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Randy Kendall, Delta Co. 64/67

Early Days

We jumped on the 34's at LZ Quail and flew up and away from the Ocean of the Bn CP at
Chu Lai.
A very large patrol compared to changes that slowly moved thru the Bn as far as numbers
sent out to one area. Later small teams dropped into areas that crossed each other but worked
Swinging into the drop area just as we had done in training in the states and Okinawa we
hit the ground and moved to the tree lines for cover. Nervous would be an understatement, and
switching the selector from semi to full auto on the M-14 was like a nervous twitch.
Some in the platoon had the new M-16 but many didn't trust the weapon yet and we had
the choice of which to carry, along with how much ammo and frags and smoke or WP.
We moved thru the jungle searching for anything, but saw nothing...this would later
haunt us at the debriefing. Then a village came into sight and the plan to move in and make a
search started..one can hear your own heart rate at this moment... the sound of an M-79
echoed thru the tree's along with the M-14 on full auto, then silence.

Moving into the vill we saw a large water buffalo on its knees still alive but dying with many
' M-14 holes in his side. Then a poncho with the body of a young vc in it, the M-79 took him out
of a tree on the edge of the vill. Doc gave him a morphine shot, but he was not doing well.

Two captured from the village were separated and waited for the 34's to move them back
to be questioned.

Searching the rest of the village we found many papers and maps and everything was
gathered up to take back to the Bn Hqt.

We moved thru the jungle and set up for our first night in the bush, and it rained just enough
to make it soggy. Watching into the night at trees that seem to move or maybe not became
common but the dawn finally came and we moved on.
Clearing the ground of vegetation to expose dirt brought the leeches out for play, by
putting your hand in the middle of the cleared ground they appeared from no where and followed
the heat of you hand...much like a game you could move them right or left without touching
them. During the night many found parts of your body to hook on to for a free meal, we removed
those at the first rest area in the morning.

A second vill was found but it was empty but it was still warm with those that fled
in haste. Along with more papers we took the chickens and put them in cages that were in
the small camp area. The pigs were killed as they stood or ran after the firing started .
We moved down on old creek bed to the Lz for pickup, all the time the chickens
were not quiet and only the thought of fresh eggs saved them .. The Gunny was less
than happy but went along with the thought but we never moved animals again.

The 34's came into sight, "what a great sound they make to this day" we boarded the
platoon along with the chickens.........one surprised crewchief..helped us in and after we had
moved some distance he opened a box that had homemade cookies in it and that was a
taste of home I recall and can almost taste today.

Quail came into sight, the Ocean and the tents on the sands of ChuLai....the Bn
area never looked so good.

The papers we brought back translated by the S shops gave us a new look at
Our enemy we had come to fight.
The location of landing, numbers in the group, weapons direction of movement
was all on paper but had never been sent out .
We sat and rethought the mission and what we saw or should I say what we didnt
We lost no one that mission but learned a lot about this country and its enemy.

And the fresh eggs idea never worked, they never gave us one egg and never
gained enough weight to egg fresh chicken either..........another lesson learned far
from home.


Randy Kendall
Delta 64/67