Cacti War Stories


Edited by Wiley "Tiny" Dodd
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A Thanksgiving Remembrance

by Walt shields
November 1969

A Thanksgiving Remembrance from 1969

By walt shields

46 years ago tomorrow, two brave Cacti Blue soldiers were taken from us. Sp4 Jack Deeter and Sp4 Ronald Olson from A 2/35th Inf, 3rd platoon.

We were down south working out of Ban Me Thout over by the Cambodian border. Late morning and we were waiting for a re-supply bird to deliver more C-rations and bring out the mail. We were set up in the jungle by an open area for the bird to land when we got word that the bird is about five minutes out. The guys who were to secure the LZ were told to move out and set up the perimeter security.

I was in the CP talking to the medic about ten yards away from my radio when we started receiving RPG's and B-40 rockets then what seemed like all the small arms and machine gun fire in the world opened up. We returned fire and got the guns from B 2/9th FA up and firing.

When it was all over the bodies of Sp4 Deeter and Sp4 Olson were found. I thought they had been killed by either the rockets or gun fire but when I talked to the Plt Leader, Lt Don Evitts two years ago, he told me that they both were bayoneted and died from those wounds.

Their M-16's were both missing. We found one of the M-16's later when we were back up north around Pleiku. A sniper in a tree fired on us but a HE round from a M-79 put a halt to that and that's when we found the M-16.

I want to thank the members of A 2/35th Infantry for allowing me to travel with them and for taking care of me during my 7 months with them. I am honored to have known such great men.

Also I want to thank everyone from B 2/9th FA for their fire support. a special thanks to my brother Don Hardy with 2/9th. You guys never let us down Don. Thanks for being my brother.

So while you eat your Thanksgiving dinner, please remember some wonderful guys who never got to eat theirs again.

Walt Shields