Jim Anton Remembers LZ Margo (continued)
The End of a Very Bad Day
As I stood up and tried to take a deep breath, an odd thing happened. A guy came up to me, shook my hand, and thanked me. It was actually his foxhole I'd jumped into. He'd run up, found me in it and run to the next hole. Before he got there he was hit by shrapnel in his left arm and shoulder. Not terrible but bloody. He thanked me because that wound gave him his third Purple Heart which meant he was headed out of country.
He walked off to get bandaged and I started helping other wounded Marines. The Captain told me it was too close to dark. There would be no more choppers today. The wounded would have to hang on all night. He also wanted us to move over to the south perimeter. We needed to cover the open downhill slope. Only a move of 100 yards or so.
I got my gear and moved out. I was the only one left in my fire team so I found a spot that offered good concealment and a good field of fire and dug in. I just finished my foxhole when Capt. Cregan found me again.
He said he wanted me to move in with Cannon and Shepherd. They were down a guy. Fine with me, so I headed across and uphill to their location. It was close to where we had the wounded holed up. We decided on watches as night fell. We were in a pretty secure spot. Anyone approaching from below would have to cover a 100 yards with no cover. Not likely to happen, but you still keep watch.
When it was dark we moved a few yards and joined the guys waiting for morning Medevac. We shared cigarettes, water, C rations. Whatever we had. We all clustered together and talked quietly for hours. We were all spent but nobody seemed to want to go to sleep. We were very comfortable just being together. Finally conversation petered out and we got some rest.
That ended, what to this point, was the worst day of my life.
But Margo wasn't quite through with us yet. Tomorrow we'd face more challenges.