenson) I remember this hill very well. Carrying the radio, extra batteries and 8 quarts of water along with food, and all to personal stuff I really wasn't sure I was going to make it. I remember crawling with tears in my eyes, swearing, cursing and anything else I could do to just move another couple feet.
(JW) Humped 1500 meters. Went up a very steep hill.Had to crawl on hands and knees to make it. Our C.O. passed out. Too much hill for him. Humped all day and had a lot of movement.
3-19-70 Boonies (log day) (Log bird- Stylus 471)
(Nored) Our log pad is a bombed out clearing with a good view of the valley. Of course anybody in the valley has a good view of us.The company gets a partial log of C rations and water only. My letter mentions there is something wrong with the helicopter and "they" don't seem to think it will last much longer. At about 1700 we moved off of the hill. First platoon has point. Followed by 2nd and then 3rd platoon. My squad was drag for the company (the last) . I was told to leave an automatic ambush set up. This was a claymore mine set up like a booby trap utilizing a trip wire. John Farrior covered me as I set it up. We continued to move out when an enemy mortar round landed not far off from where we were. Arty was called in to the area. Another Pink team showed up. We continued to move when the 1st. platoon point man saw an enemy soldier who quickly ran off. The point never got a chance to get a shot off. Continuing, the point element found 2 hooches and a bunker. There was a good stock pile of rice and wheat which we burned up and then continued to another bombed out area on the lower portion of the hill. Concerning 3-3 squad. Jim Smichdt has rejoined the squad after fighting off another bout with malaria. There are 3 new guys in 3-3 squad. Mike Mahr from the LA area, Joe Rucci from New Jersey and a Sioux Indian from North Dakota named Spotted Horse. If I remember correctly Spotted Horse use to be a door gunner on a loach or Huey. He had some sort of disagreement with an officer. He then chose to respond physically and Spotted Horse was promoted to the Grunt division of Delta Company.
(Nored) My letter to parents on the 21st says I received their package yesterday on log day. Referring to the 20th. Because of the problem with the log bird on the 19th. I"ll speculate that we were logged again which included mail on the 20th.
Log Day (DOL) Between 0950 and 1010 Delta gets a kick out log. The log bird made 2 trips. Nearby, Alpha company was working a trail and had a meeting with 3 of the enemy. Richard Cox died of his wounds before being medevaced . 4 other men were wounded in the shooting and 4 more were lightly wounded when friendly artillery landing too close.
(Nored) We found 3 hooches off the side of a trail. They were old. Not used recently.
(Nored) Doug Gorten got back from Bangkok. He brought back a water pipe.
(Nored/Linda) Letter says the company is set up on the top of a mountain. In our parameter there's a ring of dug in positions (old foxholes) that we figured were dug by the ARVN about a year earlier.
3-25-70 Boonies / LZ Candy
Company was extracted and taken to L.Z. Candy
3-26-70 L.Z. Candy
We started to rebuild Candy
3-27-70 L.Z. Candy
Started laying wire and building bunkers
(Ketch) These pictures remind me of many poses taken on LZ Candy. LZ Candy's background was that it was a former Artillery site for 175 mm cannons. The place was used well. The red dust was about a foot thick and very powdery. The muzzle blasts from the 175's kept it from packing. Where my bunker was located along with Juan Ferguson, had to be just about under where the muzzle ended (and only feet away from where this picture was taken.) There was much dust, as one can tell from the picture(s). Most days were filled with filling of sandbags. When the company first came to LZ Candy, and getting off the Hueys, and walking to the LZ for occupation, one could see footprints in the red dust, and it looked like the place had been paced off. Wasn't long after arriving there that the company was hit with incoming fire.
3-28-70 L.Z. Candy
(DOL) After flying by fixed wing from Bien Hoa to Song Be. Alpha company ,between 1500 and 1620, returns from there R&R at Bien Hoa. They are air lifted by Chinooks ( 4 sorties) from Song Be (Buttons) to Candy and then walk off Candy to begin another mission in the bush.
3-29-70 L.Z. Candy
Doug was med-a-vaced when a bunker collapsed on top of him.
3-30-70 L.Z. Candy
More details (jobs).
3-31-70 L.Z. Candy
Doug returned to company.
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