How I Arrived in Quan Loi and a Special Thanks

I first arrived in Vietnam in October 1968. I was a clerk assigned to 6/27th Artillery. I was stationed in Long Binh, the large U.S. Army Post near Saigon.  My duty was better than stateside.  We had ice-cream trucks coming to the door just outside of my office.  I spent most of my time in Long Binh as a rations clerk.  I went grocery shopping every day and then the next morning I went with my crew to Ben Hoa Airport to send the food to all the artillery batteries in the 27th Battalion out in the field.  Little did I know I would soon be on the receiving end of the rations delivery to one of those batteries in Quan Loi.  I remember distinctly to this day.  We had a New Year's Eve Party and that was when I was told I was being transferred to Quan Loi.

The next thing I can recall is hearing the guns firing as I landed at the airfield in Quan Loi. It was my first introduction to artillery.  I will never forget the sound.  I thought I was in the middle of an earthquake.  The driver of the jeep taking me to Alpha Battery on the northwest side of  Quan Loi was calm so I figured this must be normal.  I still find it hard to believe that I actually got used to it.

My job, for the most part, was carrying 205 pound projectiles up to the loader rammer and then running back to get the next round.  I also had the job of sweeping off the gun pad.  Great Job!  I could not believe no one wanted to do such a simple job until monsoon season came and I traded my broom for a shovel. 


This was a very special time in my life - one I will never forget. Waking up with ten plus guys in my bunker was never appealing to me, but sometimes I miss it.  We had close friendships - closer than brothers, because we had to depend on one another for survival.  To all of you that were there at that time I would like to say “thank you” for helping me get home in one piece.  Just by you doing your job as well as you did, we all survived Vietnam.


May God bless every one of you.

SP4 Jim Hynes.    Then  and  Now



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