Sampans

Arizona
Looking South – Song Vu Gia River

Sunday, December 8, 1968

The word from Bravo Company was:  Kilo Battery rules the Song Vu Gia River.  The NVA used sampans to cross into Arizona Territory.  These crossing points were well documented, and our FDC had coordinates already plotted.  Once sampans entered the water, our vertical timed (VT) fuses detonated the rounds in midair over them.  Lieutenant Westerfield had been plotting this scenario for a long time.  Now as CO, his efforts had come to fruition.

After cross-training the new mess men from Bravo on each position, we started a rotation so no one got stuck with the same task every day.  I assigned the young kid to Reb as a baker’s assistant.  He was a hard charger and had endless energy.  It would be Reb’s first opportunity to exercise some leadership.

Our staff meeting was a review of our Division inspection.  It was a surprise to me until Top Culverhouse said, “Division delegated the mess hall inspection to Gunny Sampson.”  I laughed at this, “They let the fox inspect the hen house.”

Thump, Thump, Thump . . . BOOM!  A grenade exploded outside the staff quarters.  It had bounced across the roof over our heads and landed behind the blast wall in front of the open door.  Someone had fragged us.  No one was hurt, but this was unexpected.  Who would do this?  And why?

Next Edition:  Church Service on Hill 37

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