Reb’s Package

District Capital Building – Da Nang 1968

Tuesday, September 3, 1968

The incident with “the Leg” had repercussions.  Captain McDonough, CO of India Company, wanted to know about the Medevac on Convoy Road, and he asked me about the leg.  I told him the story, and he suggested I go to Hill 10 and explain the situation to the 1st Battalion 7th Marines.  I told him I wasn’t going, and if they wanted to talk about it, to send someone here.

After lunch a Captain from 1/7 arrived and began quizzing me about the incident with the leg.  I excused myself saying, “Sir, I need to take a piss.”  I went to find Top Culverhouse and asked him to be a witness to this interrogation.  I wasn’t comfortable with answering the questions.

When I explained the details of the Medevac and turning the leg in to the Army at Grave’s Registration, the Captain said, “So you just took it upon yourself to take an officer’s leg to the Morgue?”  I answered, “Sir, there was no rank insignia on the leg.  I didn’t know who the leg belonged to.”  The leg turned out to be from the CO of Delta 1/7.

This questioning irritated me, and I asked, “What exactly is the protocol for dealing with a leg found on the road?”  The Captain didn’t answer my question, and I pressed him, “Sir, why did the Lieutenant at the scene take the radio from the Jeep and leave the leg?”  Again, he didn’t have an answer.

Top Culverhouse intervened, “Sir, the Sergeant is done answering your questions.  I think it would be appropriate if you just thank him and leave.  The Captain said, “Yes, you’re right.  Thank you Sergeant.”  As he got up I said, “Delta Company owes me a new jungle utility top.”

After the Captain left, Culverhouse was annoyed with my attitude and started lecturing me on showing respect and proper decorum.  I replied, “There is no protocol for missing legs.  No one knows squat about what to do with one.  I felt I was being respectful by turning it in.”  It was a standoff, and Top finally said, “I think you did the right thing.”

That afternoon at mail call, I received a letter from Jenny postmarked from Catalina.  Also there was a large thick envelope/package for Reb, from Sydney, Australia.  To top off the mail call, Sumo received confirmation of his R&R to Tokyo, starting on September 14.  We all got some welcome news on the same day.

Command Chronology – Kilo 4/11 – September 1968

Next Edition:  Typhoon Bess

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