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A day in hell

It was February 12, 1968. The gooks had been attacking all across Vietnam. Hue City fell almost immediately. I was with Lema Company 3/5. We were ordered into the city to take it back. I was a radio operator operating a MRC-108 radio. I was a known as a ROMAD, (Radio Operator, Maintainer and Driver.) The 151 jeep was a good ride. I kept comm between air ground and what was flying above. Anyone looking for close air support, I was there guy. Most of the time I was in a rather safe area, kept away from the conflict. I hauled this trailer with gasoline cans stacked in it and a generator so if I had to stop, I could start the generator and keep comm going. On February 12th, everything changed. The CO wanted this type of comm close by so he could call in air support and have it attack exactly where he wanted it. The problem with this type of vehicle. it attracts the NVA. The huge antenna and all those e radios in the rear seat were a magnet for RPG’s and small arms fire. On my first day in Hue, an RPG hit the trailer, destroying it and sending shrapnel all thorough my radio. I was sent back to get another. To my surprise, it only took a couple of hours. I want right back and found my CO. I was in the middle of an air call when small arms riddled the radio, my Jeep and my windshield. Somehow I wasn’t hit. The CO told me, to go back and get another, so I did. this time it took a little longer when I found out that all the other ROMAD where getting shot up. When I got back, the CO told me if I lose another, he wants me to get a PRC 25 and carry it back to him. He told me his radio man was killed an hour earlier. That night it was pure terror. The grunts continued their assault. the fires, small arms fire and automatic weapon, if that wasn’t bad enough, the screams in the night gave me chills I still feel today. The next day, I had the opportunity to call in a few airstrikes on the perfume river. What I learned was, the brass was saying no to arty or air inside the old Hue City. They didn’t want to destroy the city. It was February 15th. The morning was filled with smoke when an RPG hit my vehicle. this time I didn’t escape. I woke up in Da Nang Naval Hospital. I got hit in my hand, arm and face. The force of the blast left me unconscious. My concussion was sever and they sent me to Japan. The war ended for me that day, and this story too.

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