K Troop 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

The Blackhorse In Vietnam 1966 - 1972

hosted by Bob Hersey


Photo On My Stationery

Thursday, June 6, 1968
99 degrees - clear

Dear Mom & Dad,

Greetings once again from Vietnam and another location.  I'm beginning to feel like a traveling salesman.  We move around more than Ringling Brothers Circus.   We are not too far from Cu Chi (not too sure on the spelling).  We only moved about 5 miles from our last location.  We are due to stay here until the 8th of June and then move to Long Binh and then, supposedly, back to Blackhorse.  I sure hope so.   I'm getting tired of the field.  Between digging fox holes and filling sandbags, I am pooped out.

Yesterday we built a beautiful bunker and we got a chance to use it last.  About 1:30 in the morning I was awakened by artillery fire.  We went right to our new bunker.  Then we heard a huge explosion and I was thrown up against the dirt wall of the bunker.  I smashed my back and got the wind knocked out of me.  When I looked out, I say a Howitzer (155mm artillery gun mounted on a track vehicle) on fire.   It miss fired and the round blew up inside.  Four guys were hurt pretty seriously.  After we found out what happened we came out of the bunker and tried to help.  We could hear the men screaming inside.

(editor's note:  The next paragraph is redacted because of graphic description)

With all this practice I'm getting pretty good at running and ducking.  That's the key to survival over here, run fast and duck quick.  I'm thankful that I wasn't hurt in the explosion.  Our bunker saved our bacon.  I'm glad to be here writing this letter.

I am now in the process of making a tape recording and will send it as soon as I have finished it.  I started it at our last location and will try and finish it as soon as possible.  I think you will find it quite interesting.  There are some interesting sounds on it.  At our last location we were expecting a mortar attack one evening (it never came).  At 8:00 PM the whole troop was ordered to make Reconnaissance By Fire which is nothing more that firing everything that we have from M-16s to 155 mm Howitzers out from our perimeter in the hope that we might hit Charlie if he is out there. 

So I decided to tape the action.  In the first part of the tape you will hear several 155mm Howitzers firing and then as the tape goes on, you will hear everything - 50 cal. machine guns, M-60 machines guns, M-16s, tanks and Howitzers.  Don't worry though, they are all ours and they are going out and not coming in.  Also, there are some radio transmissions on it too.  It was taped from inside an ACAV so the loudest sound that you will hear is the 50 cal machine gun.  So when I get the tape finished, I will send it along.

Things here are going as well as can be expected under the circumstances.  Things will be a lot better when we get back to Blackhorse.  This is pretty rough duty here in the field but I can take it.  I haven't had a letter from you in a couple of days.   I'm looking forward to one today.  You said you were going to put a package together for my birthday.  Here is a list of some things that I can use.  Socks (black), size "C" batteries, green tee shirts, magazines (especially Playboy), Magic Marker (black felt pen), handkerchiefs (white but would prefer colored), pens (2) and hair cream (Brillcreme).  That should just about cover it.  If there is anything you think that I could use, please send it along.  Most of these items I could get in the PX back at Blackhorse but I don't know when we will see Blackhorse again.

I heard on the news last night that Robert Kennedy got shot.  I imagine the news on TV is all about his attempted assassination.  Right now I am listening to the news and it doesn't look as if Kennedy will pull through so by the time you get this letter he may already be dead.  What a shame.

Well, I will sign off now so that I can get this letter into the mail.  So until I write again,

By for now!


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