The Mighty Ninth

Strive To Reach The Summit

Medley_Departs.JPGWhy Is This Man Smiling?Because it's April 10, 1970 and I'm getting out of Dodge. Had another white tee shirt in my AWOL bag that had been in storage at Enari and they gave us new boots and jungle fatigues. Getting ready to board a bus to the Pleiku Airbase and hop on the big Air Force jet with 71 other guys to accompany the colors of the 3rd BDE to Ft. Lewis, Washington. We were all E-5 and above or O1 or O2s. No one knew how or why we were selected, but in trying to puzzle it out we decided that apparently the primary qualification was having over 10 1/2 months in country, holding the ranks someone thought appropriate, able to clean up well, and capable of being retrained to march. Enari had been moved over to Radcliff, so to the best of our knowledge the 72 of us, minus confiscated weapons, were alone inside the huge basecamp with just the 1/12th (no offense intended) the worst battalion in the brigade sleeping a couple of guys in every 2nd or 3rd perimeter bunkers.
More_on_the_road.JPGUp Yours!Despite our attempt at humanitarian aid and civil affairs, I think we were actually recruiters for the VC since the kids started yelling "GI fucking 10" and hurling them back at us. Maybe it was the stale chocolate. Could have gotten seriously injured since those things were hard-solid and could have been used as the heat shield on the Apollo moon missions.
Me_in_the_FDC.JPGThat's Me in the FDCWhat am I doing here? This office is too cluttered. Shoulda went to law school instead. Oh, that's right...I did that later. Hurdle took this photo. Note the story headline in the crease of the newspaper "Uneasiness Now". Wonder if they are referring to being in Vietnam? Jim Hurdle sent me this picture of me about 20 years ago. Most pictures one can either remember being taken or has some internal content to help recognize the where and when. Probably St. George, but I have no real clue since the CONEX moved while the interior from this perspective remained the same. I kept this photo in my office until I retired, and kept looking at it when I was bored or pissed off and would try to guess what that skinny young troop was daydreaming about.
Hook_N__Go.JPGThar She Goes!One of our M-102 howitzers hooked up and lifting off for a hip shoot at LZ Cathy, September, 1969.
SSG_Biggers.JPGSSG Kenneth "Bodie" BiggersBodie Biggers a proud Texan and shake-n-bake E-6 as the honor graduate of the NCO school at Ft. Sill. Definite lifer tendencies, but a great guy who knew his stuff. He was FDC Section Chief and, I believe, later took over as Chief of Smoke when Chief went home. I think he received the Bronze w/V from the St. George fight. He brought back a pump pellet pistol from his R&R in Hawaii. The person sitting out a hand of Spades would use it to shoot at rats running across the CONEX "window".
Clint_Curry,_LZ_Marianne,_1969.JPGSp5 Clint Curry (deceased 4/18)Sp5 Charles C. Curry, also known as "Clint Curry", at LZ Marianne, Sept, 1969. As you probably note from the photos, Clint and I were nearly inseparable from the time I got to the Battery. He was a short-timer who took me under his wing (ETS'd from St. George the morning following the fight). Probably the most fearless guy I've ever known. I believe he and Joe Sleevi were FO party together on Chu Pa. According to Clint, he was told to "ruck up" and fill in as FO with Sleevi as his RTO. He says he told Sleevi he - Clint - would hump the PRC 25 and have Sleevi act as the FO since Joe was most experienced. Clint got the Bronze with "V" on his last night in the field at St. George (I believe it was downgraded from a Silver recommend). When we hooked up after 40+ years (we had both moved to new states) he paid me the highest compliment I've ever received (of course we had been drinking beau--effing-coup beer), that if he could only have one person to cover his back it would be me.
The_Soul_Section.JPGSoul SectionThe soul gun section chilling out. No names on the slide holder. While I recognize all of them, I don't want to put on wrong names.
Hillbilly.JPGSent to me by others"Hillbilly" and canine friend behind one of the old split-trail 105mm.
Bn_Area_at_Enari.JPGSent to me by others"Battalion Area" at Camp Enari. Soldiers Unknown.
BC-_Hillbilly.JPGSent to me by othersBack of photo says "BC & Hillbilly". Pictures were sent to me over the years by Tex Shelton and Jackie Catron; most were taken before I arrived at the battery.
Road_Views_Christmas.JPGRoadside viewConstruction along the road always varied greatly in type and quality.
On_the_road_Christmas.JPGRoad beggarsWe took along a bunch of those tropical chocolate bars and threw them out to the begging kids along the road. What intrigues me about this photo is that, as we went over a hill, I looked back and saw the kids pulling down the flag. That says a lot.
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