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Gallery of War

Page 20

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En route to Vung Tau 1968
Archival Print #V-GL105CP
(c)2003 L. Nollenberger

We hit the fog bank at Da Nang and went dead in the water to avoid being detected by enemy radar. For nearly 12 hours we sat in a silent mode drifting about in near zero visibility. We were ordered not to talk, so could only speak only in whispers. A relief crew would break us long enough to eat and then it was back to the battle station. Finally, they started the engines and slowly we inched our way back out into the open sea. We returned to the gunline and took up our old position. Our orders were to head for Vung Tau, which lie to the south in the Delta River region. Another dangerous place but most of the action there was up river in the jungle. The Seals and boat crews would make runs up the rivers. Their main job was to blow away enemy bunkers that were hidden along the banks. This was indeed one of the most dangerous jobs of the war. They faced an almost constant threat of being ambushed by snipers. Many a boat did not return and many a combat sailor gave his life to the hostile fire that ripped through the jungle. Some say their spirits will ride forever, hiding in the magnificent clouds that line the coast of Vietnam. Some say their spirits have come to the rescue of many a pinned down soldier, surrounded by the enemy in the jungles of Vietnam. And just perhaps, they were around when the enemy attacked at Da Nang.