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Aug 3, 1970

Robert Stewart

boobytrap 200 pound bomb takes out ACV.

2 Responses to “Robert Stewart”

  1. 1
    admin Says:

    Posted by Charlie Salisbury June 17th in the forums:


    I just wanted to get this out there, at least among soldiers who understand that feeling. We were loading up on 2 ACV’s, to hit or ambush this particuliar area, I was sitting on the 2nd boat, a pretty gruff NCO told me to get off the 2nd boat, board the first, said ours had too many people, I went, I found a spot near the front on the right side going into target. He told me to move to the back, we all can’t sit up front, man I was po’d, but did it. I remember the ride is really cool actually, just noisy. The ACV hesitated at the paddy line, thought we were going to get off, then it moved, moved a ways, I felt a jolt, felt heat, to me the explosion was muffled, I remember being in the paddy close to the ACV, minus my 16,dust, that smell, people milling around, someone of you came up to me and said are you all right Tripper? I said yea, I remember being in a weird state, they came again, are you allright/ Yea, well you need to get on the medivac, no, well here is a 16 guard over here, I remember the medic started to work on the boat commander, he was laying on his side, one arm, the medic came, he said well I guess I’m going home now, medic turned him on his back, started mouth to mouth, his eyes startrd to roll back, I thought why you giving up?, then I looked, one arm gone, chest open, bottom gone, I freaked out, I just really could not believe it! The medic was a hero, he never quit trying to save this man, never! I really do not remember anything else, but I do believe Will was dead at that time, I saw it! The whole point of this for me is that medic never quite trying to save this man, the site, the smell, lingers to this day. But above all the medic never quit trying on this man who I can still see, there just was nothing! Did I jump from the craft, did I run, it has bothered me all these years!

  2. 2
    admin Says:

    From Karl Lowe. CO of Delta Company at the time:

    I moved from D Company to 3rd Bde HHC as S-3 Ops on 1 July and was on duty at the Bde TOC when the incident occurred. The unit aboard the ACV was D Company’s 1st Platoon, led by LT Rick Ray. SSG Dan Morrison was his platoon sergeant. LT Ray or his RTO reported the incident and called in a Dustoff since all 39th Cav crew members were either killed outright or were near death. MAJ Barry Graham was both the 39th Cav Platoon Leader and the vehicle commander at the time. It was him that Doc Roberts was trying to save since most others in his crew were already dead. Barry did not survive. D Company members riding atop the vehicle were thrown off and suffered injuries but none were serious. I believe all were returned to duty within 72 hours. D Company’s 2nd Platoon was flown in to secure the site. I don’t recall whether LT Harvey Mize was still leading the platoon at the time or if he had already become the acting company commander. Charlie Tapp was his platoon sergeant. Charlie Salisbury, who was one of those aboard the vehicle from 1st Platoon, will probably recall where the mission originated. I believe it was Ben Luc. The incident occurred south of the sugar mill when the ACV came out of the river to drop off the platoon. There were only a handful of places an ACV could enter and leave the river and the VC had apparently watched the pattern long enough to booby trap the most likely point. What I recall from the report is that trip wires were set in an X pattern, causing the ACV to trigger a 155mm round or a 250 lb bomb when it came out of the river. I don’t think a crater analysis was done but Charlie Tapp would probably know. I never saw a picture of the wreckage and do not recall A Company having a role in the incident unless they were sent to replace D Company’s 2nd platoon to secure the site the next morning when the wreckage was extracted. As an aside, D Company’s 1st Platoon was in another mining incident later that month when a 2 1/2 Ton truck returning them to FSB Chamberlain hit a mine on the road from Bao Trai. Again, everyone was injured but none seriously. I think nearly everyone in the platoon earned a purple heart that month. Karl

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