NVA Radioman


Submitted by: Mike Readinger
Echo 2 & 2nd. CAG HQ

Editor's Note:  I have read Al Hemingway's book, and I read Mike Readinger's story as I posted it to the Web Site. However, I did not make the connection between Hemingway & Readinger as it relates to "Greeno" and the NVA Radioman.

Our thanks to James Larsen for making the connection.

The NVA Radioman

From The Echo 4 Story: "...the NVA radioman motioned me to lay back down....I'll never forget that"


I've been hanging on to this for a couple weeks now, mainly out of shock and disbelief that I stumbled across it thanks to James "Vini" Larsen, and, of course, you and the CAP Web Site.

Let me explain....

I got an e-mail from James Larsen over a year ago. At that time he explained that he had visited the VVHP and had seen my writings on Dennis Hammond. As he had happened to have worn (and still wears) Dennis' POW bracelet, he was interested in finding out all he could about Dennis.

We communicated several times over the next few months, and I gave him the names of the two books where he could read about Dennis while he was a POW.

Then, when I found your CAP site, had my pictures scanned, and wrote the ECHO-4 story, I invited him there. From that day on he seemed to be totally dedicated to researching everything he could find out about Dennis. All of which led to his mail, which I am forwarding to you.

As you remember, in the E-4 story, Greeno had played dead, and his life was saved by an NVA radioman......I never until now had any idea, or did anyone else that I was able to talk to, why the NVA radioman did what he did. As you will see in the forwarded message...we do now!!!!

Forwarded Message Follows
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 12:14:00 -0800
From: James A Larsen
Organization: Tektronix, Inc.
To: Mike Readinger
Subject: Greeno

Check it out
Our War Was Different, by Al Hemingway, Pgs 85-88
Account given by B. Keith Cossey
2nd CAG, 1966-1968
Quote (just before 1968 TET)

During my friends visit we noticed a kid crouched under a tree, very skinny and looking exhausted. He was too young to be potentially harmful, maybe 11 or 12, so we invited him inside our fortified compound to have some food and a sheltered place to sleep before moving on. Marines were always suckers for orphans......

...17 out of the 19 volunteers were killed. Only 2 survived: Corp. Talbot and my friend. My friend, wounded by shrapnel, was on the ground trying to help another CAP friend of ours who was choking to death after having been shot in the throat. An NVA soldier came from behind and bayoneted them both. When he regained consciousness, my friend saw that he was the only american left alive. The NVA were torturing to death the SV PFs. An NVA soldier spotted my friend moving and motioned to the others he'd go over and kill him. But then a NVA radioman ran over and intercepted the other soldier, gesturing that he'd do the job for him. The fully helmeted and uniformed radio operator came and stood over my friend. It was the kid we'd befriended a week or two previously. The kid motioned for him to lay his head down and pointed his rifle at him. At least, my friend thought, he's going to make it short and sweet and is not going to screw with me like his buddies are with the PFs. The kid then fired next to his head purposely and strode off to report that he had accomplished his mission.That act of kindness we had performed earlier had saved my friends life......

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