3:42 | After leaving Cam Ranh Bay, Sklar and his company set up base camp at Phan Rang with very minimal supplies. While trying to clear their camp for safe settlement, they faced some of the booby traps left behind by their enemy.
Keywords : sniper KIA(Killed in Action) Phan Rang Bouncing Betty mine blown up pass company clerk mission patrol booby trap medic
After training at West Point, Dick Sklar took a train out to San Francisco and shipped out to head to Vietnam. Landing in Cam Ranh Bay, Sklar and his battalion had to scout the area and start their departure into the mainland of the country.
While stationed near Phan Rang, Dick Sklar combined forces with another battalion to make the Tiger force, which worked together to clear out sweeps of the forest in the surrounding areas.
Dick Sklar and his company had to face a lot of fire while stationed in South Vietnam. After fighting back as best they could, they were able to push the enemy back. During this firefight, some of his friends and colleagues lost their lives.
Dick Sklar went through a number of close encounters that he considers himself to be very lucky for making it through. After one particular arm incident, he was sent back to the States to go get heal up.
Dick Sklar went back to Vietnam to serve as the Senior Adviser to the 101st Airborne Division, where he commanded the battalion in charge of a large portion of the bombing done over Vietnam.
Dick Sklar remembers his commander who he credits for his success in the air as they coordinated air raids over Vietnam. While in combat, they had a few funny stories that passed the time for them.
Dick Sklar remembers his time spent over Cambodia with his airborne division. Here, they had to set up a base for American troops out of absolutely nothing.
At one point, Dick Sklar had to make a difficult decision regarding his fellow commander that ultimately ended up alright for him and his company.
On one specific day on the border of Cambodia and Vietnam, Sklar and his division had a particularly successful day capturing supplies and resources.
After returning to the States, Sklar attended for the Commander General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and then headed off to Training and Doctorate Command at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
After heading to Phu Bai, Bennie Koon and his company went to Camp Evans to be stationed. Facing mortar fire, he remembers feeling terrified and not knowing when it would pass. Bennie explains the defenses they had set up to defend them from the Viet Cong.
McMahon becomes part of the Combined Action Program (CAP), working with Vietnamese militia to protect villages from Viet Cong thugs. On one occasion, the village is spared from enemy attack by an army artillery unit acting without orders. He and the villagers develop a bond that would last for decades.
With great difficulty, Sardo Sanchez recounts critical events that prove both devastating and fortunate. After taking the life of a VC soldier, he is hit by a sniper and told he may never walk again. In a state of shock, he narrowly avoids a fatal miscalculation.
When one of the Marine units supporting them left, Bennie Koon and his platoon had to think quickly to fill in the gaps to stay secure. In their down-time, they played games and drank beer, which became pretty habitual for him.
Under heavy fire, choppers attempt to evacuate wounded GIs from Kontum. After one fatal crash, a dustoff chopper manages to lift Ernest Banasau to safety. Years later, Banasau meets the pilot who saved him, and learns how close he came to meeting a tragic fate. Part 2 of 2
He made Buck Sergeant about the time he figured out that he and his buddies were basically fighting for each other and for no other reason. They were taking a large bunker complex and when two others were under fire, he went out to get them. After the fight was over, he was disturbed to learn what his superiors intended to do about the enemy base.
As Marine Captain Ron Christmas fought to regain the city of Hue, he found the enemy adept at concealment and surprise. Every soldier in a spider hole was armed with a rifle and a RPG launcher. He also encountered a nun with an AK-47. His action during this time earned him the Navy Cross.
In a letter home, Tommy Clack expressed his worry that something bad was going to happen and it did when his unit engaged the NVA near the Cambodian border. He saw the enemy soldier stand and fire the RPG that changed his life forever.
The RPG that severed Joe McDonald’s foot didn’t kill him. The machine gun fire that hit him as he still tried to help others didn’t kill him. The grenade taped to his hand might have killed him if the VC had found his hiding place.
Growing up in the Midwest in a military family, Rick Bates joined the Air Force with the desire of flying fighter jets. He had to learn quickly to prepare himself for the intensity of navigating these huge machines.
After re-enlisting in the service, Charlie Pocock passed his flight physical and was on active duty in Utah where he lived. When his plane was shot down over Vietnam, he had to think on his feet to run through the jungle and transmit his whereabouts via radio.
After spending so much time in Hanoi, Rick Bates remembers being released and feeling relieved after they flew to a base in the Philippines. Returning home and getting some leave, he decided to stay in the Air Force and finished out his career flying the F-4.
Deciding to re-enlist after Vietnam, Donna Lowery deployed to Germany where she had a nice deployment there and found readjusting to post-war life easy. She ended up spending 26 years in the military and retired a sergeant major. Donna also has some thoughts on the Vietnam Women's Memorial in Washington D.C.
While stationed in Vietnam, Peter Ruplenas had a number of enemy interactions that turned out to be extremely close calls and left him with a few injuries. Being a photographer, capturing these moments was still very important to him despite the difficulties.