Ron Heath: Page 6

Sierra 3

Submitted by: Ron Heath

Subject: 1st Nite of TET, more recollection


All of this commotion is starting to jog the old brain cells.  The night Tet started, I was stationed at a bridge just north of the 3/5 area.  The NVA fired the first rockets of Tet into us so we would keep our heads down. (They probably didn't want our tank to give them any trouble.)  Then they fired a ton of rockets into Da Nang.  Some if not all of these hit the flare dump at Da Nang.  It was located right next to the Da Nang bomb dump (probably their main target). They missed and what we ended up with was a fireworks show that beat anything you could ever experience on the 4th of July. You could read a book by the light that was being put off. It was very impressive.

Down the road to the north of us about a half of a klick or so was an artillery battery. Fox 2/11 or 2/12, I can't remember which.  I remember they had fire missions all that night with no letup. I doubt that there was even a minute when there wasn't a gun firing.  These were 105's.

During all of this activity we were on 100% alert and waiting for Charlie to come thru the wire. I had so many claymores in my quadrant that I think I could have used them as stepping stones and never gotten my feet dirty.  Then a patrol of somebody ( we were never quite sure, except that it wasn't us) got close enough to the gate to pop a green flare.  I guess they expected us to open the gate so they could trot right in.  Funny thing is that nobody showed up at the wire on the road where the gate was ( the tank just happened to be sitting on the road with its gun pointed right at the gate).  We were one of the few compounds not assaulted, only rocketed.

Anyway, what I would like to find out is:  where was the burning flare dump in relation to where the various CAP units were. If you saw the flare dump burning, or the light from it, what direction would you be facing if you were looking at it, and did you hear any of the arty battery's firing and if so what direction were they. Remember, that sound of the guns firing should be cleaner than the whump and charump of the shells hitting their targets. ( from the bridge, the shells were hitting to the east and slightly south).  Also, did you hear the shells hitting, and from what direction?

K 3/5 2nd platoon was in the area calling in the arty since they were the Bn. reaction platoon that nite.  What they went thru the next day is another story that I will put on my website when I get it up and running.

Semper Fi
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