40 VC With Packs

Papa-San – Our One-Handed Barber

Saturday, November 16, 1968

Reb returned from 1st Med with a 3-gallon tub of vanilla ice cream.  It was packed into a large stockpot with ice and rock salt.  No one on Hill 65 knew we had this precious cache, and we disguised it in a cardboard box in the ice cream freezer.

In addition to acquiring the ice cream, Reb made contact with medics and others in the medical unit.  These Navy personnel were in the market for souvenirs, anything (war related) to take home.

Reb did sketch one of the nurses sitting on a blast wall of sandbags.  She had her head back with her face basking in the sun.  It looked natural, but she was actually posing for the sketch.  He managed to get her address and promised to send her a copy.

My new hangout in the early evening was the cooks OP.  Sumo and Fernando usually went to bed early, and Reb was in the bakery.  I heard footsteps coming toward our hooch, and Gunny Pavelcek announced, “Get up, we’re on 100 percent alert.”

An LP (Listening Post) from India Company had reported a group of 40 VC, wearing packs, on our side of the river.  This information triggered the alert, and we were told to prepare for an “imminent attack.”  Reb secured the bakery and joined me in the OP.

We sat silently in the dark and listened.  Occasionally there were illumination flares, and we scanned the wire for any movement.  The situation reminded me of TET . . . mortars after midnight, followed by a ground attack.

Command Chronology – Kilo 4/11 – November 1968

Next Edition:  “HOLD YOUR FIRE”

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