A Flare Too Many

by Jim Sproles
D/71 67-68

We trucked into this FBS, took our mount off the truck and packed all the ammo and personal items in A22 kit. We where getting ready to open a new fire base called Grant and were awaiting our turn to get airlifted. Well, all the other units were packed to go to the 155 and 105 batteries there. We were going before they came in as always the case with us.

So they popped smoke for the choppers to hook up and about the second one, the elephant grass caught on fire. The blades from the choppers fanned it more and more and a 155 unit became engulfed in the flames!!

After awhile, people started running. Then there was an explosion. The fires spread and we evacuated the place on anything moving. By the time we were clear, arty rounds were exploding everywhere. We made it to another FSB a few clicks away and spent the night.

The next day we went back and, oh boy, the place was still smoking and large pieces if shrapnel littered the ground everywhere. General Westmorland and his staff where there too when we arrived. We went to what was left of our mount and looked around. Everything was burned. All the rounds were exploded it. Some of the ammo cans were open with brass and linkage everywhere. What a waste of two batteries of arty and 2 quads.

If Charlie was in the bushes, he really laughed his ass off that day!! I had to go back and remount so it took a while. Shortly after that was Tet and then I got infused into G-55 and made the LST boat ride to Chu Lai.