Hugh J Preacher
Your book THUNDER
Great read Jack…. not seeing the world from your view “up there” was interesting from a guy on the ground.
Suspect FOB2 was the “SF” camp on the south side of the Dak Bla at Kontum city. For most of 71 it was mostly empty of Americans except for a handful of SF guys….you never knew. For some of my “holiday” I had a place to put stuff in Tencza Compound just up the road, the last place I was with the 14th Cav on the northwest corner of Kontum Airport.
122’s….. a lot of memories, popping these suckers into Kontum from the south and TanCanh from the north… dug up photos I snagged from the airport as they whizzed overhead….crazy crap, aimed at the ARVN compound north of the Kontum Airport. I however feared mortars more…. More of them and a lot more pieces flying around I guess. To this day I still react to sounds that sound like one coming out of the fkg tube.
Always remember telling pilots that I assumed the dinks had radios on their frequencies…. The discussions about saying someone was “going back in”, while understandable…cost lots of lives… I watched several make that error around FSB 5 in particular.
The Montanguard feast had me smiling… on QL14 one day, my counterpart and I were invited to join some locals who slaughtered a water buffalo and “cooked” it on the roadside. I remember thinking… a 20 lb turkey takes how many hours in a 350 oven!! and this is setting on the road with a bonfire around it… I told my LT to let me know the minute they said it was ready…because I wanted to carve a chunk out of the side...where it might actually be burned and cooked. At the end of the dinner that locals were literally walking off with the bones….
In you SOG missions, the name James Lewis every come to mind? James was a SF guy who went to Armor OCS. A couple years ago I realized he has a very interesting background. Apparently multi lingual and more experienced, he started running SOG / CIA whoever… missions. Was captured in Laos and mysteriously released! He disappears for a while and then reappears when he and his French Vietnamese wife were both killed in the 18 Apr 83 Beirut bombing. Both reportedly with each other. They are in Arlington and on the wall as both were at that time CIA. I think they called him Military Attache or the like. Very interesting bits of history and very little written as you would imagine. The facts that his name was identified at his Star until so many years passed implies he was a busy guy.
We are also still looking for to the day Major Carter, 22nd Advisor went missing and presumed killed west of Dak To trying to escape Tan Canh in the last hours. Had one of your guys, Jim Hunnsicker and Wade Ellen also among those KIA but never recovered…. the whole area up there just sucked….
Had never heard of MARS before… though had no one to call….got a dear Hugh right after I got In Country. In today’s world with guys in the Middle East on PC’s and phones all the time… seems to me that it would be a major distraction…. Listening to the good and bad things happening across the globe and then shut it off and go back into reality again. Probably our parents and wives might say otherwise… but just leaving….and just returning seemed less conflict.
When I got to the house in Hollywood Florida the local relatives had gathered for beer and BBQ…. No one said much, just chat chat and I seem to remember I wanted to get out and go have a cold beer somewhere alone. It was good to get back to Ft Knox where it felt safe….
Anyway…. Hope you sell a million copies Jack…
Hugh J Preacher <email@example.com>
USA - Sunday, July 29, 2018 at 14:20:20 (EDT)