A MIDNIGHT SURPRISE
Doing the same things
over and expecting a different
result is the definition of insanity. But doing the same
things over for the same result can be insane too!
We were at Ben Het when it happened. After being there a few days, we'd get a "mortar message" from Charlie. Around midnight each night, Charlie would drop a couple of mortar rounds on us. And then disappear into the darkness. This was the classic and typical "hit & run" approach used by the enemy throughout the war. Then, he would pull the same stunt again, same time on another night.
We discovered that Charlie was setting up shop at the end of a runway. Behind his mortar location was a dirt bank. Charlie went back to the same spot each time, dropping a couple of mortar rounds down the tube, and doing the "di-di-mau" on us. Got to be annoying, to say the least.
But Charlie failed to make any allowances for us creative redlegs, who have a natural knack for blowing things up. There was an 8" SP howitzer located at the other end of the runway. The gun crew came up with the idea checking out Charlie's location, dropping the 8" tube and boresighting down the runway. Charlie would be in a for surprise...a "midnight surprise".
Sure enough...Charlie came back and was right on time! When the crew heard the "fw-whoomp" of the mortar, they let loose with the 8" SP at direct fire...right down the runway. That 8" looked like a roaring dragon.
The next day, the crew went to see what happened. All they found was one of Charlie's missing arms. I guessed they would need a shovel for any other parts that were lying around.
So...the gun crew painted a mortar on the side of the 8" tube. Charlie learned a new definition of insanity.
Sp4 Steve Cox
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