FAKE IT!!!

We should have followed the American Express advice: 
Don't leave home without it??

As shown in the illustration, this poor conductor has a faulty score obviously, and his instructions are to "fake it".   I guess continuing to wave his arms up and down may get him through the concert.  Wish my option was to "wave my arms up and down" in a place known as "Tam Ky".

It was around September, 1967.  Alpha Battery came into LZ OD near Duc Pho with cannons blazing as the 3rd Brigade Task Force entered what was then called "VC Vacationland" in late Spring.  The US Marines were sent further north and our gang was told to go in there and dislodge the enemy out of his "comfort zone".   Many battles were fought in this area, but as the summer wore down, we were firing fewer and fewer "contact missions".  Also, there was a change of command....a "swap" of our 3rd Brigade on 1 Aug 67 with the 4th Division's 3rd Brigade down in Cu Chi.  We stayed where we were and were absorbed into the 4th Div, but it meant new bosses and new ideas.  One of the "new ideas" was to un-ass the area, become OpCon to the 101st Airborne, and move north to Tam Ky.   Goodbye to LZ OD; many fond and not-so-fond memories there.

So...we began the dreaded RSOP process.  Pick it all up, pack it all up, secure it, and wait for your air support to come get you.  Being good soldiers and taking our orders, we were ready around noon...waiting on aircraft.  And we kept waiting on aircraft.  Did I mention we had to wait?  Oh, yeah.   Our watches are moving towards 1800 hours.  Would you believe the sun started going down?  Couldn't change plans now...the howitzers, the FDC Conex, the ammo, etc., had already been moved to the Brigade airstrip.  We're sitting on "go".

At last the C-130s show up and we start loading the howitzers.  I've long forgotten how many trips it took, but they shut it down after darkness totally consumed the area.   We started digging in at Tam Ky in the darkness.

Seems only one thing didn't make the trip:  THE 105mm AMMO!!

So...here we are...occupying a new LZ without any howitzer ammunition.  And, yes...we were directed to "FAKE IT"!

And that's what we did...we arranged the howitzers in firing positions as if we were ready for battle.

The only thing we didn't do was have a contest to see who could yell "BANG!" the loudest.  And if someone did call in with a "fire mission", we probably woulda responded: "Hope you got matches, buddy!"

Lt Dennis Dauphin

Back