Stories & Poems Collection

327 Infantry Veterans

327th Infantry

Stories & Poems Collection

by Nick Fondo

Nick Fondo
nickfondo(Nick pictured shortly after his tour in the Nam)

As I close my eyes to sleep, A HILL FARAWAY, oh so steep, into my mind begins to creep. Sleep eludes me on this night.

Once again I hear the bugles blow, and again the jungle, begins to grow.

I see their faces, one and all, I hear their cries, and feel the pain, of men engaged in mortal combat. Of hearing the clashing of bayonets unsheathed, of the machine guns deadly chatter.

Once again I see the blood and gore all around me. I feel my buddy as he grabs me and I see his eyes as they plead, “Please! Help me do not Let me bleed!” There was nothing I could do, I held him and tears I did shed, for he was one of the many dead.

I held him for what seemed eternity. Giap had given the word, “Wipe them out to the last man!” But! Men like Pearson, Hackworth and Willis too, he did not know, they would not let his Army go.

Led by men like Perkins, Morningstar and Carpenter too, these were men Airborne! Through and through!

Days and nights, rain and cold. Where did they find men so bold!

When Giap gave his order to encircle tight, He had no idea of the eagles might. He gave the order to attack and the O’deuce did reply, “Bring it on, ours is to do or die!”

With the napalms deadly burst Giap did reverse but to his dismay, The Abu met him on his way. So with our Tigers you want to play? Giap you will now pay! So the 24th NVA died that fateful Day! But oh what a price We did pay on that battlefield on A HILL FARAWAY!

tigersTiger Force troopers prepare for battle just prior to Dak Tan Kan Valley fight
(Photo courtesy of Ivan Worrell)

Dedicated to all the men and support that fought at Dak-to June of 1966. Especially to men like Sgt. A Morningstar, who Died while committing a frontal attack on an enemy machine gun. To SSGT. Ira H. Perkins for extremely heroic actions on June 7th, 1966. To the Tiger Force that fought and died so gallantly at Tiger Fields and to all the brave men that fought at Dak-to for I was there and my heart swells with pride to know that I had the opportunity to serve with such truly gallant Airborne Men and Officers.

Nick was a machinegunner with A (Abu) Company, 3rd platoon, 1/327th Infantry, 1st Brigade (Separate), 101st Airborne Division.

By Paratrooper Nick Fondo




So many years ago it seems
Yet today I See their faces Still
I see them Nightly in My Dreams
As I think of that Faraway Hill
I see them all,
Standing so Proud and Tall
Screaming EAGLES one and All
My Mind drifts Back in Time
To a Place so far away , yet so near
Yet I see no fear
As I shed a tear, The scars They may not Show
If you were there then you would Know
Of the Gallantry and Deeds these Men Did that Day
On a Hill so faraway
Where so many Troopers Passed away
Gone they may be, Only to live in our Memory
Feats of Courage,Were a common Thing
Perseverence,Abounded on that Day
Men Wounded, Carrying the Battle to the top of the Hill
Where Did they get their will?
The Thunder of The Cannons Deadly Roar
Ever so Familiar in a War
Machine-guns Deadly Chatter
Calls for Medic Forever my in ears
Even after all these years
The Screaming of the Shells
Seems as if we were in Seven Different Hells
I see my Buddy, His arm a bloody Shred,
I hear them say “This ones Dead”
Yes as I travel back in time
I will never forget you, I know not your name
But I still Remember,The night you arrived
Down a rope ladder you came, One of the Few trying to rescue
You and a Buddy it Seemed, ‘Fore the Chopper Had to go
You Joined our Ranks, And Fought beside the Abu
Well to those of you I say Thank you,
I as you will remember Our Fallen Brothers,
The O’Deuce, Tigers and Abu too


