Some times our government oops , This is fictional account of on of those oops

 

 

 

 

OOPS

 

A short story

Written By

Waymon L. Young

 

Richard Joined the Navy on June 2, 1959; by 1962 we were firing everything we had at North Vietnam.

My ship returned to it's home port to replinish It's supply ammo, food and fuel.

Three Men were called to the Captains office, I was one of those three men, And were told we had been picked for shore duty, Which would last about Three months, and we would be transported to an American Army base just outside Saigon Vietnam. That we should pack all our belongs in our sea bags and not leave anything behind.

We packed all our belonging in our Sea bags and were ready by 700 hours roll call the next day. The ships yeoman had our new orders ready. The duty driver was waiting for use at the end of the peer with a Jeep. We left the Navel Base and went to the air Force base,

There we were put on a plane and with in eight hours we were landing in the Jungle at the Army base just outside Saigon.

The Army assigned us to three different regiments; I was assigned to the 406. That was the last I saw of my other two ship Mates.

I was told the next morning I would be going on a search and destroy mission, that you will be assigned Sergeant McNeill, and that I was to do everything he told me to do. It will be up to Sergeant McNeill to brief you.

When I met Sergeant McNeill, he showed me some hand signals he would be using, and how to use the hand held radios.

I did not see Sergeant McNeill for the next two Days, On the third Day Sergeant McNeill woke me up at about 300 hours and said get dressed our mission has started, He gave me Army uniformsThat were camouflaged, A back pack that must have weighted about One hundred pounds. He said your rations and water is in there and there are four boxes of 308 caliber Ammo.He had checked out two 308 caliber bolt action sniper rifles from the armory.One of the rifles is for you.Have you ever fired a 308 calibor rifle? No but I hunt deer with a 30-06 Bolt action rifle.

Here is a 45 caliber peace with belt and ammo. He gave me a large survival knife with a compass in the end of the handle.

We ate breakfast at the mess Hall from there we went to the Helicopter pad. And loaded all our gear into a Hughie helicopter. Within 30 min we were in the air, we flew over dense Jungle for about 45 Min; the pilot said we were close to the drop off area to get every thing read for deployment. The chopper came down almost to the ground, we threw our gear out and jumped out behind it and the chopper left very quickly.

We gathered our gear and put the back pack on. I could hardly walk there was so much weight.

We started taking fire from one direction, Sergeant McNeill signaled me to get low, There is an old logging road to your left I want you to go to the road and check it out but stay low. I will go straight ahead and will communicate with you on the hand held radios. Do not fire your piece until I tell you to. But you fire on your own if you are being fired at.

I found the road without any trouble. It was about 300 feet from where the chopper dropped us off.

Sergeant McNeill voice came over the radio, move to the South down the logging road.

As I moved down the logging road I could hear gun fire. I stayed low and moved in the direction of the gun fire.

In front of me was a junction in the road. The gun fire was coming from the other road. I went to my right and moved through the jungle. I got close to the other road and was staying very low in the dense Jungle. I came to a place where a mound of dirt had been pushed up when they made the log road. I got down behind the mound of dirt and was in a good position I could fire my Piece and see what was going on.

I could hear the soldiers talking from my position but I could not under stand what they were saying.

Then all Hell broke loose, they started firing their weapons in the direction Sergeant McNeill would be in. That is when I made myself ready. I laid out the four of the boxes of 308 caliber ammo. I had three clips that were already full. One was in the piece and a bullet was in the chamber.

I rose up Just to Where I could see over the mound of dirt. One of the soldiers must have spotted me . I took a bullet in my left shoulder but it was just a flesh wound. I drop back down behind the Dirt pile and put my handkerchief in my shirt to stop the bleeding. I move all my gear to the other end of the dirt mound. Rose up just enough to see over it. All the soldier was shooting in the area where I thought Sergeant McNeill was at.

I opened fire with my 308 caliber snipper rifle. They started falling like bowling Pins. They turned their fire in my direction. I just continued to fire at them that is when I felt a burning sensation in my right side. I knew I was hit bad because there was lot of blood. I was almost out of ammo .

