Vietnam 1st Battalion
E Company 1971 – 1972
As an 11B40 the drill for me was pretty much the same day in and day out during my tour. That is unless we managed to get back to Eagle to join in the suds with my friend Jim Hersom, the good ole Company Clerk. He was invaluable to us in more ways than one and seemed to make things more tolerable at times. Standup guy!
There were just two options in the “front”. If luck was with you there was nightly fire base security. The alternative was beyond the “wire” and usually called something like night ambush or search and destroy. With the exception of setting up your “delta tango” artillery coverage mid-day, I never could figure out which was which and which was easier. I was scared all the time.
I was a squad leader in Echo Company of an “anti-personnel” killer team. This referred simply to the fact that two of our personnel were trained and carried on their backs, a modular, line of site, radar device into the bush. To this day I still do not know what their MOS was. On fire bases and in open areas such as paddies and red balls this technology seemed to work fairly well. Most of the time however, we were in the mountains of I Corp. Go figure that out.
We saw a fair amount of action as Battalion felt this was cutting edge technology and it needed to be way out front. Anti-personnel radar coupled with artillery and air superiority……Wow! The strategy seemed simple enough, but as I said the portable unit was flaky in the North. I called in a tons and tons of ordinance for monkeys, tigers and stuff we never found. Yes, we also had a respectable body count worthy of those two R&R’s.