Grif’s note – On 7 June 1966 Grif and the rest of Weapons Platoon, A Co., 2/502nd Infantry flew to the relief of the enemy encircled Abu Company in a CH 47. Only four men got in that day, including Grif. They were lowered by winch & cable attached to a parachute harness. One man would be lowered and a wounded Abu trooper would be brought up. All the while these men and the Chinook were under fire. After Grif, the fourth man to be lowered, got on the ground, the aircraft hastily left the area because of intense fire, bullets were ricocheting inside the chopper. The next day the rest of weapons Platoon, O’deuce climbed down a rope ladder from the aircraft at a predetermined rendezvous. Weapons Platoon stayed and fought with Abu Company, under their operational control (opcon), through the extraction of the Tiger Force which was badly mauled. And the deadly ambush they encountered trying to rescue Capt. Carpenter’s C Company of the 502nd Infantry which was being overun and had called in napalm on their own positions. They literally went through hell together.

Thanks for remembering and honoring Weapons Platoon’s efforts Nick, God bless you and all our brother Abus. Grif

By Paratrooper Nick Fondo


Mommy, where is my Daddy?
The young woman knew not what to say
For her husband had been listed as MIA
Will they ever find him, she wondered?
Oh what shall I say?
Her mind still saw a proud, young soldier,
Her husband as he left that day,
“Don’t worry,” he said, “I will come home,
And never again shall I roam,
I love you dear.”
But there is a job to be done over there.
Oh the lonely nights of despair WHY are you not here?
He has gone to fight in a faraway land
Far across the shining sea
To preserve liberty for others,
Like you and me
Oh! If only he could see the beautiful child he has!
A father so proud he would be!
PLEASE, dear God bring Him Home to me!
What will I say?
I received the notice this day
Please dear God cradle him softly for me.
“Sweetheart,” I say, “You should know
Your father was a Tiger, in a place far away,
Called Tuy-Hoa, when on a Patrol they fought the NVA.
As the fighting grew fierce, the ultimate price he did pay!

Dedicated to all the MIA’s and especially the Tiger Force soldier that was captured in one of the many battles fought at Tuy-Hoa, Viet-Nam 1966.

tigerart(Drawing courtesy of Ivan Worrell)


In Memory of SSGT. Ira H. Perkins

Ira_PerkinsBy Paratrooper Nick Fondo

As we walked into the valley we all knew, that this could be our last day too! Suddenly a machineguns deadly chatter, everyone has begun to scatter.

Like a man among men he stood charging and firing, shouting orders loud and clear. Complete disregard for his life, a life he held dear.

Trying to save those abreast, giving it his all doing his best! The fighting grew fierce and savage! Though severely wounded and knocked to the ground, he rose like a demon bred of hate! Fire in his eyes, I am sure, he knew his Fate.

The enemy was upon us, bayonet to bayonet, hand to hand, SSGT. PERKINS was making a stand. Perkins could’ve laid down, The medic I am sure would’ve had him shipped away to fight another day. But that was not his way!

As we lay down deadly fire, He continued the deadly charge. The enemy surely knew, This amazing feat of courageousness was SSGT. Perkins! Airborne through and through! This was SSGT. Perkins of the Mighty Abu!

Courageous, fearless and severly wounded too, I am sure he knew he was to meet his maker that fateful day, In a country faraway! SSGT. Perkins fell that day, we who survived were but a few, THE LAST OF THE MIGHTY ABUs!


hawaii(Hawaii state flag)
By Paratrooper Nick Fondo

I saw him for the first time
At a place called Phan Thiet
A big man he was
Perfect for the crew
An ammo bearer he will be
Another new guy just what I need
I looked him in the eye
And a coward I did not see

I saw a man, unafraid to die
A true warrior, this was he
His name was Kalawe
Loaded him down like a mule,

Good man on the M-60 crew
Now my Ass’t Gunner,
One of the best I ever knew,
Damn glad I had w/me At Pleiku

Roaming the jungles,
As only the Nomads do
A true trooper,
Never an ill spoken word did I hear
Nor did I ever see him show any fear

Little did we know
Dak-to was so near
Early on that morn
On a Godforsaken trail

On a faraway mountain,
We heard the shout
Get that gun to the front
Tired and wet mud coated too

We aren’t letting them through
The fighting grew savage, vicious
With darkness the crescendo of battle grew
“You’re on him I heard him shout”

“To your left up ahead to the right”
“Damn we are dead” we were in Hell’s fire
When the fighting had died down,
I heard a faint call for help to my left

I crawled to where he lay,
A bloody shed where his arm had bled,
Thank God he was not dead!

