Vietnam 1st Battalion
B Company 1969 – 1971
I was born in Oakland, California and raised in San Leandro, California. In early 1968 I learned that “full-time student” was 12 or more quarter units. I also heard that prior to swearing in draftees, they counted off by three’s. All the three’s went to Camp Pendleton. Recruiters often get a bad rap but mine talked me out of becoming medic. MP was out of the question due to my glasses. That left me with cooking, repairs, or supply. I choose supply.
Top Barker (the best First Sergeant I ever had) offered me OJT as a 11B for about a month on Hwy One and two Fire Bases. For the rest of my tour I worked in Co. B, 1/327th’s supply room. I think the company clerk (Barber) and I were the only non-infantrymen in the rear.
I remember the company taking the most loses when they went into the Ashau. Lowlands were the safest. David Neff’s accidental death, days before his DEROS, is often on my mind. I DEROS’ed in February of 1970.
I guess I experienced some “Final Act Behavior” while serving out my last 18 months in Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I volunteered to finish up my enlistment with Co B and was back in-country by September of 1970. The company had experienced some heavy casualties before I got back but I only remember humbugs after I returned. Alpha Company’s misdirected artillery strike on Christmas Eve ’70 sticks with me.
I returned to the real world in August of ’71 and was discharged a day later. I used up as much of my GI Bill as I could.
I married and helped raise one step-child who’s thirty now. We’re still working on our own, he’s fifteen. I did 27 years with the local Sheriff’s Office and retired July of ’03. My lovely wife Karol beat me to retirement by six years and deserves a lot of credit for allowing me to hang out with her most all day long.
Left to right Joe Hutto, Andy Anderson, “Beavers”, Les Lull, Dave Johnson,
Top Barker, Barber, unk, and Bob Vachon.