{whatta  nightmare!}



As I was checking the outposts on LZ Two Bits, I walked down the end of the wire checking on the guards. As I approached the first outpost bunker, I saw in horror the guard's throat was cut. OMG...we have dinks in the wire!

I ran back  to my bunker and grabbed my M15. Then, I ran down to the FDC and punched the alert code for the klaxon we had installed.  I had to get our reaction force up immediately and have them respond to being attacked. A call when out to all the support bases; they would shoot defensive fires into the outside wire. We had 6 strands of protective concertina.  I also alerted the helicopters from other bases to get them airborne and ready to help.  Then I ran down to the wire to help repel the VC.

As I came running up to the first outpost, guard looked at me like I was crazy.  He yelled, "What the hell is going on?"  Oh-oh... he was alive and well. 

I went to find my XO and asked him if  I was sleep walking...or something like that.  Turns out that I was in a dream and woke to find myself armed with the M15 and running out to the FDC to initiating the alert to save our firebase.

Well, the alert process worked just super!  We had instant illumination from the battery Base Piece alert  tube.  We had H&I fires all over the wire from other nearby 105mm batteries; two as a matter of fact.  

I got on the secure net and talked with my Bn Co told him what happened.  He went to Gen Cunningham, the 173d Airborne commander and told him all the alerts he heard were "canned".  Everyone knew about them in advance and were in  their fighting positions ahead of time or standing by to go to them. He said this was an artillery alert in order to actually determine what our response time would be to an enemy attempt to overrun us.

What he really did was....he covered my ass.  The general was delighted and praised the Bn CO for the idea of a surprise alert to test response time.

The next day, I was on my way to an in-country R & R at Vung Tau on the wonderful South China Sea.

I still wonder what that vacation cost the taxpayers.

submitted by Lt Don Keith

                                                                                                                          Back to War Stories