B Battery Stories

The 1/92nd Field Artillery
Association - Vietnam


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Crossing the Pond!!!

by Ralph A Calhoun Jr.

After quitting jump school the DI informed me that I would be assigned to go to Viet Nam. I laughed, "BIG" mistake. When asked what was so funny I told the DI that I was 17 years old and it was 6 1/2 months til my 18th birthday so I was safe. Well they assigned me to a Svc Btry where I drove the POL truck. Approx. 5 1/2 months later I received the orders, I was to report to Ft. Lewis on Feb. 16, 1968. That was my 18th birthday. Boarding a TWA flight that same evening I was on my way. Making a quick stop in Alaska we were enroute to Nam once again. I really couldn't understand what was going on nor did I know what to expect.

We flew until the early hours of the 17th then was told that we crossed the International Dateline and it was now the 18th of Feb. and this only seemed to add to my confusion. After a few more hours of flying we were landing in Cam Ranh Bay. On this flight there was several women and at least 15-20 children. Well only 6 GI's disembarked and that TWA flight was back in the air faster than we could get inside the terminal. There I was, an 18 year old boy no idea what was going on, no weapon, and no idea where I was suppose to go if we took any incoming. Didn't even know who to ask since I was put into a separate barrack all alone.

I managed to find the chow hall and the beer bar so I was set for the night. Of course I had to really talk to get them to cash a green back $10.00 bill. The next day They releived me of the green backs and gave me that funny money, "MPC". Then before I know it they were heading me toward a C-130 and it was back to the air for a trip to Pleiku. Still no weapon, and here this pilot is telling us that if we get shot down he'll try to get over the water because Charlie owns most of the real estate down below. I started thinking that this don't seem right, no way to defend myself and not feeling very good about this whole thing.

Finally getting to the 1/92 Arty, I was assigned to "B" Btry and am issued a M-16 as my personal weapon, which was the first time I'd ever seen one. So I go back to our barrack and decide the first thing I needed to do was clean the rifle, just having it was rebuilding my confidence. Then I saw it, you all know what I mean, the butt plate with the "MADE BY MATTEL". My only thought was here I go again!!!

Ralph Calhoun Jr

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