When we moved to LZ Tommy, we were changing places with  another Battery that had been beaten up pretty badly there.  Most  of the battery moved by air, but it got dark and myself and one or  two guns and crew were left behind.  That night I almost got in a  fist fight with the CO of the new battery over bunkers, he thought  his battery should have them all.  Major (Jerry) Orr intervened*, and we had  cover for the night.  The next day we moved out by truck.  During the  convoy, our truck got sprayed by AK47 from a" dink" in a spider hole.  I heard one round whiz through the cab of 2 1/2 ton.  We had a kid with  about a week to go in-country, who wouldn't shut up about how short he was.  He  was sitting in the back of the truck, with his M-16 across his chest,  and a round took a chunk out of the barrel.  He never said another  word, he could only point at the M16 and move his mouth, but nothing  came out.  We were trucked to a Special Forces camp with airstrip  and spent most of the day waiting to be lifted to join the rest of  the Battery.  As we waited on the metal airstrip, we decided that we  need some PSP for bunkers, we had left a lot at the last LZ.  So we  tore up a couple of feet of the runway.  There was also an Air Force  plane sitting on the runway with no crew and a nice aluminum pallet in  the back of it.  For our last load, we had about 10 of us, the 10' sq.  pallet on a 30' long strap and a net full of PSP hung below that for  weight.  We got on the Chinook, and they hook up the load, the ground  crew decided that the load was too heavy,  so he unhooked the net of  PSP, leaving a10' sq alum pallet that weighed about 50# on the end of  a 30' strap.  As we became airborne, the pallet swung around and  started to chop a hole in the roof of the copper.  We landed safely.

Right then, I had a LtCol yelling at me for screwing up his schedule, an Air Force Captain that wanted me court-martialed, and a SF Captain that  wanted to shoot me, and a WO who wanted me to buy his copper.


Lt Ray Beebe


Major Jerry Orr comments:

* I do remember this. Had a "nose to nose" session with the Company Commander to remind him we were there to provide Artillery support, not only for him but other maneuver elements in the Brigade.