The firing stopped and I listened and watched what they were doing, they were pulling the bolts back on their rifles. It dawned on me they were out of ammo.

I checked my ammo the 308 caliber bullets were all gone and I had 3 shells left for the 45 caliber Pistol. I stood up where they could see me. I stepped out into the logging road. I had my 308 calber snipper rifle In one hand and my 45 caliber Pistol in the other hand. I started walking very slowly in their Direction.

When I got a little closer to them one of the soldiers came running at me he Had a strip of white cloth in one hand and his rifle in the other hand. I raised the 45 cal and put a shot in the middle of his chest.

Again I started taking steps in their direction. I had two shots left in the 45 cal. I could get one more of them. Because the last shot was for me.

When I shot the soldier all of the rest of them run into the Jungle. I eased up to where they were at.There were bodies everywhere.They were not moving they were all dead. I found nothing of use to me. mostly spent ammo shells. Then I spotted something I could use a piece of White cloth I used it to stop the bleeding as best as I could.

That’s when I remembered Sergeant McNeill. When I found him I could tell that he was dead. I carried Him and some time dragged him to where the chopper had dropped us off. I used the hand held radio to call in the chopper to pick us up.

When the chopper came all hell broke loose there was fire from ever where. I picked up the Sergeant and held him up Just as high as I could. The soldiers in the chopper drag his body into the cargo Hole of the chopper and away they went. Left me standing in a hail of bullets, I bent down low and made my way back to the log road which was three hundred feet away. Most of the fire was coming from behind me.

The log road runs along side a small stream. And as I followed the road I saw something move next to the stream. There was a Vietnamese soldier Part of his face was blown off I walk up close to him. I could see he had a white cloth and was washing his wound. I had Two Rounds left for the 45 caliber Pistol. I Shot him right between the eyes. I got the white piece of cloth and put it in my pocket and would use it to dress my wounds later.

I went back on the radio and talked to the pilot. I asked when you are coming to pick me up. He said that’s nugatory. Will have to wait until the Cong. move out of the area. Will let you Know when and where we will pick you up.

You must hide yourself and not get caught. That was the last communication He had with the chopper.

Richard had no Idea where he was going. He continued walking down the dirt road. When he could not walk any more. He was about to pass out because of the blood he had lost from the wound in his right side.

He came to a large oak tree. Sat down and leaned agenst the tree and passed out from the loss of blood.

He had no Ideal how long he sat there. He was awaken by something jabing him. He opened his eyes. There was to Vietnamese children both were Boys Jabing Richard with sticks. When Richard came to the boys run away.

He was too weak to stand up. He got his back pack off and found some rations and eats them. This gave him some strength.

Richard heard some one coming up the road. If it were Vietnamese soldiers. He was going to shoot him self through the head with the one bullet he had left.

It was the two Boys and they had brought their mother with them. To help the wounded man.

The Vietnamese Woman said in English to Richard. Her name was Kim Hong. That the oldest boy name was Bao and the younger boys name was Chi.

She said you come to my place, I have medicine. Richard said I can not walk or stand. Go away leave me alone. If you get caught with me they might shoot you.

Kim said my Husband was killed eight months ago and the South Vietnamese soldiers will not bother me. You Come to my place I can help you.

He said I can not walk, Kim said I will send the oldest boy to my place. We have a push cart. He will bring it and we will push you to my place.

  Bao went to their place and returned with the cart with in one hour. They helped him into the cart and pushed him to their place.

It was a crud hut but had everything you need to live off the land.

Kim helped Richard get out of the cart and into the hut. Kim put the total stranger in her bed. And that is where he stayed for the next three Months. She dressed his wounds. The one in the shoulder healed quickly. But the wound in his side still Had the bullet in it. He was not getting any better and had a high fever.

Kim told Richard you are not getting any better. I must get a Doctor to remove the bullet. She asked Richard do you have any money? He said no but I still have the 45 caliber colt pistol. I don’t know what happened to the 308 sniper rifle. I must have dropped it some where on the log road. Do you think the Doctor would take the colt 45 pistol for removing the bullet?

