Larry Jackson Remembers His Last Days in Vietnam (cont.)

Mortar Shells Falling Everywhere

We heard rifle fire everywhere and he and I had left our rifles back with our packs. I knew exactly now what the noise I had been hearing coming up the mountain. It was the NVA following us to attack before we could even get dug in.

Everywhere Doug and I ran there were mortars falling. We finally crawled under a rock that protruded out from the edge of the ravine. Another friend, LCpl Hererah, was also under the rock. He was facing Doug and I was right behind Doug squeezing up to him.

All of a sudden I could hear the shells getting louder and louder. I felt a piece of very small shrapnel hit me in the back and I punched Doug to tell him that I had been hit when a shell hit right next to us. I took almost all the concussion and metal fragments from that shell. It knocked me unconscious for a minute or so.

Doug thought I was dead, he told me years later, because I was blown out of the ravine and my back had smoke coming out from the many holes in it.

Doug and Hererah started down the ravine to help when I woke up and stood up. I was so scared but numb all over. I knew I was in trouble. I finally caught up to Doug and was just going to call his name when a bullet round came flying through Doug's shoulder. At that exact moment the next shell came in behind me and blew Doug and me through a dead tree that had been knocked over in the ravine.

We were both pretty much done now. The shell had blown us toward a couple of bomb craters filled with water. We were both crawling now. I crawled into one of the craters and Doug crawled into the other and was half in and half out of the hole.

I can remember lying there looking at the holes in my hand and the blood oozing from them. My blood had turned the water in my hole totally red. Doug's crater was blood red also. I could still see Doug's shoulder and it looked really bad. He was bleeding a lot but I could not move at all to go and give him any assistance.

 

Hererah was trying to get up the ravine side to get us a corpsman, since he had not been hit really bad himself. Doug and I had taken all the shrapnel so far. Every time he would try to climb that hill, a machine gun above us would see him and shoot at him, missing him each time. I was screaming at him all the time. The machine gunner apparently could not turn the gun far enough down to get a good shot at us.

(c) 2019, DMZ Rats of Battalion Landing Team 2/26. All rights reserved.