NVA in the Wire!
Tam Ky, Vietnam - 1967

On some Mountain top ...

                                  after midnight ...
                                                                        It Begins ...
 

NVAs In The Wire!

by,Patrick (Beanie) Camunes
D\4\31 196TH Lt. Inf. Bde.
Tay Ninh Vietnam 12/66 - 4/67
Tam Ky Vietnam 4/67 - 12/67

© 1999

 

Beanie Approximately August or September of 1967 on some mountain top, somewhere around Tam Ky, Vietnam. I'm here as a squad leader with Delta Company, 4th of the 31st, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, supposedly to support the Marine Corps in "I" Corps. Some support unit; we took 54 wounded and 3 KIA on the very first day of our new AO. Really will miss them.
      We're here on this mountain top, detached from our main unit as sniper killers, which consists of three 81mm mortar tubes and our own grunt support. Supposedly, Uncle Charles wouldn't dare mess with us.


Pat 1967 It Begins!

0100 hours - Illumination on east perimeter. Sporadic fire and reported movement on wire.

0130 hours - Dropping 81mm illumination on the east perimeter. West perimeter starts drawing heavy automatic weapons and recoilless rifle fire. Ammo bearers begin pulling HE rounds in preparation.

0200 hours - Heavier fire coming in. Never had seen green tracers used against us. In a way, kind of pretty to look at, red tracers going out and green coming in; deadly green. East perimeter getting hit bad. Must keep up mortar support. Elevation on our guns keeps rising. We're dropping inside our own perimeter. The NVAs are in the wire! Must keep my people pumping rounds to close the gap and keep anymore of them from coming in. Hopefully, we can take care of the ones already in.

0230 hours - BOOM! I can see #3 Gun go up. Explosion; secondary explosion, and then one good BOOM as the ammo bunker catches it. MY GOD! Good friends on that gun. No time to worry, must keep support fire going out.

0245 hours - Musn't think of the NVAs in the wire. Concentrate on fire control center that's feeding us the deflections and elevations for our HE support. Gun crew is reacting in professional manner; I know they're scared up their behinds but so am I and I musn't show it. Just keep my .45 auto at the ready.

0300 hours - Firing all around us. I think most of the NVAs in our perimeter have been found. Mortar support is tapering off. Arty support from main base and gun ships on the way. From the sounds around me, hopefully, a lot of medevac.

tam-ke0430 hours - Everything almost back to normal, if you can define normal. Talk is about friends "gone" and at the time you don't realize how much you will miss them. Talk about kicking butt and John Wayne heroics during the night. I think to myself, Must of been trained right; did everything expected of me and never thought twice about it. Must really make me Mr. Macho Soldier.

 

196er

   

Mr. Macho Soldier's hands shook that night and tears were drawn to his eyes, but who cares, 28 years later the tears are still there.

As easy as this began ... there is no end.

 

 

A NOW PROUD VIETNAM VETERAN
Patrick (Beanie) Camunes
D\4\31 196TH Lt. Inf. Bde.
Tay Ninh Vietnam 12/66 - 4/67
Tam Ky Vietnam 4/67 - 12/67

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