Camp Ranier, Dau Tieng, Vietnam
Today is June 9th,1968 and our company has ambush patrol once again.
Tonight, the company will leave the base camp and split out into three different platoon sized (roughly 20-25 men) ambush sites along a major supply route west of the village in the Ben Cui Rubber plantation.
The company has orders to leave the “wire” (base camp perimeter) at 1600 hours. The azimuth will take us out into the rubber plantation. It will be dark soon and there is no moonlight. I have left the machine gun crew and started my new job as the RTO (radio telephone operator) for my3rd platoon leader 1LT Chris Brown, who hails from Texas.
I change the battery to my PRC-25, turn on the radio and start the procedure to perform a commo check with the C.O.’s (company commander’s) RTO, call sign “Charlie 6 X-Ray”. Charlie 6 is the C.O.’s call sign. If it’s just the company going out, we have our own “push” assigned and we drop using “Charlie” and abbreviate our calls to numbers, i.e. ‘6 X-Ray this is 36 X-Ray’. If we were operating with another company, it would be ‘Charlie 6 X-Ray, this is Charlie 36 X-Ray’.
We leave the base camp with 1st platoon taking the point followed by 2nd and 3rd platoons. I locate LT Brown, who has a stocky build and a pleasant smile and fall in behind him in formation. The company moves to a checkpoint where we will wait for darkness. Continue reading