PFC John J. Portonova
Member of the Advance Party, the "Blue Light" mission from Hawaii to Vietnam



{After arriving in Vietnam from Hawaii....}

We went on patrols with the Infantry...we were with them, we were direct support. When we first got over to Vietnam, we had to pull our own perimeter guard.  We weren't really a big fighting force, we were attached to the 1st Cav and also had the ARVNs attached to us.  That's the Infantry units that we supported. We fought in Laos, Cambodia and all around Vietnam. The first 2 months, we went by convoy; after that we were airlifted. We had to push our guns into the Chinook helicopter, then after a month of that, we slung our gear and gun to be airlifted.  Thatís when the shit hit the fan.  We were always into some really big battles.  Then we secured an area at Cu Chi  for the rest of the division.  When we first got over there,  we were the 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division.  We were the advance party for the rest of the division.  We made Pleiku our base camp. 


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