US Army, Vietnam
Beachhead. (Robert Scott)
is sitting on the beachhead at Hue City during the 68
Tet offensive. Our load, like that on the other four boats,
consists of 200 ton of ammo. Theres not much the crew
can do but watch. We receive small arms fire from across the
Perfume River, and occasional mortar fire a very good
spotter is in a tower near the east side of the Citadel. We
can see him now and then with glasses, but direct fire weapons
are ineffectual, and every time someone gets lucky with a
rifle, a replacement takes over in a few minutes. That tower
has been shelled and bombed to no effect centuries
old stonework is pretty strong.
a way to make extra money and to help our supply system.
I take pictures of combat when Im able (like now), and
sell or trade them with the Remington Raiders at Da Nang.
They in turn send them home in letters to prove that they
are really in a war.
been times in my life when I havent acted all that bright.
This is one of those times.
on the Starboard .50 when 60 mm mortars start walking down
the beach toward the boats. The first one hit near a Marine
guard post, the rest hit about every 10 yards, walking toward
us. I take pictures. If I can capture the blossom its
worth more. I get a very good shot of the round that hits
30 yards away. I figure to get the next one at 20 yards, than
duck. I hear the round leave the tube, count to eleven and
click the shutter. The world turns black, then yellow, white,
red, and black.
I come to
on my back in the wheelhouse where I was blown. I see white,
then red. My vision clears slowly and I make out white cloth
coming down to my face and going away red. Something is very
that sneaky SOB was watching me, and as a practical joke,
skipped 30 yards. The round hit our M60 blew it to
bits (we saved the bits, and a Marine armorer actually fixed
it!). That was about 10 feet from my head. That round also
killed a sailor two boats down and wounded another of our
I had been
wearing a flack vest and steal pot. I had several holes in
my face, left arm, and left leg, but nothing really serious.
I was evacuated from the soccer stadium and rejoined the boat
about a week later AWOL from the hospital.
the camera was totaled, the film lost.