L. E. McCartney: My Recollections of LZ Margo
by Private First Class Lawrence E. "Larry" McCartney
Echo Company, BLT 2/26
[from an email message to Alan Green]
"I make no bones about it. I have a tremendous emotional investment in LZ Margo. It was the formative event in my life."
Master Gunnery Sergeant, USMC (retired)
19-year old PFC Larry McCartney at the C-2 washout on the road to Con Thien in July 1968, two months before LZ Margo, in a "hot dog" photo sent to a girl back home. Photo courtesy of Lawrence McCartney.
Into a Hot LZ
On Friday, September 13, 1968, the 2nd Platoon of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marine Regiment, left the Rockpile where we had been operating for several days following Typhoon Betty that had 'socked us in' at a village not far from Camp Carroll.
The helicopter took us into a hot LZ [helicopter landing zone] known as LZ Margo in what was the Mutter's Ridge area of the Dong Ha Mountains. After briefly reorganizing, Echo Company humped off LZ Margo and spent the night at the foot of the hill.
The next morning we humped to the next hilltop. During the climb we found something I had heard of but never previously seen during the nine months I had been in Vietnam; a 'speed trail' with steps, reinforced with bamboo risers, cut into the hill and a vine handrail.
It was the easiest, scariest hump I ever experienced. I just knew enemy was nearby.
After arriving atop that hill we established and then spent a few days at a new position.