The Mighty Ninth

Strive To Reach The Summit

Christmas_convoy.JPGOn the road again On the road again, another fond memory of Christmas Eves past.
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.
On_the_road_-_Christmas.JPGBegging for candyMore of those tropical chocolate bars going out to the kids alongside the road.
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.
Pups_Butch_and_Cruit.JPGOur PupsOur pups "Butch" and "Cruit". The only thing I recall them barking at were Vietnamese and tigers outside the wire.
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.
Mr_Kool_Aid.JPGMr. Kool-AidKool-Aid, a "Shake-n-Bake" Section Chief from Pennsylvania, was being a good guy until he threw the bag to candy to me. Thanks a lot, dude.
Candy_Kids.JPGCandy KidsGood catch, candy in one hand and camera in the other. These kids are quick, and if a little taller and they would make great NBA defensive players or NFL quarterbacks.
LZ__Marie.JPGLZ MarieOn the way to LZ Marie, we got the "good news" that we had been dropped off a few klicks short the intended spot; we had to double-time on down by foot since the shithooks were laid on for the lift. LZ Marie started off bad since they landed the Advance Party a few klicks away from where we were supposed to be and we had to hoof it to the right location. This LZ was just outside of a rubber plantation. We could see the enemy scampering around their bunkers among the rubber trees. We weren't supposed to shoot into a French plantation without higher (economic impact) authority. However, we did shoot the guns like mortars - high angle charge 1. About 15 minutes later the French plantation manager pulled up in his jeep raising holy hell in French. I had flunked college French and one of the other guys had taken it in high school so we tried to calm him down, which only made him madder since we were butchering his native tongue. The rear sent out a settlement team to pay him off in short order, less than an hour. I sure wish the rear could have produced a pair of 9 1/2 boots - two weeks - as fast as they sent that settlement team.
LZ_Marie.JPGLZ MarieOn the ground, now...securing LZ Marie. After the guns got in, we got up a strand of concertina wire. I don't remember how long we were there, but one evening as the LPs were going out, the new grunt Platoon Leader had the rest of the platoon guarding the LZ in the middle with their weapons field stripped. Rookie mistake. The AKs started popping and the LPs came running back in under fire, followed by mortars (just 60 mikes) right behind them. One of the howitzers went to final protective fire (firecracker, crank it all the way up and down a couple of turns, charge 1 and .2 seconds I think it was). I think the other tube was loading beehive. Our eltee was in his hole down from me and I had the radios. Got in touch with the Battery at LZ Lois but there was a problem with the GT line. So we shot the firecracker. Nothing like the sound of 9 bomblets coming down on an incoming breeze to pucker one up. Only a couple of them landed in inside the perimeter. The only casualty - and this might be just wishful thinking garnered over the years, so I'd like confirmation from others - was the grunt eltee who got shrapnel in his rear.
LZ_Marie_-_2_Tube_Hipshoot.JPGLZ MarieLZ Marie secured and ready for inbound tubes (Jim Hurdle on left, Carl from Georgia kneeling next to him).
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