Below are excerpts from three chapters of Unfortunate Sons, the true story of the March 2, 1968 ambush of Charlie Company, 4th Bn 9th Infantry (Manchu) in the Repubic of Vietnam. Readings of the selected excerpts are available in the Audio section. Comments about the forthcoming book can be made in the Guestbook and may be posted in the Review section.|
“War is delightful to those who have no experience of it”
--Desiderius Erasmus, 15th Century Dutch Humanist
The first explosion sent two pieces of shrapnel through the soles of Dan McKinney’s boots and deep into the flesh of both feet. For an instant he felt nothing beyond the sharp jerk caused by the impact of the jagged pieces of metal as they struck. Then the burning began, like a hot iron pressing against the soles of his feet. Then shock. Surprise, even. He had been hit. Cont'd Here
“You could not be visited by a band of friends half so fine as surround me here”THE MEN
--Wilfred Owen, letter home November, 1918.
Wayne Holloway was glad to be in Charlie Company’s weapons platoon. For him, wrestling with the heavy and awkward 81 mm mortar tubes and the heavy ammunition they fired was certainly no fun but it was a lot better than being a rifleman. The infantry rifle company was normally configured with three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. The rifle platoons had the M16s, machine guns and grenade launchers. The weapons platoon had the mortars and recoilless rifles. Cont'd Here
“The thundering line of battle stands,
And in the air Death moans and sings…”THE KILLING ZONE
-- Julian Grenfell, "Into Battle”
PFC Darrell Wheeler was the first to die. The point man was killed instantly in the initial burst of machine gun fire that also claimed the life of the man behind him PFC Clifford Stockton.
Augustine Lugo, the third man in the right file of third platoon, managed to swing his M79 grenade launcher in the direction of the tree line to his right where he thought the firing was coming from and got off one single, 40mm high explosive grenade in the direction of the trees before a second burst of machine gun fire began chewing up the asphalt and dirt and pieces of Lugo before dumping him unconscious on the edge of the road. Cont'd Here