A Walk on Part in a War

A favorite article of mine:

VC Upset When Sp4 Drops in For Lunch

Landing Zone Betty (1st CAV-10)

An American soldier recently dropped in on a Viet Cong platoon for lunch and no one observed proper table manners.

The man who came to dinner was Sp4 Dennis Cole of the 1st Cavalry Division’s 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry.

Cole was point man for his platoon on a search and destroy mission two miles west of Landing Zone Bartlett, near the coastal city of Phan Thiet.  During his descent down a hill, Cole slipped on loose rocks and tumbled down the slope.

When he stopped rolling, he found himself in the middle of an estimated platoon of VC eating lunch.

The uninvited dinner guest righted himself, looked around at the startled VC, and began firing his M16.

By the time the smoke cleared, Cole had killed two of the enemy.  The rest scattered before the remainder of Cole’s platoon arrived.

The Army Reporter, vol 4, no 2, 13 January 1968

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5 thoughts on “A Walk on Part in a War

  1. Great blog you have here; keep up the good work! I am now a subscriber…
    I take it many of your post are from actual letters your father sent home.

    I also suffer from PTSD (among other things) and go to counseling once a month. What has helped me the most I feel, is the blog I started two years ago and sharing my experiences with others. I try to keep it toned down to maintain a G-rating for WordPress.

    Rob Struck
    C Troop 1/9th
    1st Air Cav, 1970-70

    http://usastruck.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/ptsd/

  2. Rob,
    Thank you for your kind words.
    Yes, many posts are excerpts from his letters home. I wanted to give the G.I. his humanity (i.e., someone who eats, sleeps, thinks, feels); he’s not a machine. I thought the letters best exemplified that.
    My hat’s off to you for doing something, anything, to help yourself and other Vets.
    Take care,
    Michelle

  3. What a great memory for all us who served with Sp4 Cole. On this day we were on a foot path of a slope with a lot of moss rock. when we looked left and down we could not see the ground through the jungle canopy and everything was wet and slippery so none of us were surprised when we heard Cole had slipped. Platoon Sgt. Charles Roberts (KIA 11/22/67) always contended that had Cole not slipped the VC would have let us hump on by and popped us from behind. Sp4 Cole always demonstrated a ‘gung ho’ attitude.

    If anyone has the coordinates to LZ Bartlett or the Battlefield of 11/22/67 or the Artillery unit supporting us that day. Please post. Thanks. ‘Saddle-up”

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