I learned Of Lawrence’s passing approx. five years ago. You see, throughout the years we kept in touch but slowly lost contact with one another. So one day on the internet, I saw someone with the same last name. I immediately contacted this person and I was overjoyed to find she was Kalawe’s Sister-In-Law. Shortly thereafter she told my wife that Lawrence had passed away two years previously. As only a fellow brother will understand another piece of my heart broke. I wrote the above poem not only for “Pineapple”, but to all fellow troopers whose closeness only we can understand.

pineappleRest in peace MY FRIEND AND BROTHER


By Paratrooper Nick Fondo

I remember the day so long ago
I had come to say good-bye.
I had never before, seen a tear in his eye.
Before you go he said to me,
“Remember to keep your head down
And stay close to the ground!”
I never before had seen a tear in my brother’s eye.
Now so many years later I know why,

stare(Photo courtesy of Ivan Worrell)

Of how different upon my return I would be,
So much like he.
I now, too, have a faraway stare.
At times when darkness is near,
I feel the jungle and the fear,
I sense the danger lurking near.
As a youngster I did not know,
That the roll of thunder and lightning’s flash
Could transport me back,
To places long past.
And at times, I would wonder why
He would stand and silently cry.
And at times I would wonder
Why we both came back and did not die.
“He suffers from battle fatigue”, they said.
And I PTSD, a new term for a condition of soldiers
Battle weary and torn, sleepless nights, and days too.
I now know why he said, “Good-bye”,
With a tear in his eye…

A poem by Nick Fondo

As I awaken each day,
I hope and pray…
That the ones I love,
Will not have to live this way…

A SOLDIER’S LIFE, in combat tough,
And carry on he must, a tear is shed…
For those around,
Whose blood has spilled upon the ground…

Just eighteen years of age,
Filled with hate and rage…
They are old before their time,
Worn faces now, only… memories of a happier time…

Their eyes have seen the gore on battlefields faraway,
And silently they pray…
For an end to this war,
Of the blood and gore…

Thirty years have passed on by, and yet each night I cry,
For as I close my eyes to sleep, my mind drifts back to that war…
I see the bodies, smell the jungle,
And sense the heat of battle once more…

I wake with chills and sweat,
Crying out for those that are no more…
And at work, I try to forget,
When a voice from the past will cry out…

“Move out! You are needed up front!”
For a split second I have returned…
To a place so far away, to fight another battle on this day,
And yet, as I look around, I realize I am home on friendly ground…

I was told to forget and move on,
I have tried and yet each day…
I live and see those friends,
That were so dear to me…

I have no thoughts before the Nam,
My memory fails me…
Don’t you see?
NOW they tell me, I suffer from PTSD…

By Paratrooper Nick Fondo

When I hear the words Memorial Day, I think of friends I once knew. Friends and comrades I last saw on a foreign shore. They came from all walks of life, some were rich, some were poor. We were just Americans fighting side by side.

I think of the pain I see in my older brother’s eye when on that rare occasion, he will speak of another war on a different foreign shore. My brother also will speak of men he once knew, as we walk through the graveyard. He will stop, I notice as he gazes upon a gravestone, a tear starts to glisten in his eye. Speaking to no-one in particular, he tells of a friend he once , the friend that now sleeps.

I think of my Father-in-Law and of the pain that is reflected in his eyes, of the things that he has seen. Like my brother and I, he also fought on a foreign shore.

I think of all the servicemen and women that have given all they could. Of Bunker Hill, Little Big Horn, the Alamo, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Manila Bay, Guadalcanal, Pork Chop Hill, Dak-To. And I watch as OLD GLORY is carried on by, I feel a tear forming in my eye.

I Thank all the men and women, who have fought and died, to give me this freedom, that, I.., all, take for granted. May God bless YOU, ONE and ALL

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