"Short Bursts"- Short Stories- 1st Battalion 6th Infantry, Americal Division, US Army, Vietnam
     I was the Section Chief on Gun #5 (A/1-82 Arty) at LZ Dottie.  We spent most of the first couple of months I was there tearing down the hootchs and gun pits from the other guns to make the place look pretty for a visit by GEN Abrams.  He went to the 1st Bn 6th Inf  TOC, back to his chopper and the closest he came was when he flew over us on the way back south.
     We were all glad when one of your companies would stand down for a few days.  We didn't have to man the perimeter bunkers then as they put the infantry soldiers in the bunkers.  I was always pretty worried about the gap between the main gate up to our guns.  Luckily when we tore down the other hootchs we could see that entire area from my gunpit.

     [From Ron Griffin,  rgriffin@vbe.com, 24 Jul 00]

     I was a rifleman and a point man for 2nd Plt, Co D, 1st Bn 6th Inf, Oct '68 to Oct '69.  We lost two lieutenants (Lt.) in the month of Oct '68.  The first time was just before I arrived.  The CP section of the platoon hit some booby traps and wiped out the Lt. (wish I had his name).  The RTO, Fred Brown, and another man (maybe Jackson) also went down.
     The second Lt. that was killed was a replacement for the first one.  He arrived at the platoon on the same day as me and another private.  That night I was sent with half the platoon on ambush, while the new Lt. and the other private went with the other half.  Later we got a distress call that the new Lt. and private had hit a booby trap.  The Lt. was killed and the private (Ashe I think was his name) was wounded but I don't recall how bad.  My first night and I beat the odds.

     [From Tom Constant, TCBravo@cyberportal.net, 10 Oct 00]

     When I arrived in country in 1968 as a 12B40, I was assigned to Co. B, 26th Combat Engineers at LZ Bayonet.  I spent a lot of time at different fire bases.  Somehow, I got "picked" by Brigade to take over a line infantry platoon.  As the platoon sergeant/leader of 2nd Plt.,  Co B, 1st Bn 6th Inf, I earned my CIB even before they could cut orders changing my MOS to 11B40.  We worked what was called the Rocket Pocket between the mountains and Chu Lai. The place was full of booby traps and VC.  We also worked the mountains of the Rocket Ridge, and the villages and paddies around LZ Gator and LZ Fat City.
     On Tet '69 we were sent into Queson Valley on a company size search and destroy to interdict any NVA units moving on Chu Lai.  WE FOUND THEM! [Note:  Caps in original!!]  It started out as sniper fire, but as we moved deeper into the valley it changed to semi-auto and automatic weapons fire, and then to mortars and RPG's.  We finally set up a defensive position on a small hill that had trenches from some other unit.  I found and disarmed several booby traps there.  The CO called for artillery "danger close", but was told they could not fire for us unless we were under fire.  The CO keyed the microphone to the radio and held it up so they could hear all the firing, and said "what the hell does that sound like to you?"
     We were out of range of our own artillery, so they had the battleship New Jersey fire for us with their 18 inch guns.  Those shells sounded like freight cars coming in.  We also had the fast movers come in on strafing runs dropping 500 lb bombs and napalm.  They dropped so close you could feel the heat and blast as it exploded, and a suction as the air swept back in from the blast.  We finally broke contact the next day and got extracted. We found out later that we had run head on into the 22nd NVA Regiment.

     [From Tom Brizendine, tdbriz@gulftel.com]

     Here is a story about one of the photo contributors [to the 1st Bn 6th Inf web site] -- John Large.  Hell of a man.
     We had been sent to a pacified village south of Quang Ngai called Van Thien.  It was a typical village in that the VC hid in the ridge line during the day and sneaked back in at night.  This was the first time we had been there.  Infantry companies rotated in and out on a 1-2 week basis.  We had only been there a couple of hours when I heard an explosion and people yelling.  I saw a medic from another platoon running with his aid bag.  I followed him thru the wire and into one of the rice paddies.  I saw a Vietnamese woman on the ground who had hit a dud M79 round.  When we got to her, I helped the other medic and took directions from him since he had been in the field longer than me. She had multiple sucking chest wounds.  The shrapnel had done a job on her.  We tried, but nothing worked.  When she took her last breath, I looked into her eyes.  I noticed for some reason how pretty she was.
     The medic was John Large of 3rd Platoon, Co. C, 1st Bn 6th Inf, 198th Inf Bde.  He made a difficult adjustment easier.

     [From "Leon", stargazr@cjnetworks.com]

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