Wednesday, October 12, 2011
October 12, 1969...Nha Trang Rocket Attack
It said "Nha Trang AB, 0550 hours, Rocket Attack, 3 Rockets, No Injuries, No Damage" Or something like that...I remember that morning well. I and the rest of A Flight Law Enforcement with the 14th Security Police Squadron, usually woke up, showered and dressed in no particular order, and we at Guardmount, and on duty sometime before 8am...truth is, 42 years later I don't remember the exact time our shift got underway. But I do remember that morning.
That morning however, just before dawn I, and the rest of our concrete barracks, were awakened by the sound, all too close, of something hitting the base. As it turned out the radar or TUOC Building next to the barracks was hit, as was the outdoor movie theater, located right across the street. We were out and about pretty quickly, and our Law Enforcement duties began a couple hours early. As for the "No Injuries, No Damage" line...maybe no injuries, but I can attest that there was damage...and pieces of the rocket, called shrapnel lying around...I grabbed a couple of pieces, put them in my foot locker, and still have them today...along with a few other pieces of memorabilia.
There were only a few of us, maybe a dozen, working A Flight Law Enforcement....the late Phil Lange was our NCOIC, as for the rest...I have contact with at least a half dozen, and three of us got together last week at the VSPA Reunion in Dayton....Harry Bevan, Tony Niemotka, and PRH....it brought memories flooding back, as did the mention of the rocket attack that occurred 42 years ago today.
Photos-from Harry's Collection from the VSPA Reunion....left to right: Harry Bevan, Pat Houseworth(PRH), and Tony Niemotka, all three of us worked A Flight Law Enforcement and we in the barracks when the rocket hit....a piece of Shrapnel from the rocket attack at Nha Trang 42 years ago today...and the Base Outdoor Theater, right across the street from our living quarters...it, along with the Radio/Radar TUOC Building both took direct hits.