April 9th, 1968 remembered, Ronald A Meisch

This is my experience on April 9, 1968 I was awaken by machine gun and explosions. Two of the explosions blew off each end of our barrack and caused fires at each end. Total panic and chaos was immediate! It took me 15 to 20 seconds to find my pants, boots, and flack jacket. (I was not going out without them!) I am now ready to make my escape. I looked to the south end and heard gun fire. I started towards the north end again more gun fire. To my surprise I ran into three more guys trapped with me. They were Mark, Phillip Harris, and a truck driver, I did not know his name. I do remember that he was proud of his truck. What a relief knowing you are not alone! We huddled up in the middle of the barrack trying to figure out what to do next. The smoke is getting thicker and flames higher. Still sporadic gun fire. The truck driver said he was going to make a break for it. We tried to tell him to wait a little longer. He said "NO" jumped up and ran to the south end,jumped through the smoke and flames to the ground below. At that instant we heard gun fire and screams. I do not know if he was wounded or killed. The smoke is continuing to get thicker and the flames higher. We have to make a move and now! We know the south end was out after what we just heard. So we started towards the north end. Harris was leading the way, then me and Mark. As we neared the north end opening gun fire erupted Harris was knocked back into me and we both fell to the floor. Harris shouted! "Meisch I am hit" I ask him where as he held his arm up he said my arm. I took hold of his arm and could see the wound from the light from the fire. It was tore up pretty good. I tore the top off a foot locker and got a towel from it. I wrapped up his arm the best I could. Were now back in the middle of the barrack knowing there is no safe way out of either end. We begin kicking out the wall in the middle of the barrack.We all jumped to the ground and laid up against the barrels for 3 or 5 seconds to get our bearings. At that time we all went in different directions. I made it to my defense bunker, and was afraid to go into it, not knowing who was inside. I laid up next to it until I heard American voices coming from inside. I then crawled inside I have no idea which way Harris went. I was glad I did not follow him. He was hit a second time. He lived thank God, and Mark also made it. People ask how can you remember all that. It happened so long ago. People who were never in an experience like that just can not understand the affect it has on one. Ronald A. Meisch

P.S. From that day to this. My pants and shoes are at my bed side (like a fireman! Phillip Harris had fragmentation wounds to his left forearm, right arm,left leg. he was evacuated to the 67th Evac. Hospital.