War Stories

3 How I Got to Be Acting platoon Leader

by Dwight F Davis

How I Got To Be Acting Platoon Leader

by Dwight F. Davis

Once we got around the Pungi Stakes and to the top of the mountain, we headed out on the trail that ran the entire length of the ridgeline. Generally, walking on trails is a bad idea because it sets you up for ambush, however, in this case there was really no option because the sides of the ridgeline were so steep. We humped this trail for about a kilometer when the LT caused his own demise. I was walking second man back from the point man. We came to a vine which went across the trail. The point man bent down and scooted under it as did the slack man and me. My LT, however, had a different approach. He pulled out his hunting knife and hacked on the vine. It turned out the vine was part of a pig trap. When the LT yanked on it a spear about four feet long came swooshing out of the bushes and lodged in the cheek of his buttocks at least an inch deep. There he was standing there holding the spear still stuck in his butt and we were on the ground laughing ourselves silly. He pulled the spear out and the medic looked at the wound. It was fairly substantial, at least an inch deep, about a half inch across and bleeding profusely. The medic wrapped a field bandage around it and we called the company commander to report our circumstance. A short while later a medivac bird came over. This time it was able to almost land on the ridgeline so we just hoisted the LT inside. This was one of three times when I was the acting platoon leader.