Hill 52 Attacked

Command Chronology – Kilo 4/11 – May 1968

Friday, May 24, 1968

Leggs came to the mess hall before we opened and said he planned to do maintenance on the refrigeration compressor.  It needed to have dust blown out of the filters.  We talked as he completed his work, and he relayed to me about an attack on Kilo battery at Hill 52.  A truck driver was wounded, and his M-37 truck destroyed.  The attack came from inside the wire perimeter.  B-40 rockets and grenades were the only weapons used.  It was a quick hit-and-run probe.

I showed Leggs the machete I had received from Papa-San’s belongings, and he said it could use a good cleaning and the blade needed some work.  He invited me to come to his shop later in the day to work on it.

Lunch was becoming our slow meal of the day.  There was much activity with convoys and resupply runs . . . the roads were busy, but we weren’t.  This led to big lines at dinner for the “Southern meal,” and Reb was occupied serving his Carolina chowder . . . some would eat chowder while standing in line for the full meal.

I received a letter from Jenny and saved it to open in the evening.  We always sniffed the letters as we opened them.  Jenny said she never put any fragrance on the stationery, but it was there . . . an unmistakable scent.  She was back at Fresno State finishing the Spring semester.  Final exams were approaching, and she was making plans for summer school in San Diego.

Sumo received letters from his wife in Japan, and Reb got mail from his girlfriend in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We never shared our letters; they were personal, and the details were intimate.  It was OK to show a photo, but feelings and emotions in letters were never talked about.

Next Edition:  Successful Ambush

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