It was with great interest that I read Lt. Gardnerís recollection of the action on the 19th -20th May 1967. (AAR#3).
I was the driver of 40. As a headquarters
platoon track 40 and 41 were frequently assigned to the line platoons
For this stint we were assigned to the 3d Plt. (I didnít remember until I read the comment).
I remember finishing my two hr. rotation
on guard at 0200hrs. and barely getting to sleep when the radio
alerted us to move out.
SSgt Lonnie Smith (Smitty) was the TC and Pvt. Mike Fluharty was the observer/gunner. I remember driving down the mountain
(LZ Liz) in the dark. It was a pretty rough ride.
The AAR is pretty accurate, except for the fact that the driver of the APC was not killed. That would be me.
Sgt. Ivy McCarroll was TC of another track
(I donít remember which one) and was shot through the chest by a
sniper and killed.
Smitty ordered us to assist after hearing of the incident. We proceeded to where the track was stuck in a ditch and after arrival
the situation was in control (sort of). While in the process of turning around we were hit by an RPG. This killed Smitty instantly
and knocking me unconscious. We had some engineers on the track for demo work, a medic and Mike Fluharty. I donít know
what happened to the engineers but Mike was blown off the track and suffered a ruptured ear drum.
When I awoke there was no one around. I
crawled our of the drivers compartment and went to the rear of the
track. I opened the
door and the medic was lying on the floor moving around. He managed to get out of the track and he and I crawled back until
we found some of our guys. My recall is fuzzy as I donít remember being unconscious or for how long. I remember calling in a
Sit Rep to 1st Sgt Pharris and rambling.
It turned out that I had some shrapnel
wounds to my left shoulder and was sent to Japan. I returned to C Trp.
in July of 1967.
The medic (I ran into him in Japan) had some small pieces of shrapnel in his knees, but other wise was OK.
The track 40 was not destroyed. When I
returned it was still in service and I continued to drive it until it
was replaced with a
diesel version. The part about the VC coming after the track I do not know I was told that the VC were on the track while I was
inside, but when the medic and myself left the track I saw no evidence of their presence.
Attached are two pictures.
The b/w one is me standing next to 40 after my return for the hospital.
There is also a picture of headquarters platoon, which was taken soon after the unit was reassigned to the 4th Div.
Thatís all I wanted to add, I wanted to
clear up the report of my death, when I first read the report I was a
little worried. Like
Lt. Gardner, I too remember that day.
Joseph G. Wimberley