March 25, 1969 - A shot of the CP group during the day long firefight.
This is a view down the hill (towards Hill 1154) into the area where the NVA were located.
I can't remember who is who in the photo. I remember one air drop where a large piece of schrapnel (from a 250 pounder)
landed right next to the tree I was behind. I had come down to see how Lt. Wally was doing (he had been shot in the shoulder early on).
He had told me to stay with the 60mm group... I eventually disobeyed the order and went down to check on him.
Then the short round landed in the 60mm position.
March 25, 1969 - Another shot down towards the firefight.
March 25, 1969 - Napalm, the first ingredient to the time tested recipe of "Nape and Snake,"
Exploding to the center-left. To the lower-right is my RO Jerry Gellert with a front row seat.
Hill 1154 (our objective) is in the background.
March 25, 1969 - The second ingredient, a 250lbs. bomb ("Snake") on Hill 1154.
That afternoon (or early evening) when we tried to set up for the night, we got hit again.
I was with Cpt. Buse and Gy Sgt (?) setting up NDF's when the Gunny got hit and
Cpt. Buce caught a round between his helmet liner and wasn't fazed. I called in 81mm from Argonne.
We were then ordered up to Argonne. We packed up and humped up to Argonne in the dark.
Charlie Lamb on hill 1154 with an AK-47. In the background is Captain Buzz Buse. Unknown person at right.
The map above shows the movement of A/1/4 during Operation Purple Martin.
We were choppered from FSB Alpine to 692542 on 3/21 and then humped up to 669569
Where we spent the night of 3/24-25. The next day we headed down into the valley towards
The northeast and encountered many dug-in NVA.
The Argonne page states:
"At 0930 hours on 25 March, Alpha Co. received sniper fire and called in air strikes resulting in four enemy KIA."
I think we received a hell of a lot more than "sniper fire."
I believe the scout Sgt., who walked into machine gun fire and was killed instantly, would agree--but he isn't around to say so.
Much less about the daylong firefight that ensued. The west to east line was our path we took that evening
To get up to Argonne after being hit while trying to set up for the night of 3/25.
We made two trips to Hill 1154 before humping out back to FSB Alpine.
We went into Laos and found the 82mm mortar position that had been hitting Argonne.
The map above shows our route taken out of FSB Alpine to FSB Greene.
Alpine is to the lower center at coordinates 756530. We headed northeast
And then north/northwest thru the valley, eventualy ending up at FSB Greene at coordinates 758608.
There is a location marked 14 Jun 69 where we actually crossed our own path 2 months later
When we humped out of Neville (825576) on 11 June. At Greene we were assigned replacements
For those lost during Operation Purple Martin, including our new company Gy/Sgt.
One day I went out on a patrol and carried my own radio as my RO was not feeling well.
The patrol was long,up and down the ridge line, and hot. When we got back to Greene I took off my PRC-25,
Threw it to the ground and said something uncomplimentary about the Corps.
I heard this voice behind me, which made the hair on my neck stand up.
He was saying many uncomplimentary things about me. It was Gy/Sgt. George Olivar, my Senior Drill Instructor
At Parris Island--he had joined the company while I was out on patrol. I never again said a bad thing about the Corps.
OV-10 Bronco Air Controller spotter plane.
Shortly after April 11, 1969 - A Recon team being brought into FSB Greene after being extracted under fire.
We arrived at Green on April 10, 1969 to stand lines for "I" Btry., 3/12.
FSB Greene. This is the uppermost of three small hills that comprised the Fire Support Base.
A "Huey" landing at Greene.
Lower LZ at Greene.
A shot from Greene looking west.
Don McMahon (Arty RO) on Greene. We met up in Okinawa in August as we were both rotating.
He was a day or two ahead of me and couldn't leave base, so we went over the wire and into town
Where we got picked up by the SP. He kept giving them grief and paid for it. I said how sorry I was
And was released to go back to my barracks. I was picked up 15 minutes later
At the main gate (in the back of a taxi) and escorted to my barracks.
Bill Cline (Arty RO) and "Doc" Tony Delibrio (head corpsman) on Greene.
Bill now lives on the east end of Long Island.