Van Thien, Vietnam (Special) -- When a tank hits a booby trap, it usually
rolls on unharmed.
But when a man steps on one, he usually isn't so lucky -- unless he happens to be a "human
tank." This is what happened recently to Spec. 4 David W. Tank, an Americal Div. soldier
on an operation 15 miles north of Quang Ngai.
"We were moving through an abandoned village on a sweep," said Tank,
operator with C Co. of the 198th Inf. Brigade's 1st Bn., 6th Inf. Tank and the other members
the company command group moved to the foundations of an old hooch and bunker to
coordinate the sweep.
"There was an old well off to the side of the bunker and I went over
to check it out," continued
Tank. "Just as I got there, I stepped on a three-pronged pressure device and a mine went off.
It was a 'Bouncing Betty,' but all it did was lift my foot off the ground a bit. It blew the dirt away
wo you could see the mine."
A 'Bouncing Betty' mine is meant to explode twice. On the first
explosion, it pops into the air
and then it is supposed to explode again ad spray the immediate area with shrapnel.
"There I stood! Wow!" said Tank. "Everyone else seemed to be a lot more scared than I was."
[End of newspaper article. This story about Dave Tank stepping
on a dud Bouncing Betty
appeared in a service newspaper, probably the Stars and Stripes, in June or July 1970. Dave
was an RTO for C/1-6 Inf from Nov '69 to Nov '70. He also served at the Tactical Operations
Center at LZ Dottie later in his tour. Dave was disabled as a result of an auto/snowmobile
accident many years ago and currently resides at the Wisconsin Veterans Home. He would
appreciate hearing from his buddies in C Co., 1st Bn 6th Inf. Send e-mail to Bud Carlson
(D/1-6 Inf), firstname.lastname@example.org, and Bud will take them to Dave and help with his replies.]
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