|First Night in Quan Loi|
I was an air traffic
controller at Quan Loi arriving Jul 68 until Mar 70. We ate at your (HHB &
Alpha Battery 6/27th Arty) mess hall and I remember digging out bodies from one
of the fire fights that a sapper blew up a bunker in your area.
When our detachment arrived in July, we had just come from Ft. Benning. We got to Quan Loi about 1400 hours. We were put up in tents near the "C" med compound and it was raining. About 1800 hours we took incoming from some mortars. We found bunkers to dive into and when we heard the choppers flying we knew it was okay to come out.
We were excited, first day at the LZ and under fire - We were now combat veterans. We found a PX of some sort and got several cases of beer to celebrate. It continued to rain and the wood floors in the tents were slippery. We had the beer cans piled up on the floor as a toast.
Sometime around midnight and most of us drunk, (remember we were air traffic controllers, we never heard of a 175 mm or knew what it looked like). I guess your battery had a fire mission. Anyway, I don't think the first round cleared the barrel before we were up. GOD, nothing makes a noise that loud. I jumped out of my cot, slid on my ass on the wet mud slicked floor trying to find the door. Another guy plowed through the empty beer cans and missed the doorway and was knocking out the screen on the side of the door to get out. I finally got outside and was running around trying to find a bunker.
More loud bangs. What the hell is happening! I see a bunker but before I could get to it I ran full blast into one of those piss tubes (never knew about that until then either, you know the metal tubes that stand up about knee high ) and banged my shin up and just laid there praying for a direct hit to stop the pain.
Had some folks from the neighboring units come out and tell us that it was "outgoing". Never got drunk again at Quan Loi. My shin hurts just thinking about that night. Anyway, I enjoyed the good food at your mess, even if the plates bounced off the table when you started firing
|Jerald H. Dilge 1SG (Retired) 322nd Avn Spt Det. Air Traffic Control Then and Now|