April 9, 1968 Sapper Attack
by Don Strine

I got to the Nam Feb 4, 1968, spent a few days at the 90th replacement in Bien Hoa before I got loaded up on a C130 north to Qui Nhon. It took me about four days to get to the 526th because they kept taking me all over and no one wanted meÖ.LOL. I got to the 526th and found a home for the rest of my time. My first job at the 526th was at the back of the yard as a crane operator. After about a month, I was put on the gate as a permanent guard.
  What I remember about the night of April 9th Is being awakened by automatic gunfire and explosions. I rolled out of my bunk reaching for Hansen, but he wasnít there. I made it to the door and saw automatic gunfire coming from the corner of the orderly room. A brother made it to the doorway with me, jumped over me and headed down the stairway, I was close behind. As I rounded the orderly room, I popped off three rounds toward where the gunfire was coming from and checked it the next day, I hit nothing. There was a Jeep sitting in front of the orderly room so I dove under it. As I was looking out from under the Jeep, I saw what looked like a VC standing in the middle of all the gunfire and explosions. I started to take aim, but there was another explosion and the light from that explosion was bright enough so that I could tell that it was a GI standing there. I guess I worked up enough courage to run out and get him. I was one scared puppy, for sure. We made it to the bunker on the perimeter. I had to get to the front gate so I busted ass down there. I never knew who the GI was and always wondered if he made it or not. When I got to the gate, I was told that Hansen didnít make it.
  I donít know, I guess it was forty years or so later, I was in Florida visiting brother, Jim Spencer, he asked me if I remembered brother, Jerry Norris, I didnít. Jim told me he was coming for a visit. When he got there, he didnít remember me, nor did I remember him. We all went to lunch and started telling war stories. I never told that story to anyone, and I donít know why I started telling that one, but I did, and the response from Jerry was, that fellow was me. I couldnít believe what I just heard, I just sat back in my chair and a few tears rolled down my cheeks.
 God is good my brothers! There was also a wounded Staff Sergeant with a serious leg wound. We treated and comforted him until the helicopters came. He was evac to the 67th evacuation hospital in Qui Nhon. I later found out who he was. It as Gary L. Ott. They had to amputate his leg, and he was discharged from the Army. At one of our reunions, I was told that he passed away at age 80 on October 23, 2016. I will never forget that night or the brothers that were killed and wounded. There but for by the Grace of God, go I.

Donald Strine I live in Mancelona, MI with my wife, Debbie