Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Jim Lowe | State Department, MACV - Marines

2:52   |   While going down a ridge line during a rainy night, Lowe and his men started getting mortared. Lowe was frantically trying to figure out their next move, but Dasher Wheatley instead chose to play in the dirt with a night crawler. Lowe was baffled at Dash’s behavior, but Dash responded with some words of wisdom that Lowe would never forget.

More From Jim Lowe

Keywords   :     Dasher Wheatley    mortar fire    rainy night    important lessons

Videos ( 8 )
  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  5:47

    When Lowe decided to show up to the Provost Marshal Office to join the Marine Corps, the staff sergeant there gave him a healthy dose of what he should expect as a Marine. Lowe was not intimidated and went on to become a well learned officer candidate.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  4:20

    During Operation Lam Son 90, Lowe notified Captain Haugen that the slope of the rocks indicated they should take a different path because there was a higher chance of them finding water that way, and so the men continued toward the Quang Tri River. All of a sudden, they came upon a weigh station packed with Viet Cong.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  3:16

    Sergeant Robert Johnson, one of Lowe’s comrades, was known as “Pockets” amongst the Vietnamese soldiers because of his uncanny resourcefulness. Johnson was a tough man and the men looked to him as a leader, but when he started behaving strangely, Lowe ordered that he return to Quang Tri.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  2:42

    Dasher Wheatley taught Lowe many important lessons and he was always prepared for whatever situation befell the men. One day Dash filled up his canteens with water, added the purification tablets, put them away, and then drank water straight from the stream. Confused, Jim asked what he was doing, to which Dash responded in a way that proved just how valuable a soldier and great a friend Dash was to Lowe.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  4:24

    During a mission in Da Nang, Lowe and his men were approaching a refinery that the Viet Cong had blown up when artillery started landing around them. It turned out to be "not-so-friendly fire."

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  6:01

    Dasher Wheatley was one of many Australian soldiers that fought with Lowe in Vietnam. Each had his own nickname, and each was strange in his own way. Dash sat with his fellow Aussies every day in the cafeteria while Lowe sat with the Air Force Bird Dogs. One day, Dash invited Lowe to sit with him and his “mates”, and what happened as a result left Dash and the other Aussies laughing.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  3:10

    Dasher Wheatley was out on a search and destroy mission, and he and his men quickly found themselves outmanned and outgunned. Butch Swanton, who was on the mission with Dash, was hit, and Dash ordered everyone else to retreat while he stayed with Swanton to get him evacuated.

  • Jim Lowe  |  Vietnam  |  State Department, MACV  |  8:19

    When Lowe was finally scheduled to return home, he landed at Travis Air Force Base, went to San Francisco, and then finally his home in Chicago. Lowe’s very first civilian encounter was surprising and confusing. Lowe had some difficulty readjusting to civilian life, but his wife and family were patient and he was able to assimilate back into the civilian culture.

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