4:45 | Stuart Jamison recalls observing the reality and immediacy of death as his unit assaults a Viet Cong company during the Second Phase Tet Offensive.
Keywords : radio shot casualties
Stuart Jamison recalls meeting Lt. Hetherington, Staff Sgt. Pinkham, Maj. Huynhl, Sgt. Maj. Tau and 200 hostile Viet Cong on his first day on the job as an advisor to Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) soldiers at Xa Xiem.
Stuart Jamison describes the effects of napalm on the enemy and the landscape during the Vietnam War.
Stuart Jamison talks about a time his unit cornered a Viet Cong Main Force Battalion during the Tet Offensive.
Stuart Jamison discusses the toll that casualties take on infantry units during combat.
Stuart Jamison talks about going into a particulary dangerous area of Vietnam and finding trouble.
Stuart Jamison remembers being caught behind a palm tree trunk while being fired upon by a Viet Cong.
Stuart Jamison describes treating a wounded fellow advisor in the open during heavy fire from Viet Cong forces on February, 18 during the Tet Offensive.
Stuart Jamison recounts the destruction of his battalion on February 26, 1968.
Stuart Jamison recalls the sights and sounds from patrolling the Korean Demilitarized Zone during the Cold War.
Incredible pictures from Stuart Jamison's experience in Xa Xiem and Rach Gia.
The opening pages of Stuart Jamison's gripping account of the life and death of his ARVN unit in Vietnam.
Stuart Jamison recounts his days in Xa Xiem during New Year's Eve and meeting his fellow officers, as well as coming face to face with death for the first time.
Stuart Jamison's dynamic account of the first day of the Tet Offensive, as well as the asssault on Rach Gia.
Stuart Jamison and his unit battle Viet Cong troops around Rach Gia and find themselves with a scared VC prisoner.
Stuart Jamison's personal account of a raid on a Vietnamese village to drive out the Viet Cong.
The battle for Hill 875 took five days but David Brown was only there for two of them. He heard the piece of shrapnel from the enemy mortar shell whizzing through the trees before it hit him in the chin. As the Medevac chopper rose, he was told to throw out his weapon. This was very difficult for him but they convinced him he wouldn't need it anymore. At the hospital, he noticed the man in the next bed had something odd on his nightstand. "You don't want to see."
They found a lot of tunnels, says Galen Foster, who was glad it wasn't his job to go down in them. He felt sorry for the Vietnamese people, who were caught between the Americans and the Viet Cong. The search and destroy missions were continuous and when one of them went bad, a relief force hurried to help their brothers. They were in too much of a hurry, as it turned out.
The North Vietnamese attacked across the DMZ with everything they had. Bill Camper was an advisor to the ARVN unit stationed there in the wake of the American drawdown and barely got back inside the perimeter as two battalions on a maneuver were lost. The enemy artillery barrage was relentless, and after four days of fighting, the South Vietnamese commander decided to surrender. Camper was having none of that.
David Harrington recounts a particularly harrowing experience fighting Viet Cong while his platoon was under heavy fire from RPGs at their company basecamp Camp Rowe. Harrington recounts one of his injuries and a member of his company that came to their rescue in that moment.
A captured North Vietnamese soldier had papers on him that indicated a large enemy movement would be coming in a few days. Galen Foster's unit dug in, set up an excellent ambush, and waited. For two days, his mind was swirling with thoughts of home, his childhood and his family. He wrote a letter to his fiance that was never mailed. He prepared himself to die. It was the most scared he'd ever been.
It wasn't all warfare on the river. John Wilhite recalls the time his transportation unit took part in flood relief, carrying villagers to safety. He felt sorry for the people of Vietnam, who were deprived by years of war and angry at foreign armies in their land. He was especially touched by the plight of the orphans.
He had been a civilian advisor, but Bill Camper was reassigned to Hue to advise an ARVN regiment. This made life simpler, just find the enemy and engage him. In his first large operation, the relief of an overrun forward base, victory was achieved, but with a high cost in lives. For three days, they had to wait in the jungle with the bodies of their fallen comrades.
