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SSG (RET) Stu Davis, 1st Platoon, 1968/1969. Flame APCs, Kinh Xang Recon and Dong Tam
Richard Ross Photos 67/68 Richard served with B company 2nd Platoon
Ron Allison Photos 8/67-8/68 posted 12/2011. Ron was a medic assigned to HHC who spent 9 months with B Company.
Joe Kolodziejski's Photos - 1967
1st Platoon - SGT Roy Chaney's Squad - 1969
Tom Newsham's (LTC retired) Photos - 1968/1969
Page 2 contains photos taken the day after the Dong Tam main ammo dump blew-up on 26 March 1969
1st Platoon - SGT Roy Chaney's Squad
Early to mid 1969
SGT Chaney and friends? That's the operational end of a .45 pointed at you! The first photo is a cleaned up version of the original scan shown in the second photo.
SSG Roy Chaney 6/2000 and the Country Store he owns
Clearing jungle northwest of Dong Tam
The first two photos are of an E Company flame APC helping us by clearing booby traps and old ammo. They were lost in May 1969. The third photo is an abandoned Vietnamese home. The last photo is the squad clearing the road from Dong Tam to QL4.
Flame APC photo from Tom Newsham's (CO, B Company) collection.
1st Photo: Bradshaw testing a new bridge we had recently
2nd Photo: Bradshaw and Eubanks check a bunker for cobras before blowing it - SGT Chaney loved to catch and skin them.
Last two photos: Slim Harris tearing up some jungle with his D7E.
1st Photo: Mares, Durgain, Linabury and Prylo, what
are you looking for?
2nd Photo: The only photo of me (your humble web master) taken in Vietnam that I am aware of.
Color photos courtesy of SSGT Roy Chaney
Black and white photos taken by a US Army combat photographer
The operation shown above took place, to the best of my knowledge, during March 1969. We were tasked to clear a large area of jungle west and north of Dong Tam due to the VC/NVA using the area to set ambushes and mortar Dong Tam. We cleared jungle west until we hit a man-made canal and then headed north where we were to stop at a trail in the jungle. Are you kidding me, we went a quarter of a mile beyond the "trail" before the Battalion XO flew over us and spotted the "trail" from the air. So much for maps in the Xray Sierra area of operation.
A few items of interest regarding the operation. Sgt Chaney and I would move forward of our perimeter and scout out areas we were to clear. One time we came across a small abandoned base camp the VC/NVA had used. We found a Huey ID plate (later turned in to Division G2) and a GI helmet. Put a few rounds into the helmet to make sure it wasn't booby trapped - it wasn't. Embarrassingly, I got myself caught in a thick bramble bush for about 10 minutes as we were returning to the unit. Don't know whether SGT Chaney realized it at the time - he does now.
The Mobile Riverine Force paid us a visit one day. Remember, we were adjacent to a canal (Kinh Xang) on our west side. Anyway, they used us for target practice (actually a Mad Minute) and had us all flat on the ground - rounds blowing off dozers and graders luckily did not cause any casualties. The Major running the operation came out to our site the next day to apologize for the error. Sure was happy they weren't firing "Thumpers."
A K9 dog discovered a command det mine that would have flipped a dozer. Must have been over 20 pounds of explosive.
The VC/NVA sent us a warning. They floated a miniature boat down the canal that was adjacent to our clearing operation. After it was spotted I put a few rounds into it to make sure it wasn't booby trapped. While not booby trapped, once it was hit a bunch of VC paper flags popped out and one of our guys swam out and retrieved them. Below is a picture of the one I kept. I believe SGT Chaney also has one. If I have it upside-down - so bite me.
Our luck finally ran out when we were ambushed and lost a dozer to an RPG. The operator (Hoffman from HHC) was severely wounded in the chest. Brought in a "Hunter/Killer" team that leveled the area. The "Dust Off" would not come in to pick up Hoffman and, over a push we were on and monitored by Battalion, threatened to down the "dust-off" with small arms fire and made reference to his "branchless" family tree (this a cleaner version of what really was said) - he came in. The doctor told us later that Hoffman had his heart clipped by shrapnel and would not have lasted much longer. Never was reprimanded by LTC Jester for threatening to down a "dust-off."
To see some photos of this action, go to:
Captain Tom Newsham's photos
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Don't get me wrong, the Medivac ("dust-off") crews and pilots continually risked their lives, and lost them, to pick up wounded soldiers. Too many times a "Priority" call was put out to these brave crews and the wound was not life threatening. This was not the case with Hoffman - I assume they were "testing the water" and verifying my "Priority" call. I just wasn't in the mood to be tested. On two other occasions I personally countermanded "Priority" calls for a "dust-off" when I found out the wounds were not life threatening - but that's another story.
Seems our Artillery friends decided to come out and help us during the ambush. A Duster (dual 40mm track vehicle?) came out and got stuck and never, to my knowledge, fired a round. We pulled him back to Dong Tam along with our own downed equipment. When returning to New York on a flight from Fort Lewis, Washington, on my last day on active duty, I ran into an Arty officer who remembered the ambush - he informed me the officer who led the "duster" out to "defend" us received the Silver Star for his actions during the ambush. Are you kidding me!
Sgt Chaney, do you remember jamming your M16 in my belly that night? Unfortunately my night vision was above average (which I had learned at AP Hill) and I assumed you could see me as clearly as I saw you. Thanks for not unloading your magazine at that moment - it would have hurt.
Lt. Richard Coogan, Platoon Leader, 1st Platoon, B Company, 15th CEB