Cacti War Stories


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Luck of the Stupid

by Art Hughes
1967

Luck of the Stupid
By Art Hughes


This is a story you might appreciate or not.

I got shot in my hip just outside Duc Pho in August 67 on my 21st birthday.

I had had a lot of plans for my 21st birthday but none involved getting half my ass blowed off by an AK 47 or being medivaced.

I got out of the hospital in Cam Rahn bay and went back to Duc Pho to my company area and every thing was gone tents, people, and everything The whole 35th infantry was gone, just empty space left,
somebody said they had moved to Chu Lai.

I was walking back to the airstrip when a deuce and half driver recognized me. He was my company's supply driver and he was taking the truck loaded with some of my company's stuff to the air strip. He picked me up and we drove to the strip.

He backed the truck onto a c130 then hopped off and said "see you later" and went down the ramp.

The Load Master hooked every thing down and we took off I'm still sitting in the truck. There was no top and the windshield was folded down. It's a weird feeling, sitting in a truck backwards in an airplane taking off.

The Load Master opened the passenger door and got in I scooted over behind the wheel there was a speaker just over our heads and music started and cold air came out a vent and poured over us.

He pulled out a pipe and lit it, took a big puff and handed it to me it was full of dope and we sat there got stoned, listened to music, and enjoyed the cold air for I don't know how long.

The plane was landing at Chu Lai I was still sitting backward in the truck, kicked back feet on the windshield listening to the beach boys doing good vibrations.

Landing in a airplane sitting backwards in a deuce and a half truck stoned, is an even weirder feeling than taking off sitting backwards in a deuce and half truck not stoned.

The plane stopped and the loadmaster unhooked it and dropped the ramp and yelled at me to bring it out. I'm more than loaded and had never driven a deuce and half. I got it out and we're down strip at Chu Lai. Off to the right side of the runway a was plane's taxiing down a dirt road next to the strip and the Crewchief is waving goodbye to me

I didn't know what to do and after waiting a while and still not knowing what to do. I spotted the terminal and made for it by cutting STRAIGHT ACROSS BOTH RUNWAYS!

A marine jet fighter was taking off but the pilot stopped the plane 50 feet from the truck. He opened the canopy and stood up and started screaming at me and pointing to the left as I drove right in front of him and to the left and to the terminal.

I couldn't hear him but he really looked pissed! No one else seemed to notice anything.

There was another guy there from my company to pick up the truck. It was a few years later that I realized what had actually happened there. Luck of the stupid I guess, cause my time in the field was just as stupid.