327 Infantry Veterans

Write a new entry for the Guestbook

Fields marked with * are required.
Your E-mail address won't be published.
It's possible that your entry will only be visible in the guestbook after we reviewed it.
We reserve the right to edit, delete, or not publish entries.
William Bruce. William Bruce. from Lincoln, Ca wrote on January 11, 2023 at 1:06 pm
Hello everyone. My name is Bill Bruce . I was a door gunner with the 176th AHC ( Minutemen ) Our company was attached to the 101st in Duc Pho and stayed with the Brigade thru Chu Lai during Task Force Oregon.
On or about Oct. 8th, '67 we were assigned to fly C&C for the battalion commander ( can't recall his call sign ). As they were installing the old man's radio up on the CP, we got an urgent call to go out to one of the positions. At the time, I didn't know what for, as the pilots seldom shared that info with the crew chief or myself. They were on a different channel in our Huey.
I recall they didn't exactly know where the position was located and had to home in on the radio signal . We were flying low and fast to avoid any enemy fire, when all of a sudden, we came over a small rise in the terrain and dropped into a rice paddy that was maybe the size of three or four football fields with a dike or trail running thru the middle.
Just as we dropped in , I could see dead NVA laying all over the paddy and live ones running for the tree line on the right. Up ahead on the trail was a man leaning over one of the bodies. I brought the 60 up and was going to open fire on the tree line and the man in the middle of the trail when our pilot said to hold fire. He said maybe if we didn't fire on them, they would let us get by. And they did.
As we got closer to the man leaning over one of the dead NVA, I could see it was and old man with gray, short hair and he was crying over what I assumed was his son. To this day, I'm glad I didn't light him up.
As we approached the intended position, a small hill at the end of the rice paddy, we were told they were receiving sniper fire. We went in anyway and it was then I realized our mission was to pick up the KIAs killed the day before or that morning, as they were stacked next to where we sat down. I don't recall receiving any enemy fire, but we could have and I didn't know it. I was pretty wired up at the time. They loaded nine of the seventeen troopers on board, all wrapped in their ponchos. Another bird came in after us and picked up the remaining eight. It probably took less than a minute to get all loaded and we were off.
Fortunately, we were able to take off on the back side of the hill, which gave us lift while having all the weight of the KIAs . On the way back to the GR at Chu Lai, I could not help but notice that many of the dead had been shot at close range, in the head. Which corresponds with what Col. Lawton wrote about in his article on this website ( Battle of Que Son. ) Many of the wounded were shot where they laid.
More than any other event that I experienced in Nam ( getting shot at, shot down, and shooting VC ), this one stands out the most. I was lucky I had a dry cot to sleep on every night and a canvas tent over my head. And I never had to cry over a dead friend being loaded on board a chopper. My hat is off to you guys and it was an honor serving with you.
... Toggle this metabox.
Product added to cart