We had electric fans hung on the walls over our heads, and they were the only thing that made sleeping possible when the Monsoons ended in Viet Nam.
I was the standby pilot.
Being on standby meant you likely would not fly, but had to be ready at a moment's notice.
Whether I was scheduled to fly or on standby, I always got up early and hit the mess hall to get my fair share of reconstituted eggs.
Sitting on the edge of my bed, wiping sleep out of my eyes, I heard a strange sound......
shyoo... shyoo... shyoo, shyoo... shyoo, shyoo, shyoo, shyoo, shyoo, ... shyoo!
The sound was a little like popping the top on a can of soda, only from far away.
Puzzled, I looked over at "Snag". He was scheduled to fly and was also getting dressed for his fair share of eggs.
"What the heck was that?"
WHOOMP, WHOOMP, WHOOMP!
Without question, these were the loudest explosions I had EVER heard,
close enough to suck the air from your lungs.
I sprang from the bed, still undressed, and ran for the back door of the hooch hoping to reach the safety of our bunker, just in time to see a bright orange explosion hit the South China Sea.
The explosion sent a spray of water 100' into the air.
I laid down just inside the back door, covered my head, and waited for the fireworks to stop.
I have no way of knowing how many 122 mm. Katusa rockets they launched at us that day...
Too many, whatever the number.
When they quit falling we surveyed the local damage:
Slight schrapnel damage to three helicopters,
A jeep gas tank ruptured, which promptly caught fire.
Our flightline latrine knocked off it's foundation and onto it's side, carrying Specialist Carmichael along with it.
Miraculously, he is shaken but unhurt.
We later get the news:
The 312th Evac Hospital took a direct hit.
Two are dead there... one is a Nurse.
The picture you see above is Lt. Sharon Ann Lane.
Trying to bring comfort and healing, she is the only woman killed due to enemy fire in the Viet Nam war.There is a nice tribute to Lt. Lane
at this site.
Go and read it.
Nurses... all of 'em... are Angels.
8 June 1969...
The most terrifying day of my life.