A-1 Skyraider pilot John Weinig dropped a lot of napalm in Vietnam. It was a fearsome and effective weapon. He describes one close air support mission for an Australian commander where they used constant communication to co-ordinate the drop as close as possible.
Civilian Advisor Bill Camper only had a small force to deal with snipers and ambushes, but he could call the ARVN unit stationed nearby to deal with larger enemy forces. The first time he went to answer a distress call from a village, the unit was ambushed, so there was some adjustment to procedures. During this time, he developed respect for the Vietnamese people, regardless of their allegiances.
He was hit by ground fire eight times in Vietnam, but A-1 Skyraider pilot John Weinig managed to avoid any serious problems. He did have one problem related to his diet which earned him an unprintable nickname. And then there was that incident when he started receiving ground fire from both sides and froze.
Bill Camper felt like the people of Hue supported the South Vietnamese soldiers he was advising. He made some headway encouraging those men to fight and he relates the story of how he taught them to advance through their own artillery barrage and surprise the enemy from the rear.
There was no radio contact with the 2nd battalion on Hill 875 and losing contact with an American unit could only mean really bad news. To get there and find out what was happening, David Brown's unit had to walk in, a long trek through more dead bodies than he had ever seen. The answer to what had happened was very unsettling, and he was even more unsettled when he heard something huge crashing through the trees.
The artillery fire was so intense at Camp Carroll that Bill Camper could not get a fix for counter battery fire. The rounds were coming from four directions. After four days of intense North Vietnamese attacks and with his ARVN counterpart ready to surrender, Camper escaped with a few others, but they were cut off and had to fight their way back into the camp. Then came a fateful radio call.
David Brown developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder late in life once he retired and had more time to think about the war. When he first returned, he was nearly sent right back, but his Congressman helped him avoid that injustice. His last assignment was marching trainees around at Jump School, where he encountered some Navy SEALs who made quite an impression on him.
The closer the plane got to Vietnam, the more somber was the mood on board. That's what Galen Foster remembers about the flight. What he remembers about arriving is the heat and the smell, both overwhelming. He went where he was most needed, a unit that had just been hit hard, and was issued an M79 grenade launcher.
There was a Buddhist hooch on the other side of the river near their base camp. John Wilhite had seen people coming and going there for a long time, but they were respectful of religious locations so it was left alone. One day, while they were playing cards on the boat, the man across from him was hit by a large caliber round. Soon it was apparent where it had come from.
George bailey describes Ash and Trash missions. He describes these missions as beneficial and excellent learning tools that aiding him in learning how to manage the use of an aircraft. He also gives an overall inside look at his experience in Vietnam and the different locations he traveled to.
Battalion commander Ralph Puckett recounts the story of a night long attack by Viet Cong and NVA Regulars on a position held by one of his companies. He was grateful they had a Forward Observer to co-ordinate artillery support and helicopters for resupply, things he lacked in Korea. For his leadership during this attack, Puckett was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross.
Terry Sater joined the Navy in 1966 with hopes of avoiding going to Vietnam. His initial deployment was aboard the USS Enterprise stationed off the Coast of Vietnam. After failing Electronics School Terry was assigned to the Mobile Riverine Force Training in California.
Through his four tours in Vietnam, Special Forces Team Leader Jim Wilson got very good at his job. It helped that he loved the country and the people, even taking a Montagnard girl for his bride. He developed a healthy respect for his main adversaries, the North Vietnamese Army.
Jim Wilson explains the team structure of a Special Forces unit. He was a team leader in Vietnam, working to convince people that Communism was not beneficial for them. He says they were succeeding, until the government intervened, not the South Vietnamese government, the American government. While living and fighting with the Montagnard people, he made them a solemn promise.
George bailey Briefly addresses interservice rivalry between the army and the Air force. He also explains what a “slick” pilot is and shares a story in which, while on his first mission, he was shot in the tail boom.