Tail Tip Damage which happened in flight training

War Stories of Henry Wolf in the Viet Nam War.

This is the A-7 Corsair located at NAS Lemoore in 1976
I was stationed in Dalat-Camly, about 90 kilometers west of Cam Ranh Bay Viet Nam, and we were bivouacked in an old French three story walk-up hotel in downtown Dalat, some 13k from the airfield where we worked.
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Now, about the jeep.  I was stationed in Dalat-Camly, about 90 kilometers west of Cam Ranh Bay, and we were bivouacked in an old French three story walk-up hotel in downtown Dalat, some 13k from the airfield where we worked.  We had two guys to a room, running water and a bathroom in each room, not to mention maid service.  The bar was just down the hall on the third floor and the "ladies" came from a hotel just down the block.  It was a tough life but someone had to live it ;-) (These were my BC years). 
The hotel was an "L" shaped building which sat atop a small bluff, overlooking a lake.  Nestled in the crook of the L was a movie theatre whose roof reached to the second floor of the hotel.  Our rooms had doors on both ends, each opening to a long continuous balcony/hallway.  This balcony was edged by a waist high cement and stucco wall which served as a railing and also afforded us a measure of protection.  The balcony along the inner part of the L led to the hotel's staircase.  It also overlooked the movie theatre beyond which was the home of Dalat's ex-police commissioner who, though he was retired, was still active against the VC. 
One night around 3 am there was an explosion so loud that despite my bed being at the far end of the room with a row of wall lockers in between our beds, that it rocked me out of my bed, stucco railing notwithstanding.  Turns out the VC didn't like this police commissioner's activities and sent a fellow around to plant a satchel charge under his house.  He also planted one in one of our jeeps with a 15 min delay timer.  It was this jeep I was standing next to when I heard the voice for the first time, warning me to get away from the jeep and seek cover behind the truck. 
The commissioner, his wife and their two (?) children were killed in the blast.  The Vietnamese fire department had shown up before the jeep's charge went off and one of the fire fighters took a piece of shrapnel in his side.  The Army's standard issue bandage would not have covered the hole even if I had thought to bring one.  We got him in the back of the supply sergeant's 3/4 ton pick-up, (once we got the sarge sobered up enough to convince him to give us his key) and brought him to the local hospital since the nearest military hospital was in Cam Ranh, I think.  I don't know if he made it.
Time for some sleep, bro,
God Bless You,
Henry Wolf


4 Aug 2007

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