Chapter 2

A few weeks later Mr. Jones & Mr. Brown took six of us snipers out for a mission. This was one of many 'surgical eliminations' that we were assigned to. Mr. Jones said that we were looking for 3 Chinese General Staff officers. Mr. Jones led us to a camp that had permanent buildings and appeared to be in constant use. We had standing orders that when we were out that if one of our men was captured then that captured man then became the primary target and the other targets became secondary. After what happened this night I was glad that this was our SOP. This relieved the captured man of being tortured and helped ensure the security of the rest of the men. If we were captured we would not be treated as POWs, but as spies & be executed on the spot.

We spread ourselves out several hundred meters apart and about 1200 meters from the camp. We waited until after dark. Luck was with us. The Chinese were having a party out side. There had been Chinese patrols walking through the area late in the day. Mr. Brown had moved in closer to the camp to get a better look. After dark we noticed that there was a lot of sudden activity in the camp. Mr. Brown had been captured!!!! The Chinese stripped him of his clothes and strung him up spread eagle between two trees. Through the night scopes I could see that Mr. Brown was being skinned alive. This seemed to be a side show for the general staff that was there for the party.

Now Mr. Jones was in command of our little group. Since I had the clearest shot at Mr. Brown it became my job to neutralize him. But here I was about to target one of our own and a distant friend. Mr. Jones put out the word that Mac, Billy, & Jim would be the shooters for the General Staff. Mr. Jones wanted to neutralize all four targets at the same time, keeping the element of surprise on our side. I targeted Mr. Brown for his throat. Mr. Jones had counted it down over the radio. When I squeezed off the round Mr. Brown went limp. The Chinese officer that had been having so much fun skinning Mr. Brown looked stunned. Now I had him targeted for just over his ear. But just before I fired that officer turned and looked me dead in the eye. Then his head exploded. Every time I close my eyes I see him looking directly at me. That look haunts me all the time. Mac, Billy and Jim got their target too. Then all hell broke loose. The Chinese were firing everywhere. They didn't know where we were at so they were just shooting.(As a side note, I can't shake that Chinese officer 'looking' at me as I squeezed the trigger. That one was very personal)

It was time to move out very quickly and as quietly as possible. We had about klick to go to meet up with our ride out of there. We were moving through the bush as fast as we could go when a man came out into the open. Mr. Jones was about ready to fire on him and then he recognized him as the leader of the group that was to take us down river.They were Montagnard (mountain yard).

They had heard all of the shooting and thought we were in trouble and were coming to help us. But we all turned and they got us to the river and down the river we went. After about 30 minutes the yards pulled their "dugouts" into the trees growing along the river and we all hid. A Chinese patrol was coming up the river. They never saw us. We had another 5K to go to reach our pickup point. I don't think a Huey ever looked so good.

Preface

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Epilog

Marion County Veterans Honor Guard