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Topic: 50 years ago Vietnam - Blown ambush
Replies: 9   Last Post: Nov 19, 2020, 8:48 AM by: wueagle86®
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Replies: 9  

50 years ago Vietnam - Blown ambush

emoji_events [17]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 2:05 PM
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We didn't always have opportunities to set up night ambushes as an entire platoon , but on one occasion we found a spot to set up where four trails converged. We set up claymore mines on each trail and placed the "clickers" (they generate the electricity that set off the blasting caps in the claymore) in a central position where we took turns as guards. These clickers were attached to the wires running to each mine and were usually hard to detach when being packed up the next day. The clickers were laid out in a line relative to the position of each claymore so that we knew which one matched up with which trail and we had trip flares on each trail to alert us that someone or something was coming up to that claymore. When it was my turn to be on watch for an hour, I took my position and dutifully checked each clicker to confirm that the wire was firmly attached and, as usual, each one checked out. Midway through my hour, the trip flare to my far left popped and I grabbed the correct clicker and squeezed the handle and nothing happened but a single click - no expected explosion. I felt for the wire and it wasn't attached so I felt along on the ground, found it and reattached it and squeezed the handle again. Still nothing - the darn wire had fallen out again - by the time I located it a second time and finally blew the claymore, who or whatever tripped the wire was probably in Cambodia. I still wonder if it was an animal or a human that escaped death that night and, if human, what difference they made in the war and in later years by surviving.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Blown ambush

[4]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 2:36 PM
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I see Murphy was along for the festivities that night. Thanks again for your service and the stories.

2021 white level member

you really need to write an autobiography. These stories

[3]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 2:45 PM
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are interesting. clover65®

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Re: you really need to write an autobiography. These stories

[2]
Posted: Nov 19, 2020, 8:48 AM
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I agree I wish clover65, Joe21 and others who served in our military would write a diary or a book. I will be more the willing to buy a book written by some of Clemson’s finest alumni or fans who served in our military.

I really enjoy their post about their military experiences. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

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Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Blown ambush

emoji_events [9]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 5:10 PM
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Good story Clover. My first platoon in Viet Nam was is a little village named Tam Ky about 15 miles north of Chu Lai. It was myself, green 2nd Lt., a platoon sergeant (E-6) who was a WW II veteran (was out for 10 years before coming back in the Marine Corps) and 26 enlisted men. We were in an old SeaBee compound and about half of my men spent every night on guard duty in little shacks at the corners of the compound. We had plenty of concertina wire around the compound as well as Claymore mines and trip flares. One day when out checking the perimeter I noticed that one of the Claymores was pointing in the wrong direction ...... toward the watch shack. I made my way through the wire and corrected it, but the only two things that could have happened was that a VC sneaked into the wire and turned it around (not unusual) or one of my Marines put it out pointing in the wrong direction (which was probably the case). They are well marked (I think "This Side Toward the Enemy"), but a few of my guys did not comprehend instructions very well.


Pointing one of those

[2]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 8:13 PM
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the wrong way is not good - but I think a sapper turning it would have caused a commotion later to get y’all to set it off

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Re: Pointing one of those

[2]
Posted: Nov 19, 2020, 12:17 AM
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Yes, that is what they usually did and that's why I think one of my men just put it in backward. I had guys get the fuse cutter and cap crimper mixed up (same tool, just different notches) and cut a blasting cap slap into. Thank goodness one never went off when they did it.


Re: 50 years ago Vietnam - Blown ambush

[3]
Posted: Nov 18, 2020, 11:24 PM
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Great story. Murphy is everywhere. Glad that you got a mulligan.


Thanks for your service

[4]
Posted: Nov 19, 2020, 12:23 AM
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I also served during the Iraq wars but have no stories as interesting as yours. Thanks again

2021 white level member

Beyond the claymores

[2]
Posted: Nov 19, 2020, 7:43 AM
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First night out in the field my gut was still getting used to being in-country, so I told the guy on guard duty I was stepping beyond the claymores to relieve my bowels. Stayed long enough for the guard to change and found myself wondering if the first guy had told his replacement I was out there in the dark. Coming back in I heard the unmistakable sound of a round being chambered and froze. After what seemed like eternity, I heard a voice say “Watson, man is that you?” I allowed that was and came on in, we must have left a path through the flare trip-wires.


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