Email I recieved from Larry Reid on May 3, 2012 in response to Muddy Jungle Rivers:
You don’t know how much your book meant to me Wendell!
I don’t remember everything that happened that day. At Spec 4 (E-4) I was the ranking man with the most time in combat left in 3rd platoon, Co. D, 4/47th Inf Bn, 2nd Bde, 9th Inf Div. I had 3 others with me. One of them was named Gene Fountaine. I was in touch with him for a while but haven’t heard from him in years now. The 4 of us were assigned to 2nd platoon for the rest of that operation. I was only lightly wounded and finished the operation. Third platoon was wiped out that day.
Another soldier who was in the well deck was Stafford Cowles. He helped to kick some of those burning ammo and grenade cases over the side. I am still in touch with him but he moved to Guatemala last year. He was wounded pretty bad that day and choppered out. The Latino you mentioned using a bunk may have been Hector Lugo-Mojica. He was KIA and here is the link to his name on The Wall: http://vvmf.org/thewall/Wall_Id_No=31542
Be sure to click on the remembrance I left for him at the bottom of the page.
Your book confirmed some things that I remembered but could not confirm. One was that I thought I saw a medevac chopper shot down. Thank you for letting me know that I didn’t imagine that. Another was about the hook not letting the ramp down. I sat at the front of the ATC at one point when we were beached to discourage Charlie from tossing grenades or firing another RPG. It was hell for all of us that day.
I have more details I would like to share and some questions to ask. I was the 3rd platoon RTO and should have known the name of the black sergeant who took over the empty .50 cal turret, but I cannot think of it. I still have my orders awarding me the Purple Heart…maybe his name is on there. I will look for my Vietnam storage box.
I look forward to continuing our conversation. I am very glad you survived that day. The “official” records say that we only lost 4 people, but I doubt their KIA count and would like to find out how many more died of wounds within a few days of 8/18/1968 from that ambush.
It is an honor to be in touch with you.
I find it incredible how today’s technology is capable of connecting strangers, across time and distance, who shared a common experience four decades in the past. I hope to hear from others.