Battle Damaged aircraft landing.
Report To Qui Nhon

Day 13

by: Charles Lazzara
© 2009

Quick Response Team, USAF Security Police
USAF Security Police, SAT Jeep, Pleiku AB. Battle Damaged aircraft in junk pile!
I finally settled in at my new destination, an AB called Phu Cat. My wounded leg was still healing up and I was posted as a SAT Team or Fire Team deployment Troop. My Sergeant seemed to be Gung Ho. As our patrol started, a sense of dread swept over me. I was one of the two new troops riding in the back of the jeep, and as the sarge drove, and another Airman rode shotgun with the jeep's mounted M-60 machinegun.

The SAT patrol was a Vietnam War equivalent of the WW2 Rat Patrol jeeps. Our patrol took us thru thick, brushy, tree, and jungle areas, and we made stops and checked in with the US Army Calvary Troops on our perimeter. We continued on deeper into the outer realms of safety taking batteries and ammo to our K-9 dog handlers positioned in dangerous remote areas.

Proceeding deeper into the landscape we came upon a Company of Korean Marines who were throwing grenades in an old pond, killing fish, frogs and snakes. They asked us to join their Korean BBQ, but we said thanks, but no thanks, and with a raincheck kept moving on.

SnakeOur SAT Sergeant told us to stay vigilant, not only for the VC, but for boa constrictors falling from over head trees. Further up ahead I could see what looked like a bamboo forest and Sarge was driving straight into it. I don't think he realized the ground level would drop on the otherside, as I knew it would and did--maybe ten or fifteen feet. With a crashing thud, the other troop and I were thrown out of the jeep. My M-16 had jammed into my armpit from the impact, but I was up on my knees when Sarge came back to pick us up, but the other Airman was still laid out. As I grabbed the side of the jeep an enormously big cobra slithered past and between my legs where I had been lying just seconds before I was picked up.

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