Stories

JCW, please consider posting this Hoc Mon narrative by John Rourke.
Thank you.
Dwight W. Birdwell
 

TED HARDIES ASKED ME ABOUT FEB 10 AND 11. THIS IS WHAT I REMEMBER.

 

JOHN

 


TED
 

WHEN WE WERE MOVING TO OUR AREA OF OPERATION FOR THE 10TH IT WAS A HOT CLEAR DAY AND WE HAD THE WOLF HOUNDS [I BELIEVE] WITH US. THE AREA WE MOVED INTO WAS AWAY FROM ANY POPULATED VILLAGES BUT NOT TOO FAR AND I SEEM TO REMEMBER A SMALL ARVN COMPOUND. THE AREA WAS LIKE AN ISLAND OF THICK HEAVY BAMBOO AND WOODED AREA WITH EVERY THING ALL AROUND IT CLEARED FOR 50 YARDS OR MORE. IT MAKES ME THINK OF WHAT WAS REFERRED TO AS THE "HOBO WOODS".
 

WE HAD A LOT OF GROUND TROOPS AND WE WERE TO MOVE IN WITH ABOUT SIX OR SO APCS AND TANKS ON A LINE AND ANOTHER SIX OR SO ANGLED IN ON OUR LEFT FLANK TO PUT THE WOODED AREA IN A SQUEEZE AND FORCE ANYTHING OUT THE OTHER SIDE TO BE HIT BY ANOTHER GROUP. THAT DIDN'T WORK AT ALL.
 
AS WE MOVED IN REAL SLOW, I THOUGHT THE GRUNTS WERE GOING TO SORT OF LEAD THE WAY AND WE WOULD FOLLOW BUT THEY JUST STAYED BETWEEN OUR APCS AND EVEN BEHIND THEM. WHEN WE NOSED INTO THE WOODED AREA THEY NAILED US WITH EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE!!!!!!!! AND THEN SOME. IT WAS AMAZING.
 
WE PULLED BACK TO A SAFE DISTANCE AND CALLED IN THE BOMBERS TO LOOSEN THEM UP. I HAVE SOME FILM OF THEM SWOOPING IN TWO PLANS ONE WOULD DROP NAPALM AND THE OTHER BIG BOMBS [500 LBS??] I DON'T KNOW. WE WATCHED THE FOR ABOUT AN HOUR SWINGING OVER OUR HEAD AND WORKING THE AREA TO SOFTEN IT UP. IT LOOKED LIKE WHEN ONE DROPPED HIS NAPALM THE FLAMES SCORCHED THE BOTTOM OF HIS PLANE.
 
AS WE MOVED BACK IN AS WE HAD BEFORE I WAS SURE WE WOULD BE ABLE TO CLEAR THESE BASTARDS OUT!!!! AS WE NOSED IN THEY HIT US HARDER THAN THE FIRST TIME!!!!!!!!! I GUESS WE JUST PISSED THEM OFF.
 
WE PULLED BACK AGAIN AND LET THE PLANES DO THERE THING AGAIN. I BELIEVE YOUR APC WAS TWO TRACKS TO MY RIGHT. I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT OTHER APCS AND TRACKS WERE THERE OR IN WHAT ORDER.
 
WE WENT BACK IN A THIRD TIME AND THEY NAILED US AGAIN!!!!!!!!! THAT'S WHEN YOUR APC GOT HIT AND WHEN WE PULLED BACK THIS TIME DEVOR AND YOUR APC WAS LEFT AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODED AREA AND WE COULDN'T GO BACK BECAUSE IT WAS GETTING DARK. I DON'T REMEMBER IF THE GRUNTS HAD ANY GUYS HIT OR NOT.
 
THE NEXT DAY WE WENT BACK BY OURSELVES WITHOUT GROUND TROOPS AND THE ENEMY HAD EVAPORATED INTO THERE TUNNEL COMPLEXES.
 
IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE THE BUNKER FORTIFICATIONS THAT WERE IN THAT WOODED AREA. THEY WERE BUILT WITH THICK BAMBOO AND SOME KIND OF MUD STACKED UP TO ABOUT THREE FEET WITH WEAPON WINDOWS LIKE YOU WOULD SEE IN WORLD WAR 2 FILMS!!!!!!!! THE BOMBERS HAD LEFT SOME GOOD HOLES BUT NOTHING TO DESTROY THOSE BUNKERS THAT COVERED THE ENTIRE PERIMETER OF THE WOODED AREA. I THINK BOB WOLFORD HAS SOME PHOTOS OF THE AREA.
 
WE WENT THROUGH THE AREA AND IT WAS PRETTY MUCH CLEARED UP. I SAT ON THE GROUND AT ONE POINT AND THOUGHT " WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?? NOT THE UNDER SUPPLIED LITTLE GOOKS THAT WE WERE AFTER!!!!!!!!!!!!" I SURE KNEW NOW THAT THINGS WERE NOT AS I THOUGHT. WE WERE FIGHTING ON THERE TERMS.
 
JOHN ROURKE