From a425couple@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 3 10:07:53 2021
VIET NAM VETS
Greg Murry · oa1tSpon7sorceehd ·
I was with A-1-16 Infantry, 1ID from SEP 66 to SEP 67
Wake Up Call
We were back in Lai Khe for a short break and one night the company CP
didn't receive the regular hourly SITREP from an ambush patrol. I was in
the commo bunker on other business and heard the RTO saying “Alpha Three-Three, this is Alpha Six Romeo, if your situation is negative,
break squelch twice.” The RTO repeated this litany, every couple of
minutes. Captain Howley was advised that we had lost contact with the
patrol and shortly after he showed up at the commo bunker.
The RTO told him that we hadn't been able to contact the ambush patrol
for their SITREP and he said, “They’re asleep, give me the handset.” He opened up the map he was carrying. The RTO stepped away from the table,
gave the captain his chair and laid the handset on the table. The CO
pulled out his note book, consulted it and looked at the map. He wrote something in his notebook. I looked at the RTO and mouthed the words,
“What the blank, over.” He shrugged his shoulders.
The CO picked up the handset, squeezed the push to talk button, and
called the mortar section. “Alpha Four-One this is Alpha Six, fire
mission, over.” “This is Alpha Four-One; send your mission, over.” “One round HE,” he said and gave them the grid coordinates of the target. The mortar crew was about fifty meters away and we could hear them preparing
to fire. “Toook,” the mortar round was on its way. We stood there
silently waiting. Eventually we heard the faint sound of an explosion.
“Now try them,” said the CO, handing the RTO the handset.
“Alpha Three-Three, this is Alpha Six Romeo, if your situation is
negative, break squelch twice.” As soon as the RTO released the transmit button, we heard the rushing noise for a second and the squelch broke
twice. “That got their attention,” said the CO, as he picked up his notebook and map, “Let me know if you have any more problems, I'm going
After he left we checked the grid coordinates that he had given to the
mortar platoon. They were about two hundred meters past the ambush
patrol's designated position and one hundred meters to the left of their
line of travel. I guess he reasoned that they would have least likely
gone past their planned location, more likely they stopped short of
where they were supposed to be either by design or because we tend to
take smaller steps in the dark, thereby not traveling as far as our pace
count tells us. “The CO don't screw around, do he?” said one of the
other commo guys who had been sleeping on a cot. “No he don't” said the
RTO and we went on about our business.
This is an excerpt from my memories of Vietnam