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Vietnam 68-69

       I arrived in Vietnam in Sept 1,1968. I went straight to Camp Evans as a Co D (Guns) 227th Avn Bn gunship door gunner. I gunned on the "Ship Of Fools" #460 Charlie model Huey with an arsenal of 14, 10 to 16 lb 2.75 inch rockets and two mini guns not to mention me and the crew chief with our M60s. The First Cav picked up and moved south to surround Saigon during Oct. I volunteered as our ship was lifting off from the last night at Camp Evans to drive a motor pool truck out to meet the convoy on its route to Hue. I believe the truck belonged to Co B. The 3/4-ton was left behind because it didn't run. I repaired the gas tank, radiator and with a few adjustments I got it going. I never caught up with the convoy. I meet a new soldier in from the states before I left, his last name was Green and that he was. He rode with me, as we set out on our own. We stopped at rice paddies to refill the radiator because of a small leak (a stupid thing to do). I was crazy then and didn't care about much about living or dieing, I had been gunning for about a month, gunning did strange things to a person but I handled it and accepted it as a my job even until this day. We finally made it to the port at Hue and were pulled up onto the ship LSD. We rode it for 3 days and nights to Saigon. I found my HQ at Phoc vinh and was directed to Lai khe where my company was based. I gunned until some time in July, my ship was the last to be turned in and exchanged for a Cobra. I was the last Door Gunner for Co D 227th 1 CAV (Airmobile). I then went to school in Vung-tau for training on the Cobra weapon systems. I lost my greatest friend from my hometown there. He visited me on my birthday June 1 in Vietnam, I looked up one day and there he was with a Big Red 1 on his shoulder. Wayne stayed with me for about 2 weeks, a few days later, after he left, he was being transported to another LZ, the person driving pulled off the road and ran over a land mine.

       I left Vietnam Aug 27 1969 with a 3 day drop. I came home for 30-day leave and was stationed at Ft. Hood Texas as a DS Maint Helicopter mechanic. I got out of the army June 9, 1970 as E-5. I am from Durham, NC

Bobby Buchanan
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