Saturday, July 03, 2010

A Flash from the Past

The other day I noticed someone came to this site by searching for "Firebase Mace". Mace was the rear area for my battalion in Vietnam and I probably mentioned it somewhere so this humble site showed up.

That led me to search for "Firebase Fontaine", the forward base for my battalion. I helped build the motherfucker when my company came out of the bush after my first mission. Sure enough, it showed up on a several sites. This site is especially good. It includes photos taken by a member of Bravo Company 2nd Battalion 8th Cavalry (I was in Alpha Company) and shows Fontaine exactly like my photos. The site also does a good job of bringing the viewer in-country, moving ever farther away from normalcy.

A couple captions refer to action on February 7, 1971. On that day one of Bravo Company's platoons walked into a NVA headquarters bunker complex and lost six men killed. Bravo's third platoon came to their immediate relief. My company was close enough to hear the firefight and we expected to be sent in to assist. I sure as hell thought I would hith the shit that day but as events transpired, the powers that be choppered another company in from the firebase. Apparently we were not close enough.

The photos show life in the bush pretty much as I remember it. Some details differ. I could have sworn our radios were PRC 77's. The captions here call it PRC 25. We both agree about the "prick" part though. For all its weight, I still liked carrying the radio over carrying ammo for the machine gun. The radio was more informative.

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