15 Jan 68
Night's Sleep on a Mine
TAM KY, VIETNAM (IO) - When an
infantryman is tired he can sleep just about anywhere. For 1st Lt. Roger
Ladd of Modesto, Calif., this included sleeping on top of a
"bouncing betty" mine. It wasn't until the next afternoon that
his dangerous bed was discovered.
Ladd's platoon, the
reconnaissance platoon of the 1st Bn. 35th Inf., 4th Div., had been
operating as a blocking force the first day and found a good night
location, an LZ that they considered to be safe.
They used the normal precaution
in checking the area and then began to set up for the night. Ladd laid
out his gear, inflated his air mattress and settled it on the mine. It
Nor did it detonate the next
morning when the platoon moved out. The mine went
undiscovered until the platoon
Ladd went back to his sleeping
area, not realizing how much his luck had already been pushed. But this
time, as he laid down his rucksack, he noticed the mine's characteristic
three prongs. Some of the camouflage had been knocked away.
The mine was detonated in place
and Ladd spent the night in that very spot because, as he put it,
"It was the one spot around here I knew was safe!"