These stories are written around a series of e-mails between James Huskey, and John Porter.
James to John: Yeah I do remember you. You questioned my ancestry I beleave! Something about only a moron could blow 2 head gaskets in one week.
From James: First story: A mortar hit on the front of my tanker in ambush alley. Just west of the checkpoint before the pass. I was medi-vacc’d out to An Khe. Large knot on my forhead, massive headache. had a run in with General Stone, and disciplined by Cpt Woodbury.
A later e-mail added this about the above: They walked the rounds in on us. we were stopped just past the check point. When the first round’s started coming in. First ones were up ahead and off the road. You could tell they were bracketing the road, and that there was more than one tube working. My anxiety level increased ( can you spell shit pants ) as they got closer. But the trucks started to move up ahead. About that time I thought. Thats the last thing I remember until waking up in the medi-vac. Now thats a surreal experience! Waking up, seeing & hearing chopper blades going. I woke up again in the evac hospital. I was on a gurney with a blood pressure gauge on my arm. They were busy with real wounded and I figured they didn’t need to mess with me. I just got up and left. I would have been ok if the General hadn’t driven by, seen me without my hat and braced me for that, then not saluting. I would have been pissed if I had been more alert. But he did give me a ride back to the company area. Cpt woodbury did let me sleep for a couple of day’s tho. The knot on my head went down and life returned to normal in paradise. Pablo PerezVargas was right behind me in the convoy. He said he was cussing me after I got hit because my truck wasn’t moving. When he finally figured that there might be something wrong with me. He pulled me out afraid that it was going catch fire. got me in the ditch and covered me until reinforcements arrived. I wish I could remember who made the comment at the awards ceremony when he got his Army Commendation Medal “with V device” that it would have been more if I had been worth more! GEEZ!!!
Another story: A B-40 hit just behind my cab, again in ambush alley. Fire fight with unfriendly type’s, return to ambush, changed tires around til I had enouph to limp to Plieku. Up many hour’s repairing flats and getting truck ready for the next day. Many thoughts as to how much better farm life was than I thought it was. John responded: were you the guy that drove his tanker back in, then found the live B-40 in the tanker? Jim’s response: You know John, that could explain a couple of things about that day. I know nothing about an unexploded B-40. I was told to get the truck back to Pleiku, off-load, and get it ready to go again. There was much discussion about the hole that nite when I got back to the motor pool after off loading. “why wasn’t I dead”, “why no fire”, where was all the shrapnel”. They brought over a couple of brass who looked at it. I remarked to my Sarge at the time that none of them were helping get my flats fixed. There was something about combat engineers coming to get it. All I remember was that the trailer was gone, because I wanted to get another picture of it. Thats the last I heard or saw of it. There were only a couple of small pices of schrapnel that came through my cab. one was in the back of my helmut, and one in the back of my fl;ak jacket. The odd thing was I never wore my helmut and jacket unless I was working the gun truck, almost never. I slipped them on just as we slowed for the last check point. No particular reason why. It just seemed like a good idea that day. Whether it fully exploded or not ( I’m not sure ) , it blew out all the tires on the tractor on the drivers side. I was more concerned with getting enouph tires on to get the hell out of there. It was getting dark and the gun truck and Lt were yelling at me to get a move on. ( I did get some help with the tires, the trail gun truck was a great help ). Not a sanity issue John, just a naive 18 year old Kansas farm boy doing what he was told. ” Is it to late to shit my pant’s?” John’s response: I haven’t stopped laughing since I got that e-mail. Oh I do remember that story. I’ve told it several time’s. The B-40 if you look at the picture went in on the passengerside. The other damage was either from a mine, mortar, or something else on the drivers side. You were hit twice at the same time. The reason you never saw the trailer again is it got moved very slowly to a safe place and blown up ( no way to get the rocket out without endangering someone ). You might not have heard me, But me and a whole bunch of guy’s were cussing! but you didn’t know it was still in the tanker! It’s funny now, but it sure wasn’t then! Jim’s response: Avgas, JP4, mogas, DF-2, unexploded B-40 rockets, we hauled it all! That was a long nite. I got yelled at by my Sgt, I was so exhausted I slipped over behind that canvas quonset hut for a nap, and fell asleep. Around midnite he found me, politely informing me I had more tires to get on. Geez, give the kid a break. In that dust cloud we called Dak To the next day I failed to realize the convoy had stopped and I was still motoring, crumpled bumpers were common tho, I was so tired by then I didn’t care!