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Memories of Vietnam
July 1968 thru Jun 1969

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Travel within Vietnam

4th Division Area of Operations (AO)  

My duties required me to make periodic visits to the three Brigade Commanders, and less frequently to Battalion Commanders. The Brigade HQs were in fairly large and secure base camps. A Battalion Commander in the field was usually at a much more isolated fire base, often only recently carved out of the jungle.

Each brigade and battalion maintained a small element at Camp Enari and the commanders occasionally came back there, too. In addition, battalions would take turns "standing down," that is, returning to the base camp for several days to refresh the troops and allow them to attend to personal matters. The Battalion Commanders would also spend that time at Camp Enari. As much as possible, I tried to make courtesy visits to commanders while they were at Camp Enari. This was not for my own convenience but to avoid unnecessary distractions to commanders in the field. As a result, I visited no more than half a dozen battalion firebases and never during a combat scenario.

The closest I came to a "hot" firebase was when my helicopter pilot picked up an emergency radio call that a nearby fire base was under attack and had casualties to be evacuated. There were no "dust offs" (medevac helicopters) available and any helicopter in the area was asked to fly in (under fire) to evacuate the wounded. We were on our way there when the pilot received a call that another helicopter had already arrived. Whew! 

 

Ready to board my chopper

Flying toward firebase near Cambodia

Mountains increase as we head west


Battalion firebase

Chopper near another firebase
 

3rd Brigade HQ near Dak To,
our northernmost brigade

Change of command at 2nd Brigade, Kontum. MG Pepke decorates COL Gordon Duquemin

Piper represents the 2nd Brigade's Highlanders, Kontum

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