Aircraft Friendly Fire When
Absolutely Nothing Was Happening
By Charles G. White

The disaster occurred in the fall of 1968. It was a beautiful bright sunny day. After a night of H & I firing, it was a welcome respite to stand out in the sun where everything was quiet and absolutely nothing was happening. Then it happened, an unidentified F-4 jet appeared from the East at an extremely low level. As it passed we could see the bombs falling from above us. We hit the ground believing that the bomb load was destined for our position. However, the bombs cleared us and landed smack in the middle of a small village about 100 - 200 meters from us below the base of the hill. We were never informed about whether the aircraft was Marine, Navy, or Air Force, or what the pilot thought he was doing that day.

When thinking about this incident, it makes me proud that our battalion during its four years in Vietnam, never killed anyone by friendly fire as a result of a firing error, equipment error, or ammunition error. On the other hand, in addition to the incident described above, there are two other aircraft friendly fire incidents reported by members of the battalion. See "With Friends Like This I Donít Need Enemies" - by Woody Pryor and "Ambush Between Dong Ha and Camp JJ Carroll" - By Doug Shifflett." In the latter two incidents the aircraft were either flying under combat conditions or at night. However, when the F-4 unloaded its bombs load on the village, it was daylight, and absolutely nothing was going on. What a disaster!!!

Charles G. White