Home
Stories
With Friends Like This I Donít Need Enemies
By Woody Pryor
 

I guess everyone has a John Wayne story. Within my first thirty days in country, the first two times I saw fire up close were the Navyís bombing of C-1 and a US 105mm artillery battery shooting at us while I playing FO out with the ARVN. What chance did I have of going home with twelve months to go? Hell, our own guys are trying to kill me!

On 31 Jan 1968 unknown aircraft began to bomb our positions at C-1. The last 250 pound bomb from one of the jets missed C Battery's Gun 1 position by 100 -200 meters. "What is that, flying at 400 knots (500 ft. per second)?" So we were lucky by one second? The napalm tanks were released on the first pass and lit up the dark sky. The second pass was with 250 pounders. The first ones hit an adjacent friendly village (probably not friendly afterward). I remember an old man( about forty years old and about five feet tall (forty was old to me then) looking at me and shaking his fist in my face. If he had had a weapon, he probably would have shot me. There were dead members of the village stacked up outside the damaged area. I think that we paid the village chief, or leader, or surviving members X dollars in South Vietnamese money. Do you think that these guys were supporters of the NVA when they came through, after having their village hit by us?

P.S. The Navy continued to deny the incident. However, the bomb fragments had U.S. markings.