Marine Corps Years
Vietnam Part I
Click on any thumbnail below to bring up a larger image. These pictures were all 35 mm slides. It is unfortunate, but they were not stored properly. Therefore, the quality leaves much to be desired. I did the best I could with them.
I was assigned to the 1st Marine Airwing where we were quartered on an old French Military base. I was assigned to the Information Services Office which was located in an old jail.
I soon realized that war sometimes comes close to home. During my first night, some unfriendly natives tried to break through to the airfield. They did not succeed and only small arms fire was heard. I slept in a tent so I moved to the more solid structure of the office. There I learned that this happened several times a week.
Within a few days I was busy getting acclimated and flying with some of the helicopter squadrons from Chu Lai, DaNang and DongHa. This included a scouting mission on a Huey flight that went north past the DMZ into the bad guys territory.
An interesting day was spent with an H-34 crew assigned to Medevac (Medical Evacuation) duties for a 24 hour period. We flew from Dong Ha and evacuated some wounded South Vienamese soldiers from the DMZ. We also transported a pregnant Vietnamese woman (with half her family) from her village to a civilian hospital.
Later that evening we received a call to fly cover for a green flare mission (meaning a Marine was injured but there were no bad guys in the area). I had my safety belt on and was dozing next to the hatch where the crew chief manned an M-60 machine gun. I was awakened when empy shell casings were bouncing off my helmet. I looked out and saw fireworks coming up at us from the ground. There were definitely some unfriendly folks around. There was no damage done, but my education was continuing.
Late in August, while taking stories and photos to the DaNang Press Center, I learned of a opening there for a press chief. After I had an interview with the Commanding Officer of the Press Center as well as the NCO in Charge in charge, I was transferred to Headquarters, Third Marine Amphibious Forces. I was then assigned to the Combat Information Bureau (CIB) at the Press Center.