Rifle with the Wreath

by John Broome


 I was on standby one night in 68 with Ray Jimison and Cpt Dan Vogle AC, when we received call early in the morning o dark 2 something.  Rise and shine rush out to the C models untie the blades quick check of the AC while the pilots were getting their briefing.  Location was a Special Forces camp somewhere very near or over the Cambodia north west of Tay Ninh.   

As we lifted off the fog was starting to roll into Tay Ninh International Airport.  Twenty minutes or so into the flight we arrived at our destination.  Blacked out of course, somewhere around 1500 ft. AGL.  

The tracers, mortars and rockets hitting that place more green than anything else.  Targets were identified and we rolled in.  First run and damn a 51 and a 37 MM was on our Ass.  Jimison tried to shut up the 37 but an M-60 just doesn't do it.  As we entered our second pass that damn 37 had us on radar as the first Rocket left the tubes.   They where on us but good Old Dan Vogle had a card or two up his sleeve.  We pulled short on target and went around so when our wing man started his run we were in place to pound the shit out of that 37 and did he ever.  About two pair at a time plus mini guns and 60's blasting the hell out of the jungle shut the 37 up.  Course we were out of Rockets and had to go back to Tay Ninh for more go gas and some more Rockets.  Had plenty of mini fire power left and besides those guys needed Our help.

The Fog was bad but we got armed and fueled up and just barely crept back out under the fog. 

Once on station this time it looked like those guys where really catching hell. That 51, well old dead eye dick Jimison shut him up real fast.   First run Jimison laid down a path of solid tracers right at him and I reckon he found a hole or his maker for the 51 never spoke again on this run!

We expended our ordnance and headed back to Tay Ninh for more go gas and ammo.  Small problem though as it was socked in and we had to creep along the fence.  I leaned out the door and advised Cpt Vogle when we where at the edge of the run way.  We rearmed and then eased back up the area towards our revetment but just stopped short and sat down.  Dang Fog was our enemy now!  Those poor guys our there at that special camp where fighting their asses off and no help!  

Next Morning we had another mission for somewhere else but word traveled back that we had helped them boys out and they appreciated it.   Even today when I think of that night I wish we could have continued the mission but God must have known something we didn't and that's why I respect the rifle with the wreath around it.

John Broome


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