The Gunner and The Grunt

Posted on June 21, 2020

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I recently had the opportunity to read a new book entitle “The Gunner and The Grunt”. This book was co-written by “Two Boston” boys, Michael Kelley and Peter Burbank.

The book takes place over several years as it stats with each young man joined the Army. It takes them through their basic and advanced trainings. Mike became a Helicopter Crew Chief/door gunner and Pete became an Airborne infantry Soldier.

Mike joined up in 1964 to become an Aircraft repair Technician. After a stateside assignment or two Mike came down on orders for Vietnam with an assignment to the 1st Cavalry Division, Vietnam. Mike arrived at the 1st Cavalry Division base camp at An Khe in December of 1965. He next assignment was to the 1st Squadron 9th Cavalry Regiment. Further orders assigned Mike to Charlie Troop 1/9 Cavalry. To Mike disapproval he was assigned as a Crew Chief and not as a mechanic as he was trained to be. Mike was now a Crew Chief on an UH-1.

Pete was assigned to Charlie Troop as an 11B1P. That meant he was an Infantry soldier who was also Airborne qualified. Pete was assign to the Blue platoon. Pete was also give the PRC-10 radio to carry. The infantry was where Pete wanted to be.

Pete and Mike had not known each other before their assignment to Charlie Troop. When Pete learned Mike was from Boston as he was, Pete sought Mike out and a life long friendship began.

This book is well written and  gives an insight to what Army life and Combat was like. Both Mike and Pete wrote their sections of the book and did not try to glamorized themself. It is a true prospective of their time in Charlie Troop.

This book is currently on sale at your local book store. Buy it. Read it. It is now part of my Vietnam collection of books.