Summer 1966

My memory of names and dates has gotten so bad I haven't the slightest idea when this happened or who was flying. During the summer/fall of 1966 I was the avionics on site repair person at the Oasis. I was flying back to Plieku with a flight of 5 slicks, sleeping on the jump seat if I remember, and I heard someone say that they saw some AA 12.5mms on the ground near the edge of a clearing. We swooped down and picked up three brand new tripod mounted weapons, several full cans of ammo and about a half dozen packs. The pack I got still had warm soup in the mess kit, a complete North Vietnamese khaki uniform, a plastic poncho and a pair of tennis shoes along with personal toiletry stuff. I really thought I had a prize to bring home, but S-2 at Holloway took all the packs and guns, probably for their own souveniers, telling us we would get them back. Never did? As we lifted out of the zone, here comes Charlie with his small arms popping. Only one ship got a superficial hit. Charlie was like any GI, try to catch some ZZZs when ever it is possible. Another time, while asleep in the 208th hootch, I was in the top bunk, a horrific explosion went off and I rolled out grabbing my boots and weapon. By the time I got to the door on the way to the bunker, I saw the jet swooping off. He had played a practical joke on us and broke the sound barrier over the compound. I then realized that I had cut my cheek (three stitches) on my peanut can ash tray on the way to the floor. Boy, did everyone rib me about my "wound," the only one I got that year. I guess you could say I was lucky. I don't know how many of you remember Pete Cloutier of the 208th. He had one of those almost tragic accidents. He had gone to town for one of Frenchie's steak sandwiches and had stuffed a 45 in his belt. While there a Buddhist demonstration happened and Pete stupidly cocked the weapon, then promptly forgot about it. When he got back to the vans (repair shops), as he removed the gun from his belt, it fired. The round hit him in the inner thigh just 1/4 inch from his scrotum and went almost the length of this thigh, exiting just above the knee. He spent a couple of months in the hospital, and prayed thanksgiving that he had not become a enuch. Sorry Pete, some things one just cannot forget. I wanted to tell you guys how glad I was to find this site. I had apparently blocked out some of the bad parts and was totally convinced we had not had a single person killed that year. Just goes to show you how the mind works. After I saw the names I could finally recall some of the things that happened. David N. Smith CW4 Signal Corps My memory of names and dates has gotten so bad I haven't the slightest idea when this happened or who was flying. During the summer/fall of 1966 I was the avionics on site repair person at the Oasis. I was flying back to Plieku with a flight of 5 slicks, sleeping on the jump seat if I remember, and I heard someone say that they saw some AA 12.5mms on the ground near the edge of a clearing. We swooped down and picked up three brand new tripod mounted weapons, several full cans of ammo and about a half dozen packs. The pack I got still had warm soup in the mess kit, a complete North Vietnamese khaki uniform, a plastic poncho and a pair of tennis shoes along with personal toiletry stuff. I really thought I had a prize to bring home, but S-2 at Holloway took all the packs and guns, probably for their own souveniers, telling us we would get them back. Never did? As we lifted out of the zone, here comes Charlie with his small arms popping. Only one ship got a superficial hit. Charlie was like any GI, try to catch some ZZZs when ever it is possible. Another time, while asleep in the 208th hootch, I was in the top bunk, a horrific explosion went off and I rolled out grabbing my boots and weapon. By the time I got to the door on the way to the bunker, I saw the jet swooping off. He had played a practical joke on us and broke the sound barrier over the compound. I then realized that I had cut my cheek (three stitches) on my peanut can ash tray on the way to the floor. Boy, did everyone rib me about my "wound," the only one I got that year. I guess you could say I was lucky. I don't know how many of you remember Pete Cloutier of the 208th. He had one of those almost tragic accidents. He had gone to town for one of Frenchie's steak sandwiches and had stuffed a 45 in his belt. While there a Buddhist demonstration happened and Pete stupidly cocked the weapon, then promptly forgot about it. When he got back to the vans (repair shops), as he removed the gun from his belt, it fired. The round hit him in the inner thigh just 1/4 inch from his scrotum and went almost the length of this thigh, exiting just above the knee. He spent a couple of months in the hospital, and prayed thanksgiving that he had not become a enuch. Sorry Pete, some things one just cannot forget. I wanted to tell you guys how glad I was to find this site. I had apparently blocked out some of the bad parts and was totally convinced we had not had a single person killed that year. Just goes to show you how the mind works. After I saw the names I could finally recall some of the things that happened. David N. Smith CW4 Signal Corps