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in dry elephant grass spread to the ammunition dump containing approximately 3600 rounds of 105 mm ammunition.

******Transcriber’s note.**********


I was there, and I know what started that fire. One of the men in my section and I watched a Chinook that had picked up a slingload of trash, saw it being fanned by his rotors, and decided to set it back down. He set it down only around 15 feet from a “Cord” of 105 Rounds that were charged, and loaded and/or fused, or whatever they call it on the gun crews. We called it a “Cord” because it looked Almost exactly like a stack of perfect logs for burning in the fireplace. When we saw that pilot set that sling down, we both knew at the same time that whole base was going up, and we hollered “Fire” as loud as we could, and lit out for our bunker, and to inform the rest of the platoon. We scampered and/or drove vehicles back and forth, up and down from one side of the FSB to the other, all day. There was 105 mm zipping along at anywhere from ankle to just above waist height. And it was cooking off other ammo in vehicles it burned, bunkers, etc as the fire took them over. Almost everything on that base was ripping and exploding. We were stepping and a fetchin tryin to keep from getting blowed away, and at the same time trying to watch out into that tall elephant grass thinking it would be a perfect time for the VC or NVA to come in there and annihilate all of us. Ended up wonderin why he never did. They were probably rolling around out there, too weak from laughin to start a fight, hahaha!

*******End *******

Battery C and the remaining portion of Headquarters Battery (all others had been previously air-lifted) tried in vain to prevent the loss of equipment. Due to the exploding projectiles and the intense heat the Battalion personnel were forced to seek whatever cover available. Battery C sustained heavy equipment losses and was forced to return to Camp Ranier for reequipping the sections. LTC Lindholm was the only casualty from the fire. He was ultimately evacuated to CONUS. On 9 December LTC William Albright assumed command of the Battalion. A and B Batteries with C/6/77 Artillery moved to Soui Tre then returned South to support Operation Camden in the trapezoid. On 28 December the entire Battalion moved North on Phase II of operation Yellowstone.  On 31 December, A, C, and Headquarters Batteries were located at Fire Support Base Burt about 20 KM north of Dau Tieng, B Battery was at Katum and only those necessary to maintain operations remained at Camp Ranier.


***Note… Boy, I don’t know. 20 KM?? North of Dau-Tieng???  It took them all day to get there! Not long after making the turn North, which runs alongside the Rubber plantation,2 of my men and I were stranded in a broken down truck @ the base of Razor Back , or close to it on the Road…waiting to get a tow to the FSB from the “Last Track” in the convoy, which didn’t come until barely enough time to get us there at the last part of dusk. Maybe they had some trouble up at the front of the convoy with mines, or ambushes, or something, but I don’t remember hearing anything. Anyway, as I seem to remember it – Which of course is not that great a recommendation – it was closer to the Cambodian border than the above document places it, and closer to Katum, also.  Oh, well. 





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