Kim said what we are doing is very Dangerous. The Doctor could turn you in and get money from the Government. Richard said I am going to die anyway if I don’t get that bullet removed.

Kim said I will go to Saigon and talk to the Doctor that did surgery on my Husband before he died.

Kim went to the home of the Doctor. She asked him if he could remove a bullet from the side of a friend. The Doctor said yes I have done that many times. She said to the Doctor. He does not have any money. But he does have a Colt 45 caliber automatic pistol. The Doctor said I will come and examine your friend. You must keep this very quite and not tell any one about the pistol. Kim said I will. When will you come to my place? He said I will come early in the morning. I have been to your place before when your husband died. And know the way well.

Kim left Saigon and went back to her place and told Richard that the Doctor would come and look at your wounds in the morning. He said he would like to look at the colt 45 caliber Pistol. That if it was in good condition he would take it for his services.

When the Doctor came the next morning Kim took the Doctor inside and the Doctor looked at him and said you are an American. Richard did not know what the Doctor said. Kim told Richard what the Doctor said. You are too weak to be moved. But you should go back to your army unit. They can fix you up there.

Richard said I am too weak to travel. The Doctor said I will remove the bullet from your side. your shoulder looks fine and has healed. May I see the colt Pistol you have offered me for payment? Kim gets the pistol and showed it to the Doctor. This will be fine. It will cover the surgery to remove the bullet. But you will need some antibiotic to keep the infection down. Do you have any thing else of value. Kim told the Doctor He has a large survival Knife. She shows the knife to him. He said I will take the pistol and the knife and will come check on him once a week for the next Three weeks.

The Doctor gets his bag from his four wheel drive truck. He puts Richard to sleep. He cleans the wound and uses a long clamp .He probes until he finds the bullet. Opens the clamp and clamps the bullet. He pulls the clamp out and the bullet came out with it.

The Doctor cleaned the bullet. and Gave it to Kim. He said you give this bullet to your friend. When he gets back to his unit he can show what kind of bullet he was shot with.

  The Doctor came by each week for the next Three weeks. At the end of the three weeks. He said Richard was doing fine but he wanted him to stay in bed for a couple weeks.

As time passed Richard was feeling better. He stayed in bed for the next two weeks. He started getting up a few minute at a time and was soon walking around inside the hut. In another few days Richard started going outside at night so he would not be seen.

The months slip by and he had been with Kim and the boys for over a Year.

He would disguises him self and go out side and started working around the place.

  In 1967 the Americans pulled out of Vietnam. When Saigon fell into the hands of the North Vietnamese.

  Now there was no chance of him ever going back to the 406 company. So he just lay low and waited to see what wound happen.

They heard a noise out side. It was a North Vietnam military vehicle. There were three soldiers in it. They got out of the vehicle with their pistols drown. They came inside and took Richard in custody. The soldiers drove him away in the direction of Saigon.

  Once There they locked him in the local Jail. In a couple days a person that could speak English came to his cell and talked to him.

She told him he was going to be expedited to the United States of America. He would be tried by his military peers but they did not what he would be tried for.

The next day two CIA agents. Came and took him into custody. They put chains on his legs and hand cuffs on wrists. Each one of the CIA agents got on each side of him this left him in the middle like a sandwich and lead him out to their car then drove him to the Airport in Saigon.

When they got him out of the car at the Airport again the two CIA men sandwiched him and took him on board a passenger plane. When they reached their seats they removed the hand cuff and ran the handcuff through the arm rest on the seat.

  When they reached the States the Army took control of him and took him to a base and put him in a cell. They removed the hand cuff but not the leg irons.

In a few days he had his first court appearance. He was being Court Martial

The officer in charge read the charges agenst him. Murder first degree, AWOL, destruction of Government Property, Treason, and several other charges that were add before the court martial begin.

The officer asks Richard if he had a defense lawyer. Richard said no. The officer said we will appoint you a Jag Lawyer to defend you.

