|U.S. soldiers of Company A, 70th Engineer Battalion, waiting to be airlifted out of Kham Duc, in a ditch beside the runway. (PD)|
BTW, the story of how and why I became a FAC is a story for another time, but Sarge if you want a post about an operation that garnered an O-5 C-123 driver the MOH right in my back yard in an operation I flew several sorties as an F-4 GIB in support of, hit WIKI for the story of a "Khe Sanh in reverse" about the "Battle of Kham Duc" S.F. Camp in Quang Tin Province, I-Corps, south of DaNang. in May, '68. A lengthy, but spell-binding read.I read the Wikipedia entry (here) but decided to dig a little deeper. That's going to take some time.
The Vietnam War raises strong emotions even 40 years later.
Forty years ago I was a brand new Airman Basic. Think "slick sleeve," no stripes at all, the very bottom of the heap.
I went in on the 13th of May, 1975.
To put that in context, Saigon fell two weeks before. On the 30th of April. I have many memories of those years. I cannot imagine the memories of those who were there.
I used to work with a Vietnamese lady, she, her husband and children fled Vietnam as the Communists entered Saigon.
On a moped!
He was a Lieutenant in the Republic of Vietnam Navy. The family managed to reach his ship. Waiting as long as they could, they put to sea shortly before the NVA arrived.
Her story was fascinating.
My cousin was stationed at Bien Hoa, Air Force. He too had stories to tell.
Most of my instructors in tech school in Denver had been in Southeast Asia, mostly in Thailand where I was eventually slated to go.
My assignment was cancelled, I remember listening to a radio broadcast as my buddy and I drove across country for Christmas leave. I heard the sound of F-4 Phantoms departing Thailand. I would work on many of those jets in the years to come.
But not in Southeast Asia.
Like I said, I glanced at the Wikipedia article on Kham Duc. I decided to do a bit more research, that article seemed to have a bias I did not care for.
Perhaps it's just me letting my emotions get the better of me.