Charlie Troop 1/9th Cavalry The Enemy by Walker Jones and Donald Armstrong

Posted on July 29, 2014

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The following are stories of two Charlie Troopers and their en counters with the enemy:

We were in Tay Ninh I’m sure. Early 1971. I was a Cobra pilot then, living like most of us, crowded together in cots under a General Purpose Medium tent stretched across a Chinook revetment at the northwest end of the place, on the dirt. Everyone badly missing the “barracks” in Phouc Vinh. Having been a Scout pilot before Cobra training, I had seen a lot by then and was kind of keeping to myself, so I don’t know why I was listening to Cavalier Blue that evening.
The Blues had assaulted somewhere in the area and were accompanied by an ARVN officer (perhaps there were other ARVNs with them). Then Cavalier Blue, Harvey Hopkins, said that the ARVN leader, or at least the one officer with Harvey, was a very gung-ho soldier and very aggressively wanted to kill VC/NVA. They got into a firefight. I can’t remember anything more than Harvey saying there was one last VC/NVA hiding in a bunker. There was apparently some hollering between the VC/NVA and the ARVN officer. At some point, the ARVN officer stood up and began firing at the bunker but was shot dead. Shortly after, the bad guy threw out an American grenade at them and bounded from the bunker trying to make a break for it. Harvey swung his M-16 over the dead ARVN’s body and laced the running enemy.
Back at Phouc Vinh, Harvey showed some of us the wallet he’d taken off the dead enemy he had killed. I just remember that it had photos of a woman and kids. I’ve never forgotten the … emotion of for the first time thinking that our enemy also had loved ones back home. And that they probably didn’t get to go home after a 365 “tour”.
Walker Jones
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In Tay Ninh I got this NVA Lt on an eagle flight with a picture in his wallet of his mother, father, brother, sister, and big black Newfoundland dog…I had a picture of my family in exactly the same positions, including a Newfoundland dog.
When I showed him the picture he instantly developed very good English and we shared that neither of us really wanted to be there.
Eventually I flew him way up into Cambodia in a OH-6 and dropped him off with a promise not to kill each other if we met again…this was early in ’71 as well.
Donald Armstrong

 

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