Mailed from Chu Lai, South Viet Nam, Republic of Viet Nam - June 7th,1967
PFC. William R. Anderson, RA12883540,
196th Light Infantry Brigade,
F Troop 17th Cavalry ( L.R.R.P.)
APO SF 96256
Mr. "Bob" Anderson,
Lone Palm Golf Course, Inc.,
Lakeland, Florida 33801
Off on another mission. This one got quite hairy. We came in with a company of 4th/31st Infantry about half way we drew fire from snipers. Got rid of them with firepower we had plus artillery. We continued on to a hill we were going to use for an OP and the Infantry continued its sweep after they burnt the village where the sniper fire came from. We stayed on the OP till we decided it was a bald hill impossible to defend if anything happened and the area was full of VC. We moved to Hill 140 a high point in our general area. First day we observed fire-fights and a village was burnt by VC. On the next ridge line later in the day light automatics opened up on a helicopter.
In the early evening we were hit with light automatic fire on the
ridge. We called in artillery close cause the fire came from no more than 75
meters. With secondary explosions we thought we got them. Then at about 9:00 PM
we got hit again- this time with at least 3 machine guns and small arms, then
mortars came in small 60mm but pinpointed. One landed 3 feet from me ( a DUD)
another just missed a friend's head shot on a flat trajectory. We called in
artillery closer and closer. 35 meters was the closest before we left the
hilltop-had to repel down a cliff at night, plus I hadn't done this
before-learned fast. Two minutes after we left our position VC mortars blew the hell out of where we were. We called in artillery right on where we had been. A battery ten rounds from six guns. It leveled where we had been.
We finished descending the cliff through thick underbrush. We broke through a
valley of rice paddies and went by two villages, entered sand dunes and I think
we lost them. We stayed in the dunes the night awake and quiet. In the morning
we started out across the valley towards a friendly artillery position. The
ridge we had to go through to get to the artillery position was marked for an
air strike just before we entered we called in for them to postpone it until we
got through. We made it through weren't fired on. I was never so glad to see an
artillery position in all my life, It was pretty nostalgic as we came in
whistling the tune "A Bridge Over the River Qui" (The Burma campaign) looking
cool to the artillery as though nothing had happened. Then we marched up to
Charlie Battery Artillery, we broke on the guns and started hugging them and the
gun crews cause it was
them that saved our asses from a wave attack.
The artillery and a whole lot of prayers got us out plus the fact we were small and could move fast and quiet. If we weren't a Recon Team and merely a line Infantry Unit we could have sold the shit house cause we would have lost our asses. This is why I 'm glad I'm in recon, it does get hairy but when it does we have a lot better chance of getting out safe. No one was wounded-this is one reason I'm glad I'm in recon we're there to observe , do what we can to resist and get out fast.
Mom's last letter said something about this was getting easy- bullshit! - think it was one of brother's ideas - inform him different and tell him to keep out of the service. One over here is enough. All I need is prayers, news from home saying your all fine and I'll take care of things over here. I'm coming home safe - keep that in mind and in your prayers. I love you! Don't even want Mom to know anything about what's happening cause it would only worry her needlessly besides I'm coming home safe and that's all that matters. I thought you'd like to know and understand what's what and shouldn't worry.
I'm growing a mustache, it ought to be nice by the end of the year. I
look a lot like you during the war. I sure would like it if you could send an
ANDERSON TARTAN tie. I'd like to wear it. I think your going to be pretty proud
of me when I come home. As soon as I can send a picture of our squad- "HOGAN's
HEROES"- I will, but have to get prints from the Public Information Office. I
got some pictures on this patrol hope they
turn out I'll get them to you when I can. It sure is going to be good when all this is behind me, cause I have a lot to look forward to when I get home.
When I get out of the service I plan on going into medicine. Myself a doctor and my fiancÚ', Lee, a nurse and simply the greatest family in the whole
world. It's going to be great when the family is together again. I love you all so don't worry, I'll make out O.K. TAKE CARE.