Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry 25th ID -
Personal Experience Narratives (War Stories)
"A Troop arrives at Cu Chi, Feb 22, 1966"
Dave Cox, A Troop 1965/1966
I just read your account of the road march Hwy #1 from Saigon to Cu Chi when you guys arrived in country. Good Stuff. The A Troop experience was a little different.
We arrived in port late afternoon and they immediately began hoisting our vehicles off with a crane. As each vehicle came off the ship, it was driven by the crew around the corner from the dock area and parked in column on a street that bordered the Saigon River. This went on into the night and those of us who had tracks parked around the corner took turns manning the .50/radio all night long. The other guys slept and there were some Saigon MP's patrolling around. The area was partially lit up with street lights etc., plus there was a fair amount of commercial activity out on the river. Anyway, it was mid-morning of the following day when they finally got the whole troop unloaded. To this day, I don't know how they got the tanks out of the lower vehicle well, because I wasn't on hand to see it. Probably just hoisted them out. In any case around noon, I think, we started the drive up to Cu Chi. We had an MP escort to the edge of the city and then we were on our own. We did fine getting out of Saigon, but after we crossed the Hoc Mon bridge, we managed to keep going straight when the highway made a slight jog to the left. Anyway, we went along for a couple of miles, it seemed like, until somebody realized we were on Berm Road. So, since there was no cross road at that point to get back over to Hwy 1, and we weren't yet at the point where we'd just drive across farmers' property, we ended up completely reversing our order of march and drove back down to the junction of Berm Road and Hwy 1. There we made a right turn and completed the trip to the Cu Chi base camp. We drove deep into the camp and ended up over on the west side behind the 27th Infantry area.
Our advance party already had our tents set up (in the mud!) and we pulled into line at a right angle to the 27th positions. I was driver on A-14 a that time and we were the last track, on the far left of the line. They told us to immediately begin digging foxholes next to our tracks, which we did. We also left the ramp of the track up with the single-man access door open. What we didn't really pay attention to was the fact that right across the road on the left flank of our position was a battery of 175mm self-propelled guns. I'm sure you remember those. Well, there we were, digging away, when one of those guns fired, right over our heads. To this day, I believe that all 3 of us went through that little door in the ramp at the same time! LOL. We thought we were being mortared or shelled, or something. So, we're sitting in there waiting for more explosions and I could hear the automatic loading system cycling on the gun across the road. So I said something to the effect of "Maybe that was one of our guns firing." So Terry Walker, who was sitting next to the little door decides to open it to take a look. Sure as hell, as soon as he sticks his head out, the gun fires again. BOOM! LOL We were only 150 feet or so away from that battery and the noise and concussion were almost deafening. So we crawled out of the track with sheepish looks on our faces and resumed digging our hole. Not long after that, somebody came to the brilliant realization that if it did hit the fan while we were parked there, we wouldn't be staying in holes, but mounting up to move or fight from the tracks. So the hole digging stopped.
Anyway, that's the main thing I remember about our first day at Cu Chi. I also seem to remember a 27th Infantry 1st Shirt driving down the line behind our vehicles in a jeep dropping cases of beer off at about every third track and saying how glad they were to see us." |
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