Lam Son 719--Living & Transporting

Driver523

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Under this thread I will attempt to show and tell a little about living and transporting during Lam Son 719--Operation Dewey Canyon--1971, although I was not there I have researched and have many dear friends that were, by organizing the Gathering I have been fortunate in getting the albums and stories of those that "gave all and gave some"---this mission in support of the south going into Laos was not only deadly but just a dirty, rough, and sleepless way of life---I will also ask Ugly Ranger to come over here and help----------------Driver
 

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vtdeucedriver

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Larry, will you be including Chesters account???????? He talked about it quiet a bit one night to Edd and I in chat! Would like to make sure that I wrote it down right.
 

Driver523

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These photos are from the album of Capt. Donald Voightritter--We lost the Capt. in an accident after his return home---RIP Capt.----these photos show the move north from where we were in Cha Rang Valley----Not a bad move but these guys had no idea what it was like where they were going-----Driver
 

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Driver523

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Shortly after the begining of Lam Son 719 some pol tankers were sent out to see if they could navigate the narrow roads around Vandergrift and at night, it was crazy---they no more then got going and were hit, Soule was driving the Protector and died that night, The guards tried to stop the truck but the crew was not going to let their convoy go down without a fight, they drove passed in a cloud of dust, He was the first American killed during this operation, anouther was WIA on the truck--LT. Hoskins he lost his sight, Later they named Camp Soule after the driver of Potector----Driver
 

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Driver523

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These photos come from the album of Mike Lavin, He was CO of the 515th trans--The 515th went into Lam Som with only one gun truck (Baby Sitters) so they were givin a APC which Capt Lavin loved to ride in---Most these photos are from Khe Sahn 71, they are on the small side and may be a little hard to see, but I think you can get the idea of what these guys lived like----Driver
 

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Driver523

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Let me first give credit to Rich Killblane the US Army Transportation Corps Historian who I have gotton some of this information from, the rest I got from those that were there and I will try to ID them as we go along----This whole thing (Lam Son 719 to the Vietnamise, Operation Dewey Canyon to the US) started because it was thought that the NVA (Bad guys) were building up supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail, but seeings how by law we couldn't invade Laos we had to find someone that could--so--enter the ARVINs (South VietNamise Army)--its been said that they got the roads during the day and we got em at night--some of that may be true but I have an idea we were out there 24/7--its also been said that we weren't allowed into Laos other then by air--again--not true--kinda like the 25 miles inside the Cambodian boarder during that deal--and I know for a fact we went farther then that, so who knows how far we went into Laos, but one thing all the truckers knew--when going into the badlands gun trucks were a must, they knew that from the past that air, tracks, and ground troops just could not protect convoys the way their gun trucks could-----one more thing--I will along the way here make some mistakes---its bound to happen but I will do my best at this------Driver
 

Driver523

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The Move---The 57th trans was already in the area Da Nang, Phu Bi area--and the 572nd (Gypsy Bandits) was on their way up north from Long Binh, they had no gun trucks so they barrowed Highland Animals from the 541st and Set Me Free a APC truck from the 563rd, its been writtin by Rich that they got their name from the MPs finding nine jeeps they weren't supposed to have after their move----------Driver
 

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Driver523

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Lar---Good to see ya---I'll get to that Proud American--couldn't tell the story without it---Great truck my friend and Thanks for all your time and effort to keep it out there----Driver
 

Driver523

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Het Larry----ok--here ya go-----
The 523rd moved out toward the end of Dec. 70--They took the whole company, and that included the gun trucks, 5 tons and 3/4 ton---had to be a hell of a site with over a hundred trucks and no one really knowing where they are going to, end up, or why---Our own Ugly Ranger took em north while Capt. Voightritter closed up shop in Cha Rang---the Eve led em north while the Black Widow brought up the rear--it was two days on that road to get to Phu Bai, I ain't been told so but with Ugly having come from the 25th inf. he was thinking this don't look good and he told everyone to write home--they then moved to Quang Tri---a real s*** hole---here's the trucks they took (Gun trucks)---some say Satans Lil Angel went with them some say it joined them later--what ever it was here's its photo also---while it was still in one piece-------------Driver----Oh yeah---if ya look real close you'll see ole Ugly Ranger behind the 50 on Uncle Meat and beside Daughter of Darkness----
 

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Capt Pat

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While you guys were up there around Lang Vei did you come across any 5th Batt. 4th Arty Reg. stuff. My best friend/brother in law Sgt. Dave Sexton was killed there when his 155 was destroyed by an explosion while on gunfire support. Supposedly the Army lost the remains while returning them to a rear area mortuary site. He was gunner onboard "Blood, Sweat and Tears" with the "B" Battery of the 5th.
With two tours myself, I just keep looking for something on it. Don't know if its closure or not. Know I don't want to forget Dave, but I'll never drink blackberry brandy with anybody else ever. Unfortunately I served on the rivers, (Navy) and know it was a BIG operation, but somebody was supplying those guns with what they needed. Just asking.....
 

Driver523

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Capt.---I can't say--I been callin out my friends to get on here an tell what they know---all are real heros and just won't tell all things they did cause they figure it ain't right---but its history----you know a fire base?--these guys were everywhere, and at the time you don't pay any attention to units and such----but if it was during operation Dewy Canyon (Lam Son) these units hauled what ever was needed----sorry to hear about yer best---far to many are no longer around---and Thanks for your service-----Driver
 

Driver523

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When I get through the trans units I'll start with the stories and the darkside---

2nd trans---I talked to Roger Williams tonight he was NCOIC of Outlaw he couldn't remember just what gun trucks they took north, they had left one platoon behind at Phu Tai but in all they had the APC trucks The Outlaw, and Big Kahuna, and then the typical gun trucks Maverick and Madam Pale---They went to Da Nang and the on to Hue---funs ville---While the 2nd and 523rd was driving north the other truck companys were hauling supplies into two forward support bases------Driver
 

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Driver523

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Just another point---while it sounds like some were forwaed and some back thats not so---it was ALL badlands, so close to the DMZ the VC were not so much around, these guys were now dealing with the NVA regulars--trained troops--and it didn't make any difference where you were--hell--these guy drew fire right outside the 101st at Phu Bai---this was one hell of an operation-----Driver
 

Driver523

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The 57th hauled fuel in I corps, from Tam My ramps at Dong Ha to Camp Carroll, Da Nang and all over, through the Hai Van pass slowing down from their loads and getting shot at with small arms---They had three gun trucks--The Justifier, The Assassins, and The Protector. Driver
 

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Srjeeper

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This is truly a great read Driver, thanks for taking the time and effort to put this all together for all of us to learn from.

You need to write a book to go along with "Hard Ride" and some of the others out there.

Please keep it coming.....Welcome Home and Thank you :!:
 

vtdeucedriver

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This is truly a great read Driver, thanks for taking the time and effort to put this all together for all of us to learn from.

You need to write a book to go along with "Hard Ride" and some of the others out there.

Please keep it coming.....Welcome Home and Thank you :!:

Bill,
The next time you get in that deuce and head down a dirt road and look out over that hood, you will remember what that Yellow Nose really means.
 
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