Thread: MT in Vietnam
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:12 PM
Martin Timothy Martin Timothy is offline
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Join Date: May 2011
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Default Re: MT in Vietnam

Proceeding on foot sure to walk where the tank treads were, the tanks they had brought in were called L5's which were Centurions with a bulldozer blade.

The L5's simply graded a road as they went and bulldozed the enemy out of their bunkers, bodies rolling along with the dirt and stuff, to my right a Viet Cong officer and an enlisted man were peering thru a weapons slit at ground level, I leveled my L2A1 7.62 mm automatic rifle, then held fire as a fella from A Company stepped straight into my line of fire.

Continuing on, another troop of M113 carriers arrived and we were told to get in, they took us further on and dropped us at the foot of one of the foothills leading up to the main range, whence we were to obtain the summit and dig in to prevent any enemy that might bug out from the camp reaching the spur.

We proceeded under sporadic enemy rifle fire gaining the summit, securing the area by placing rifle and machine gun groups at various positions, Lieutenant Lombardo said we should cool off a bit, and since most of us had not had anything to eat since the day before, make a cuppa.

I thought it was a good idea and shucked my gear off and got my bush stove going to brew tea, I heard Vietnamese voices - the radio op was with the Boss and the Sergeant having a confab about it all - we were on the rocky summit of a small hill overlooking the Firestone valley, everywhere was overgrown with bamboo.

Taking a look I decided to take a better look and moved around the other side of a massive boulder, and found I was looking straight down at a hidden path that went the full length of the spur, they were well traveled and just a little further up, the flared snout of a 20 mm anti aircraft gun was poking thru the bamboo!

I needed hand grenades, and I had two in the webbing I had taken off back where my tea water was bubbling merrily away about four meters around the other side of the boulders, that was when the sh*t hit the fan, so to speak!
The plan re the enemy decamping from the bunkers where the tanks had plowed thru had been proven correct, however some infantry mounted the 113's that had closed in from the north west had spotted them and were chasing them thru the scrub and up our hill, whence the infantry and cavalry gunners were pouring devastating fire after them.

Lombardo was on the radio screaming that we were under fire and in danger of being over run, when a MG slug caught him liketty split between the shoulder blades, he is a naturally swarthy individual and he turned a seasick shade of green, I removed his shirt and saw frothy blood bubbling thru a wound about thirty mm across, that the tissue beneath had almost closed.

That is a sucking chest wound, I placed the palm of my hand flat over the wound, and was relieved when he took a clear breath in and his color improved dramatically, we were still under fire and I dragged him into a large bomb crater that was there.

Removing the waterproof outer cover of a shell dressing with one hand and my teeth, being sure that no mouth material touched the inner sterile surface, placing it over the wound and taping the whole dressing over, then put another smaller dressing, Frank Sinatra style into his armpit for luck.
Thus employed, tracer fire had set the bamboo on fire making the aforementioned hidden paths untenable, they took to the scub as it were and passed right by, I had dressings and bandages spread everywhere and was working hard.

Movement caught my eye and two enemy soldiers who looked they were on a walk in the park stopped by, they seemed exited to see a combat medic hard at it, they were joined by a few more until there were about five watching, when one of their NCO's, who looked like the same dude I had seen in the enemy camp appeared, and told them to never mind what I was doing and to keep moving, they were all heavily armed and I just kept working.

Trying to keep the airtight bandage in place ..the sticking plaster would not stick to his clammy skin, just then during a lull in the firing Corporal Colough appeared, he said he had a man down up ahead and I told him to bring him in.

He said he was immobile and requested that I go to his aid, I applied a dry bandage over Lt Lombardo's airtight dressing and Private Van Herren bound it in place, while I went to see the guy that was down further up, rock hopping all the way because of mines, the gunners on the APC's in the valley below saw it all and opened fire.

Glancing downward saw bright white and yellow tracer arcing upward, the guy who had been hit was on his own about fifty meters up range, his upper body was sheltered behind a low rock not his legs however which had taken multiple hits, he had lost some blood and his bones were shattered, that he had not by then bled to death meant he was salvageable!
We waited until the fire storm abated a little, he was conscious and I told him I had a casualty clearing station up yonder and that was where we were going, he had no use of his legs and he looped both hands around my neck and I skull dragged him back to where we were going.

-----'s Courage!!! During this process a big mouth inbred c*** called -----, who was recruited from Risdon Prison in Tasmania, whose only claim to fame was that he fell upon an injured man with his inbred mates and killed him, decided to give me advice - I wanna see how much courage he has when I put the noose around his neck!!

Took the guy back in, left his boots and his strides on and just bound both legs all up, when the medivac chopper arrived placed him onto a stokes litter and saw him winched to safety, the same with Lt Lombardo and then another twelve or so walking wounded, I was hit in the left shoulder, back and legs with machine gun fire and shrapnel, and still have a 5.56 mm slug embedded in my right hand.

01:00 hrs 1 May 1970, on military operations in Phoc Tuy province a burst of machine gun fire followed by a calls for the Medic split the night, the machine gunner had opened fire without warning wounding two men, seven rounds caught L/Cpl Goody in the left deltoid with a large exit wound between his left armpit and shoulder blade.

The same burst ripped into Private Earle's abdomen causing massive bleeding, he died around twenty seconds later Corporal Goody's wound though serious appeared to be manageable, he was conscious and in good spirits when we put him on the chopper, he died later that day in hospital!

While thus engaged, elsewhere on the battlefield mines had exploded and another nine Australians were killed.
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