STORY BY STEVE WHITE 359th TRANS CO 1970-1

For a while we were doubling up drivers on the run from Qui Nhon to Plieku. Seems like it was one of the few times we actually had a surplus of drivers. SP5 Jenkins and I were assigned together and were hauling JP4. We had made the run several times in a row without incidence so gotten complacent in our duties. I don’t remember how we chose who got to drive to Plieku and who got the luxury of driving back empty. But on this particular trip I wound up driving loaded. The guy who got to rest on the trip up also got the privilege of off-loading when we got there. So I was looking forward to taking a nap as soon as we got there. The trip up was almost boring and we were in Plieku & had dumped our load by early afternoon. We were about halfway back to An Khe when the convoy started taking small arms fire. I remember thinking how stupid that was. I mean who the hell wants to blow up an empty tanker. About that time I saw an RPG hit in the field just to the left of us and to this day I still don’t remember what made me think of it, but I turned to Jenkins and asked “you did leave the hatches on the tanker open didn’t you?” The sick look on his face was all the answer I needed. I mean what the hell was he thinking every body knew that an “empty” tanker blow like hell and if the explosion can’t go up it goes to the weakest point. The ends of the tanker. Thats right Jenkins. Right up our ass here. Anyway, here I go crawling out the passenger window and on to the top of the tanker while Jenkins is hauling ass down the highway, knowing all the while I’m gonna get my butt shot off any minute. All I is know that it must have been some very in-experienced VC’s there that day because somehow I got all four hatchs open and got back in the truck without so much as a scratch. The only casualty that day was the pair of fatigue pants I was wearing. Never could get the stink out of them. Well come to think of it I believe there was another casuality that day. The driving team of White-Jenkins was desolved forever more. Never did forgive him for that lapse of memory.