A-18 hits mine near C2. Swinny, Mills, Tulki and Gaylor

A-18 hits mine near C2. Swinny, Mills, Tulki and Gaylor shaken but there were no major injuries.  Photo of A-18 Crew 

I’m still not sure of the time of this event but it must have been at the end of Aug. or early Sept. 1st platoon had been pulling road guard on Highway 1 keeping the road between Dong Ha and Quang Tri secure at night. How we got to where we ended up is still locked away. Any way we ended up on a Recon near, I believe, C-2. We did our Recon of the AO and started back down the road following the tracks we left on the way up figuring we did not hit anything on the way up we should be ok on our way down the hill. I still don’t remember the explosion all I remember is coming back down on the turret, looking down where the mine exploded. At this time we had M48A1, which was gas powered. Why they did not give us A-2’s or 3’s I do not know. Back to the story the mine went off about amidships it seemed like that it went off right under me. The next thing I remember is asking Swinny if he is ok and he was. All of a sudden, SSgt. Cunningham comes running from his ACAV. Finds what he believes to be a spider hole and empties about 3 M-16 Magazines into a hole about a foot deep. Still it had to have been a command-detonated mine considering where the mine blew and that was A-18’s welcome to Nam.
Tanks for listening 
(Jim M “68”)

Septemeber 5, 1968
Typhoon BESS strikes I Corp with 50-knot winds and heavy rain. Operations are suspended for two days and defensive positions are washed out.

I remembered a typhoon hitting early in our tour but could not recall the date of and etc. One of the reasons this memory has stayed with me all of the these years is everythime it rains hard I can see myself back in Nam pulling guard on A16 (at night near a bridge) in this typoon. You could hold your hand in front of your face and not even see it. Let me tell you it became just as wet inside the tank as it was outside; wet and cold all night is something that will cause one today to look out the patio door and stare out into a hard rain and smile.

12 Sep 1968
Brigade sweep along DMZ. A28 hits mine. 2nd platoon APC hit by Chicom anti-personnel mine. Spc Jones and Van Winkle wounded.

Harold Joseph Van Winkle, Jr., aka Rip. Married. Patterson, New Jersey. Was wounded on Sept 12, 1968. Sent to Ft Zama Japan. The shrapnel was real close to his heart. His son, Saun, was a couple of months old and he heard him baby talk on the phone, but never got to see him. 
(G. Bowers)

Also, are you sure that Michelson was KIA in Vietnam?  He was hit on my track (A10) up on the DMZ and I had him medivac’d out.  I think the date was Friday Sept 13th, 1968.  If he was KIA no one ever told me.  I can’t remember his first name but he was supposed to be getting an early out to go home to start college.  Anyone have any other details?
(Ltee Kershner)

Charlie Brown:
I had to think on this for awhile but if I remember correctly Michelson came back to the troop before he left for the world. If this is the person I’m thinking of I believe it was his 2nd. tour.
Jim M.

I agree that it was his 2nd tour.  I’m glad to know he wasn’t KIA.  I don’t remember too much except he was a good guy and he was sitting on the back of my APC when we started taking incoming.  I think he got hit in the stomach, but didn’t seem fatal at the time.  I remember the first round, probably a rocket since we were sitting almost on top of the Ben Hai River, hit right in front of a tank to my right.  I thought the tank had fired and it went low, then I realized that it was enemy fire.  We opened up and I watched a gunner on one of the tracks burn out his 50 cal barrel by firing without stopping.  When that happened you could see the rounds not going straight, but kind of cork screwed.  (By the way, that it one of my nightmares about Vietnam in having a weapon that won’t shoot straight or running out of ammo. In truth, I always had so much ammo on my track and on me that there was never a chance I would run out.  After an experience, which I will relate some other time, I always made sure I had a .32 5 shot snub nose in my pocket.)  I think I remember somebody trying to chae the barrel and getting burned because they didn’t have asbestos gloves on.  The next thing I remember is all of the tracks and tanks backing off the hill.  We had some other WIA’s I think an E5 was shot in the arm.  Then a Medivac chopper came on my freq and said that he was coming in for a dust off.  I told him the LZ was hot and he said don’t worry just pop smoke and be ready to get the wounded on his chopper.  I never knew who the pilot was but from that day I will buy any Medivac pilot or crewman a drink anytime, any place.  Those guys had to have the biggest brass balls in the war.  Thanks for listening.
(J. Kershner)

From Lt. William G. McShane 3rd Platoon 1968-69

Sept 15 Into the DMZ. Launched from A-3. 1st and 2nd Platoons stage in the night before. 3rd Platoon, ours, holds back and keeps the road open and rendezvous in the morning. Road off 1, to A3, not cleared of mines, so get off into the low grass. Hit a mine. Zamora was driving. All okay, just a little sore. Track a mess. I wrote that the rest of the Troop pushed into the DMZ that two other tracks hit mines and there was contact. We got a few. Can’t say more than that because I was sitting there on the top of that exposed hill with one of my tanks and another track waiting for repair. 

September 24 Rained for three days. Cam Lo Bridge completely washed out last night. Mission was guarding the Cam Lo District Headquarters from VC or NVA attack. Drenched. If I remember right, at one point we may have been in Cam Lo cordoned around some Marine 155 SP’s. Great fun trying to sleep with those babies going off all night. 

Sept 27 Cordoned off a vill and waited for the PF to come in and search. Told eight VC caught. 

Sept 30-Oct 1 While riding on Sgt Platt’s tank we hit a mine. 

September 29, 1968
Battleship New Jersey (BB-62) arrives on station off I Corp.