It was about 6 month before the court martial begin. This gave Richard plenty of time to talk to his Jag lawyer. When the court martial. Finely begins he was put on the stand and questioned. First thing he asked was why am I being charged with murder,

The presiding officer said you were sent on a search and destroy mission with Sergeant McNeill. You killed him and thirteen South Vietnam soldiers. They wore white arm bands so you would recognize them. You were supposed to have joined up with them for your mission. They were all killed by bullets fired from a 308 caliber sniper rifle. If you are found guilty we are asking for the death penaltie. You will be shoot by firing squad. If you are found not guilty you will be expedited back to Vietnam to be tried and will pay for you crimes against the Vietnamese people you will not go unpunished.

The court Martial lasted about Two weeks. The Jag Lawyer would cut the prosecutor down. when asked about the mission the Jag lawyer said my client knew noting about the mission. He was not properly breifted. When they shot at him he shot back. Sergeant McNeill was shot with a 308 caliber Sniper round. So was Richard

The bullet the Doctor removed from Richard was a 308 caliber rifleBullet. He held the bullet up where all could see it and said all the South Vietnamese soldiers carry American 308caliber snipper rifle rifles.

Next the prosecutor Brought in an old Vietnamese soldier who was supposed to be one of the South Vietnamses soldiers that ran into the Jungle. But the old man could not identifie Richard he pointed out someone else in the court instead of Richard.

Next witness was the Helicopter Polite. He said Richard was not able to get in the chopper because of his wounds and they were taking fire very heavy.

  The Jag Lawyer asks the polite. When Richard raised Sergeant McGill up and your man in the cargo hole pulled Sergeant McNeill into the cargo hole of the chopper. Why did you take off and leave Richard to fend for himself. The polite said that is the way it happened the chopper was being riddle with enemy fire so I had no choice but to leave. The prosecutor asked did you not go back later and try to pick him up. The pilot said we went on another mission and gave no more thought to Richard.

The prosecutor asked Richard why did you not come back to your unit when you were feeling better. The only thing Richard said was I am Navy I don’t belong out in the Jungle.

The Jag lawyer said my client has not been paid in over five years I ask you. He was speaking to the 12 officers who was to judge Richard. To give him his back pay and release him back to the Navy.

The prosecutor said the Navy would have to pay him or his heirs. The Jag Lawyer said that is not so. He was reassigned to the Army and that is where his back pay should come from.

The prosecutor rested his case. He told the Jury give this Munster what he deserves give him death

The Jag lawyer rested his case and told the Jury. This man has done nothing wrong. Our government OOP and is trying to blame all of this on my client. Please do the right thing and let my client go free.

The Jury was out about Twelve hours. The court martial was resumed

The presiding officer asked the jury have you reached a verdict the Jury Forman said we have Sir. We find the defendant Richard not Guilty on all charges. And he should be paid. By the Army. He should be given an Honorable discharge and set free.

The officer in charge excepted the verdict. But they did not set Richard free. He would be sent back to Vietnam for crimes against the people of Vietnam.

They removed him from the court room where no one could see him. There they cuffed his hands and chained his legs. And took him a way in a car with two CIA Agents.

They went to the air force air field and there was a plane waiting. The two CIA agents boarded the air force plane with Richard as before. He look like a sandwich.

It took the plane about twelve hour to reach Hanoi Vietnam. when The plane arrived and Landed the soldier would not let the CIA Agents get off the plane and told the pilot to go to the fuel port and have the plane serviced and go back to America. The soldiers took Richard to a small building and removed the cuffs and leg irons. They told Richard you are to catch a plane to Saigon in Thirty minutes. They gave Richard a plane ticket to Saigon.

Richard caught the plane to Saigon. In about thirty minutes the plane landed. There were no police there to arrest him. He departed the plane and then just stood there waiting to see what was going to happen next. Nothing! Nobody even look at him.

Then he saw someone that he recognized it was Kim and She had Bao and Chi with her. They all gathered around him the children were hugging his legs and Kim hugged him and kissed him and said lets go home.

  You are considered a Hero by the Vietnamese People

 

The end

 

 

 

 

 

 


Submitted: November 27, 2018

© Copyright 2023 Waymon l. young. All rights reserved.

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