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Platinum Bullet Member and Certified Curmudgeon
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I'd like to start a thread of photos taken in action, or immediately after action, by the participants. These should be rare photos because normally when people are shooting at you, you don't have time to be taking photos.

This photo essay was taken in 1969 at Phan Rang AB in Viet Nam. I worked as an airlift controller at the ALCE, 834th Air Division Airlift Control Element. We received intermittent night harassment mortar and rocket attacks. Only once was the perimeter penetrated by VC.

The ALCE was located on the second floor of a building. When the rocket attack started, I ran downstairs and flattened myself on the aircraft ramp in front of the building. I chose not to run to a sandbag bunker because Chicom 107mm rockets were exploding and I did not want to be standing up longer than necessary.

I grabbed my camera on the way out of the building and was able to get a photo of two fuel trucks burning immediately after the rocket explosion, while we were still receiving incoming. I saw a rocket explode on top of a steel aircraft revetment. For a split second there was a perfect symmetrical star burst when it blew up. Sorry, no photo of that.

1. Fuel trucks burning. Note burning stream of fuel pouring out of the side of the right truck.
2. Fire truck on left sprays burning fuel trucks. The fire truck came right away, before the attack finished.
3. Hole in side of truck that produced burning stream of fuel.
4. Aftermath. The fuel truck driver told me that he had been asleep in the seat of the truck when the attack started. He ran to a sandbag bunker about where the photo was taken from and the truck was hit after he got in the bunker.
5. More aftermath.
6. Impact point on concrete aircraft ramp.
7. Photo taken from the ALCE showing a group of men standing around the impact point.
8. 107mm rocket pieces. They actually came from two night attacks different from the one where the fuel trucks burned. I still have them plus a piece of 122mm rocket that I picked up at Hue-Phu Bai during my 30 days there to enjoy Tet 68.
9. GI Joe, the only USAF troop in Viet Nam to have a bayonet (left side).
10. 834th Air Division (Viet Nam Airlift, C-123, C-130, C-7A) emblem
 

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While on a move up river from the town of My Tho in the Delta the boats came under heavy small arms, light machine gun and RPG fire from the shore line. One of the guys from the 9th Signal Co. was hit in the leg by a piece of shrapnel that ricocheted off the inside of the boat. I had just finished putting the field dressing on it when we took a few more hits in the hull close to where I was manning the M60. Also to add that another RPG exploded close by at the same time I then knew what a duck in a shooting gallery felt like...............Have to upload pic later as it is not co operating now...




Regards
Art.
View attachment 304572
 

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There was a small air traffic control detail at my camp for a while as several other folks were getting supplied and there was too many airplanes for us to handle.

They had a little bunker by the turnaround.

Charlie dumped a huge mortar strike one day.
Killed a bunch of ARVN Rangers who had come out of the jungle and were forming up to board a inbound 130.

One of the controllers dashed out to get pics of the action.

I think he got a closed coffin funeral.
 

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If stuff is coming in and you have a hole - stay in it until you are sure there there ain't no more. And then stay a little longer. unless you have a job to do that requires you to get out and do it.

One of the few down-sides to being an S2/S3 in a maintenance outfit is you couldn't always bunker up and wait for things to calm down if something was going on. Thank God there wasn't a lot that went on where I was - what little there was made me s firm believer in the idea that wars are not safe and not fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If stuff is coming in and you have a hole - stay in it until you are sure there there ain't no more. And then stay a little longer. unless you have a job to do that requires you to get out and do it.
I agree. Trust me, I was very flat on the ramp when I shot the photos of the burning fuel trucks. I was not in a bunker because that was too far to run after the fun started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
While on a move up river from the town of My Tho in the Delta the boats came under heavy small arms, light machine gun and RPG fire from the shore line. One of the guys from the 9th Signal Co. was hit in the leg by a piece of shrapnel that ricocheted off the inside of the boat. I had just finished putting the field dressing on it when we took a few more hits in the hull close to where I was manning the M60. I then knew what a duck in a shooting gallery felt like...............Have to upload pic later as it is not co operating now...




Regards
Art.
View attachment 304572
The photo looks like you were really focused on current events. ;)

Reminds me of the time I looked out of the side window of a C-123 right after takeoff from some small strip just after sunset. I saw a bunch of "sparklers" on the ground and at first I thought it was a firefight. Then I realized it was just one group of one or two dozen guys all shooting the same way. Up.

Or the time a convoy got hit behind me after I unknowingly rode my Honda through an ambush on the road between Phan Rang City and the beach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There was a small air traffic control detail at my camp for a while as several other folks were getting supplied and there was too many airplanes for us to handle.

They had a little bunker by the turnaround.

Charlie dumped a huge mortar strike one day.
Killed a bunch of ARVN Rangers who had come out of the jungle and were forming up to board a inbound 130.

One of the controllers dashed out to get pics of the action.

I think he got a closed coffin funeral.
Sorry to hear that.

I arrived at Hue-Phu Bai in a big rush at the beginning of Tet 68 to set up an ALCE there. We relieved Tailpipe Charlie, a combat control team that had been doing both air traffic control and airlift control functions. Marines took over the ATC and put controllers in the tower. We set up an ALCE in the third floor room below the fourth floor tower. One of the Tailpipe Charlie guys gave me a case of grenades when they left. I was happy to get them because the NVA occupied the City of Hue, 6 miles north of the airfield, and things were a bit confused and unsecure. I never had to use them because we had Marines on the perimeter of the airfield. All we really had to deal with was 122mm rockets daily but you still didn't go to the latrine without your M-16.

The first two weeks we had cold C-rations, hot beer, and no showers. The second two weeks we ate at tables with white tablecloths, menus, and Vietnamese waitresses at a Special Forces camp which had cold showers. Such are the fortunes of war when you have it good; I'm glad I never had it bad.
 

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made me s firm believer in the idea that wars are not safe and not fun.
The photo looks like you were really focused on current events. ;).
Clyde............I couldn't agree more with that statement.

geladen..........Focused but scared s--- less. IIRC that was the third time that week all hell broke loose when we moved the artty barges to support the infantry. I was also running low on shorts.............

Regards
Art
 

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I have some I took within an hour or so of some rocket and mortar hits on the 140th HEM Company area at long Binh - they are slides and I don't know wheich box they are in though - If I ever get busy and convert my slides to digital, maybe they will show up and i'll post them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That qualifies as an action photo. Wouldn't want to be on the receiving end.
 

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Alot of my pics also are on slides but just found one of a rare daylight rocket attack in base camp (DongTam) when we were in for a few days to re supply. A 122mm rocket hit a fuel storage tank not far from us.

Regards
Art
 

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