We had just opened up a new LZ. I had come in with the
combat assault and we landed around eight in the morning. In a few minutes, the 'dozers
and backhoes began to come in on Chinooks and the Sky Crane. Wire came in, sand bags,
shelter halves, lumber to build the TOC, some PSP plating, and we were on it, had to get
the LZ started and ourselves dug in defensively before the sun went down.
The day was fairly uneventful other than the demo team having a little problem with a huge tree in the middle of the LZ. The first time they tried to blow it, the tough ole tree just splintered all the way around, leaving the center sound and strong. The guys got yelled at for not using enough C-4 and the second time I heard "Fire in the Hole" to blow the tree. Those boys must have used all the C-4 they brought with them... That tree took off like the space shuttle does today... What goes up has to come down...and it did...Luckily, nobody got hurt...but it was a site to see that ole tree lift off.
I set up my shelter halves and was sandbagging them and ran out of dirt. I asked one of the hoe operators to dig me a little foxhole near my shelter half. Foxholes are always a good thing and the loose dirt went into the sandbags. Everyone was using the loose dirt and we ran out again, so we stopped the next back hoe going by and had him dig one end of the foxhole really deep, so if it rained, we'd have a sump for the water.
About dark, we were getting settled for the night and we heard the mortars rattling in the tubes...incoming! We all jumped in our new foxhole and it worked well. There were only a few incoming rounds and as we began to peek out to see what was coming next, we heard this low moan from the deep end of the foxhole. The first operator that'd dug the foxhole had hightailed it to our foxhole, but didn't know we'd made one end about 7' deep, and had flung himself in there, head first and knocked himself out. He was just coming to.... When we realized what he had done, we got to laughing...louder and louder, and then everyone around us got to laughing...and the whole LZ was laughing... We had to sound like loonies to the boys out there mortaring us.
The next day we found out we had set up an LZ a half mile from 1,500 of the enemy...and they could have taken us with ease...but I'll always believe that after they mortared us....they heard us all laughing like crazy men...and decided they wanted no part of a bunch of guys who would laugh at getting mortared.
Originally posted on 1st Cavalry Association
by, and included here with permission from Steve Richey.
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