On 11 feb 1969 I was on convoy to Pla Gerang. I went to the 4TH ID checkpoint to meet my escort to the Oasis. We left about 8 and had not gone more than a mile, when the two M.P. jeep’s ran off and left me. I kept going by myself. I got to the Oasis and they would not let me into the CP area. I guess I was locked and loaded, and raising hell. I left Pla Gerang about 9 or 9:30. The coke girls would not sell me a coke or a beer. I told the Sgt on an APC we were going to get hit. He was from Aco 1/10 Cav 4TH ID. We had one 5 ton with 5000 gal tanker of JP4 and 20 empty 2 1/2 ton’s from 1/50 Inf. there was a 2nd Lt that wanted to ride with me, till he saw I didn’t have a back rest for the passenger seat “Lucky for him”. The next time I saw him he looked like his life had passed before his eye’s. A Sgt wanted me to take the trail, I told him “hell no, my truck ran 53 miles per hour. how fast was his APC.” We got about halfway and ran across a mine sweeping team from 4th engineers, one M88 and 4 or 5 people sweeping the road. He asked me if I knew were we were, I told him Cambodia. He asked how I knew. I told him I was standing on the marker. I sat there 15 or 20 minutes. He said we needed to get out of there. I told him I was not passing no mine sweeping team. He told me I could stay there or go with him. I should have stayed, we got about 2 to 400 yards and I went airborn. The only thing I saw was a ball of fire coming through the door. When I came to I was 50 to 75 ft in the air. I was blown between the steering wheel and door up to the windshield. My legs were blown up under the dash. I remember pulling my legs from under the dash and trying to get the door open. It would not open. I looked out the window and looked down at the APC. At this time the truck was leaning to the right, and I thought to myself “If you want to live get out of here” it was like god said ok and the door more info
opened. I jumped, hit the ground and slid for 25 to 50 ft on hands and knees. It took all the skin off my hands and knee’s. 2 trucks went passed and everything stopped. I had my weapon in the truck. I tried to get a weapon from other drivers. They looked at me “are you for real” and then I had to protect my truck. I could hear and everything was moving real slow. My right arm and right side of my face got 1st and 2nd degree burns and spots of 3rd degree battery acid and diesel fuel burns. They called for a MEDIVAC, but all were on the ground “no fuel”, I had their fuel. They got hit the night before and their bladders got hit. A loch tried to pick me up, but got shot up and had to pull out. I rode on top of an APC, they tried to get me inside, but I told the to “sit on it (maybe not in those words)”. They had nothing for pain but warm beer, so I drank that. We got to Pla Gerang and a loch took me to the Oasis. They patched me up, and told me I’d have to stay overnight there. I was not to happy about that. I had slapped a medic for trying to clean my hands and knees without pain med’s. I went to a tent for wounded it only had one cot left. An e-5 asked what had happened. I told him and he said he’d try to get me out of there. He said they had about a Reg of NVA on their peremeter, I told the OIC DR there was a convoy at 1. He said there was a MEDIVAC, if I could find a seat I could go, and I went. The only seat I could find was on the floor with my feet on the skid’s holding the door. I got to the Plieku Mash Unit about 24:00 that night. MEDIVAC started coming from the Oasis, sappers had gotten through the medic tents shooting and wounding two of them I had talked to. I was there for about 5 day’s. My right arm was swelled up to about two times larger than normal. So they sent me to Japan to a burn ward for 45 day’s seeing men dying everyday. That was my R&R, I was sent back to the 359th in apr 1969.
I still have bad dreams every night, can not forget!