NO JOY IN A CONVOY

(but I'm singing "hallelujah")
by Steve
Sykora

I was supposed to be in this convoy carrying a load of ammo;
I guess there is something to be said for attending church services

One Sunday morning in Pleiku, the guy in the cot next to me said, “Saddle up! Our truck is here! Let’s go, let’s go!”

 I had just finished FADAC training and I wasn’t due to report back to 2/9th till Monday, so I told the guy, “No, I’m going to stay and see if I can go to church (not at all normal for me). Going back to Kontum was bad anyway.  We got hit almost every night. Our fly-infested mess tent there was set up over an old Vietnamese graveyard; I was in no hurry to leave.  So the Convoy left without me 

I had a nice slow breakfast and looked up church services. No kidding, I felt something spiritual was drawing me to morning services. It was a Protestant service and I got lost in the responses and the Minister and I were the only ones there, so I was embarrassed. 

When I walked back to our tent, we heard that the Convoy was being ambushed bad! So one of us stole a deuce & a half and wanted to go help our guys.  We grabbed extra ammo and our three M-16s.  We blasted out the front gate and headed north towards Kontum. Very fortunately, the MPs stopped us about 200 yards from the ambush site and sent us back to basecamp. 

Monday I got aboard the next convoy to Kontum, but about half way there, the Convoy was halted so we would all hear a briefing from the CO.  This is never a good sign! We were told that our drivers were about to go full speed through the ambush site, not stopping for anything.

Bouncing around in the back of the truck I was able to crank off a few photos the truck that I would have been on hauling artillery ammo.  It must have been the center of fire in the ambush because it was riddled with hundreds of holes and totally burned up. The enemy dead were stacked like cordwood in a long line to the left of the road. In my file of photos they edited out the dead guys out of respect but there are photos us 3 guys storming north to rescue our buddies and there is a shot of an NCO with his hand on his .45 as the convoy got the warning of potential action. That was my perspective and since I was in FDC forward. 

 

by Sp4 Steve Sykora