In the field in Long Khanh Province with Alpha 5-12, 69 - 70. All images are the property of BJ Khalifah.
Things like this happened all the time during rainy season, in a jeep or on foot. There was a lot of mud to contend with. Photo 663, man with hands on hip at right is 1LT Joseph Cathy, 5-12th Artillery forward observer/spotter.
Breaking camp, early morning. I do not know who the men in the photo are.
My camera was soaking wet, the shutter and focus was way off. I ended up getting rid of the camera. I did not know it was broken.
Photo 6851. Rafferty2. Flynn3 .Perez4. Medic Don Lemoine 5. Boa
Breaking camp early morning; wet and rainy
.1. Ken Richey2 .Neally3. Peltier4. Duplachon5 Lewis6. ??Flynn??7. Sgt. Steven McDonald8 Stevens?
Typical day on patrol.
B.J.Khalifah cooking spaghetti and meatballs.I was using a piece of c-4 explosive to cook my meals. C-4 cost about $50.00 a stick, but it sure worked. Careful not to stomp it out !!!
This was an area immediately adjacent to a B-52 bomb crater. Notice the vegetation is starting to grow back after a 500 lb. bomb blew the leaves and bark of surrounding trees.
This was something we almost never did - used a bridge - because they were always booby trapped. My point man had already cleared and crossed it before I saw it, but I was very mad because it made us sitting ducks for an ambush. The area was clear so I took a picture. Later I ass-chewed everyone for not being careful. We were lucky that time. Several days later we were not so lucky.
Left to Right: Boa, Lewis, RTO Mike HorstInteresting note: Mike Horst was my RTO. He weighed 110 pounds soaking wet, yet he carried the PRC 25 radio, his full gear, food and water, and extra ammo for the M60 machine gun; he never once complained about the load or his duties. The young kid always was at the ready.
This was a 9mm Chic-Com officers pistol I took off an unlucky local VC regional leader I shot during a fire fight. I also retrieved a map and an NVA flag. None of our people were hurt or harmed. I got a permit and carried it home to USA on the airplane; no problem.
Coming into an LZ with dense vegetation surrounding was always tense and nerve racking. All hell could break out without warning. The pilots who dropped us in had iron balls and steady hands. The pilot here never landed. He was 6 ft off the ground. We had to jump into mud. Jumping down 6 ft wearing a 35 pound ruck sack made for sore backs and hurting feet. When we hit the ground we were running to get out from under the chopper, in case it was hit.This LZ, we thought was hot ,ended up being a quiet day at the office.
Waiting for extraction after a fire fight. As usual , hot, wet, sticky, and smelly, area was near Nui Soc Liu, a very violent area
Insertion into an LZ.
On extraction me and and RTO Horst and Sgt Larry Fowler and several riflemen were usually the last out. Being the last team to be pulled out was always interesting. On chopper operations, I as LT was usually in the second chopper in (first was point man riflemen and M60.
Something we did without fail, every day, sometimes twice a day, was clean our weapons (and ammo). Not everybody did this at once but in shifts, in case something happened..Here: We were in an area that had been cleared and we had perimeter guards out. L to R: MCDonald, Lemoine, Khalifah, Lewis, Decker, Rafferty.
Breaking camp early morning; always raining.
3. Ken Richey
The Construction of Fire Support Base Libby, 1969.
James Pelletier, CA.
Horst, Khalifah, Pelletier, McClendon. (The sign said Home Sweet Home and there was a peace symbol on it).
James Pelletier, CA.
Mike Horst, my RTO
Charles Mussman, CA.
Center with dog tags is Ruffin. He was in charge of the mortars at Libby.
Man in boot-deep mud is Decker
Curtis McClendon, TX.
Man with air mattress is Angel Rivera (Puerto Rico), man squatting down in sgt. Chet Szymczyk, man standing is Medic “Doc” Herbert LeMoine (of Louisiana).
Men without shirts Richard Phillips on left, Sgt Dan Kelly at right.
Right side mid-way back with watch on wrist is SGT Chester Sczymcyk (I think this is the correct spelling of his name). Other in photo I do not know.
A piece of shrapnel from the last battle in 1968 at FSB Libby.
Something not seen often; a dog. There was a food shortage during the war for the Vietnamese.
Lt. Warrenton at left, CPT Forsythe at right.