Tet offensive- 1968

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by The_Traveler, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    Daytime - outside the west wall, Honour Smith Compound, Bien Hoa City, RVN

    [​IMG]




    Nightime - another compound in the distance, as seen from the wall of Honour Smith Compound, Bien Hoa City, RVN

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
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  2. Rick58
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    Rick58 New Member

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    What's the history behind these Lew?
  3. EIngerson
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    EIngerson Well-Known Member

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    Wow, are these yours? have any more?
  4. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    I was the dentist for 145th Cmbt Aviation Battalion.
    The flightline and enlisted quarters were at Bien Hoa Air Base and the officers lived at Honour Smith Compound along with an Australian medical team, a company of Vietnamese Police and some Red Cross girls. I lived with the 118th Assault Helicopter Officers.

    The story of the battle that raged around Bien Hoa is detailed here. We were just sitting in the middle for three days, not knowing what the hell was happening but our compound was small potatoes and not worth any trouble. Either the VC would win and we'd be captured at their leisure or we would win and we'd be OK.

    The history of the fight on the air base is here (just scroll down to it.) The large group of VC that were supposed to storm the main gate and take over the flightline never appeared, the attack on the gate was repulsed so the helicopters got off and it was the gunships that kept the vc from capturing the bunkers with hundreds of unarmed AF personnel. At one point the VC were firing quad 50s down the fixed wing runway so no fighters ever got off at all. It was a week before all the snipers were flushed out of the grass and guys running between the medical hut and my clinic took fire.

    I put up a thread some time ago with lots of other pix, when I have time I'll try to find it and link to it.

    I and a few non-rated people stayed on Honor Smith when the pilots were evaced - and sat on the wall watching things around us at night.
    When the tanks and armored personnel carriers from the 11th AC showed we were relieved that we wren't going to be dead after all.

    This is an APC that parked in our front yard. Very happy to see it. These guys had been out in the field for weeks.
    We treated them like kings, as best we could.

    [​IMG]
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  5. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  6. manaheim
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    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member

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    wow on many levels.
  7. EIngerson
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    EIngerson Well-Known Member

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  8. tirediron
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    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member

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    What long ears said!
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  9. dxqcanada
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    dxqcanada New Member

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    Very interesting to see images that were not the typical journalist shots that we commonly see.

    Personal perspective on the Vietnam war (or any war/battle) is always appreciated, as those of us that were not there can only picture what the media/government tells us what happened there.

    Umm, being a Dentist ... did the troops like the VC more than you ??
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  10. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    I had a rather unique situation.
    I was actually assigned to a very large clinic in Long Binh, about 10 miles away. Long Binh was a huge post, probably 40 000 people.
    As soon as possible I volunteered to do outreach to the rural villages; mostly extractions but with the blessing of anesthetics and, in one unusual circumstance, delivering a baby (I was the catcher, the mother did all the pitching.)
    Then I got the chance to be the dentist for this Aviation Group because everyone else was leery of being away from the huge fortress of Long Binh.
    I had a great time, my clinic was open whenever the troops had time. There was a lot of training for the new Cobra helicopter and so pilots and mechanics came in out of the field for two weeks. They trained during daylight and I fixed their teeth at night. So I got huge brownie points for all this and ended up flying front seat a lot when they check-flighted new armament systems on the Cobras.
    There were never enough jeeps assigned to the Avionics Branch and my roommate, who was the Avionic chief had gotten 6 jeeps stolen from Long Binh. In exchange for letting him put my unit numbers on them, my jeep got painted and my assistant got the use of a jeep.
    That unit supported a lot of the SF A team excursions and would routinely do pickups in Cambodia (they painted out unit designators and tail numbers). SF guys were nuts - and brave.

    Continued doing outreach until just before Tet when there was just too much activity to ignore and my jeep was shot at.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  11. The_Traveler
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    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent

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    Just wanted to state that I was clearly a REMF and I have nothing but respect for anyone who actually was in the $H!T.
    They may not all be great people but they lived through stuff that I didn't have to.

    I liked the service for two reasons, which are actually one. Every day I worked with people that felt they had a Duty and, when I was in the Army, when people took on a task they actually got it done.
    My biggest adjustment to civilian life came when learning to deal with people who had excuses why their work didn't get finished - and didn't feel bad about it.

    There is no wonder why the most significant time in many people's life is that spent in military service.
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  12. EIngerson
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    EIngerson Well-Known Member

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    I know what you mean. ;)
  13. Rags
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    Rags New Member

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    Yup, it was indeed a life changing experience.

    Rags

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