“It’s A Cobra”

West side
West side of Hill 65 – Where the Cobra Was Last Seen

Tuesday, October 8, 1968

There are two seasons in South Vietnam . . . wet and dry.  We were nearing the end of the wet season, but the monsoon weather persisted.  We could see flashes of lightning toward the eastern horizon, and local rain cells were drenching areas of Dodge City, south of Hill 55.

Sumo and I were preparing lunch and heard a loud commotion near India Company, “Look out, it’s a cobra.”  We went out the mess deck door to see what it was all about.  I thought it must be one of the new Huey Cobra attack helicopters, but it turned out to be a large black snake instead.

The cobra traveled in a straight line (not winding) and lifted its head up to get a view of the terrain ahead.  There were Marines on either side observing (from a safe distance), but the snake stayed on a course, traversing the Hill from east to west.

It really was a sight to see.  This majestic glistening black King Cobra was well over 10 feet long.  It slithered across the LZ and down the western slope of Hill 65, heading toward the adjacent village.  Sumo and I decided it was either migrating or looking for a mate.

Next Edition:  Handley’s Proposition

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