7:28 | While showing Senator Henry Jackson the U.S.S. Manley, they faced an explosion that resulted in a few casualties. Fortunately, Naval ships are equipped to handle attacks and many lives were saved from the blast.
Keywords : Naval Senator congress fleet gunner Gunner's mate saved Artillery attack enemy fire close call Senator Henry Jackson
Growing up in a military family, Al Stiles knew he wanted to join the Navy at a young age. After meeting his wife and being married for almost a year, Al Stiles departed for Vietnam on the U.S.S. Soley.
While on his way over to Vietnam, Al Stiles had a memorable trip travelling through the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor and Midway. Once they landed in Da Nang, Al Stiles and his company provided back-up for ground troops that needed assistance inland.
While in Vietnam, Al Stiles and his company employed Harassment and Interdiction Fire which sought to slow down or deplete enemy forces and supplies. They faced some obvious obstacles in this but got better at it over time.
While at port in Hong Kong, Al Stiles and his company enjoyed some R&R that they got to have while there. When returning home, they had to divert their route and change some plans along the way.
While heading home from Vietnam, the U.S.S. Manley made its way across the Indian Ocean and up through North Africa. While at port, they had a close encounter maneuvering the ship out into the correct direction but ended up having a smooth trip back to Charleston.
While coming back from the Baltic Sea, Al Stiles and his company practiced a difficult drill with a fleet of Naval ships. Though it was a challenge for him, they all executed it well and things worked out.
After service time on the U.S.S. McCloy, Al Stiles went to instructor duty to make Chief Petty Officer before getting ordered off to service on the U.S.S. Midway aircraft carrier, which differed from most of his time on destroyers.
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
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.
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.
On his second tour, Sanchez is assigned to a CAP unit, where he develops a close bond with fellow soldiers, along with some of the villagers he protects. Under the leadership of a distant but dedicated sergeant, his platoon learns to survive day by day.
Dellinger is stationed at LZ Uplift, where he helps to stabilize wounded soldiers on their way to a nearby MASH unit. Life as a Medical Platoon Leader ranges from dangerous to uneventful, but his unit enjoys a degree of autonomy.
Dellinger participates in the Medical Civilian Aid Program, which has him providing medical aid to local villagers. He documents civilian interaction in photos, where we see children clamoring for candy and polaroids.
Charlie McMahon leads a convoy into Hue, unaware that the Tet Offensive has begun. Upon discovering a city occupied by stubborn North Vietnamese forces, he and his team tread carefully, battling the entrenched army street-by-street, house-by-house.
Dellinger returns home to an unexpected lack of fanfare, and struggles with the adjustment of postwar life. He finds a rewarding career, where his experience in a field hospital helps him form a healthy perspective - and offer help to younger vets.
Sardo Sanchez always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a WWII marine veteran... but his combat experiences have profound and lasting effects on his relationship with his parents, his siblings and his wife.