4:53 | 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.
Keywords : caches replacement Core Commander operation Airborne division Cambodia border patrol difficult KIA(Killed in Action)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sgt. Tracy Sheils never had to pull rank. He had rank, meaning his men respected him and carried out his orders. His mother was concerned about his brothers getting drafted and sent to Vietnam and so was Sheils. He didn't think they had the makeup to survive in that war, unlike the Marines in his unit.
To Tracy Sheils, Vietnam was not a bad thing and it had a noble purpose, stopping the spread of Communism. He had to go home in civilian clothes to avoid any trouble and it did not sit well with him. Neither does the prosecution of Americans such as Lt. William Calley.
His one trip to the hospital was memorable. Fed up with the chaos and screaming, Tracy Sheils couldn't wait to get back to his unit. He talks about surviving an ambush, how he took up smoking and why that was a good thing, and why his flak jacket was worthless.
He thought it was hot when he stopped in Hawaii, but when Tracy Sheils got to Vietnam, he found out what hot really is. His 2nd night there, the base was targeted in a rocket attack. That's when he found out what scared really is. Soon, he would see action in Hue and the A Shau Valley, and earn a combat promotion.
As the 95th began to get settled in Da Nang, they started building tents and getting some semblance of a base going so that they could take on patients. As an OR tech, Balk assisted doctors during the various types of procedures that went on at the base.
After some intense time in-country, Bob Averill and his battalion got the chance to take a brief leave to the beach for some recovery time. Following his time on Hill 174, Averill was reassigned to command a Combined Action Company, taking him away from Hotel Company and into a new area of operations.