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Back to Qui Nhon - On to An Khe - D Company, 40th Signal Battalion

This is my fifth article on my Vietnam experience.

The first day back from splicing school I was sent to An Khe. I was getting my area squared away in the barracks when SSG Lance Holland said he needed to send someone to An Khe. I asked to go and was told to pack up and go in a few minutes. I am not sure to this day why I volunteered to go but I did. I did not know what An Khe was or where it was. This move sounded like an adventure.

I remember leaving the unit in a drizzle. I climbed into the back of a covered ton truck and off we went. We sped up the notorious An Khe pass and proceeded on to Camp Radcliffe. When we finally arrived at the 40th Signal, D Company cantonment area the driver pointed out where I would be living. It was dark and I could see no barracks lights. I soon discovered that I would be living in a GP medium tent.

I walked into the tent and received a nice welcome from Joe M. the section leader. Joe was a SP/4 from Illinois and a former civilian cable splicer. Joe was one of the finest leaders I have ever met, he was well worthy of a direct commission. Anyway Joe handed me a can of beer and introduced me around to the guys in the section. He had a bunk ready for me with a mosquito net in place. Some of the guys in the section as I remember them were as follows: (please overlook my name spelling, its been a long time.)

Ray Fliger (aka to me as Folger) from Chicago

Jordan from K.C.

Johnson Ard, our La. Cajun.

Tom Lennon from NYC, Brooklyn, I think.

Lt. Eugene Sales to be replaced by Lt. Davis from Wisconsin.

Ken Hobson, our fine mechanic (I have been in contact with Ken)

I came on board the An Khe project in its final months. This was probably the finest cable plant installation in Vietnam. At the time I was in An Khe it was the headquarters for the 1st Air Cav. You that were there at the time will not doubt remember the 1st Cav patch on the topside of Hong Cong Mountain. The Cav eventually moved out and the 173rd Abn. Moved in and removed the Cav patch. If you know different let me know. I flew over Camp Radcliffe in 1972 and the place was a ghost town. We landed at the An Khe airfield and dropped off some supplies and got out of there. The placed just seemed eerie.

The best time I spent in the 40th Signal Battalion was my short stint in An Khe. I would have liked to spend my whole tour in An Khe as we had a great leader and were away from the company. Since the project was completed we had to move back to Qui Nhon to finish that cable project. In late October 1967 I found myself heading back to the company area in Qui Nhon. More later, thanks for stopping by.

Dr. Mike Copper retired from the U.S. Army in 1994. Dr. Copper has a Master's Degree in Data Communications and a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems. Dr. Copper currently lives in Delray Beach, Florida. He can be reached at mcopper@bellsouth.net

Source: www.articledashboard.com