War Stories

Bob Guin My Friend

by Jim Doc Hall

Bravo 2/35th

Submitted by: Jim Doc Hall

On or about 15 May 1970 Bravo Co (or at least 1st platoon of B Co.) began some of the easiest duty that we ever experienced in Vietnam. We were fresh back out of Cambodia (The extraction and Chinook crash took place on 13 May). As I understand it the 2/35th was pulled out of Cambodia rather quickly because of fears of increased enemy activity around Camp Radcliff in An Khe.

We were assigned the duty of guarding an engineering unit that was clearing a larger perimeter around Camp Radcliff. We took our positions outside the wire (200 -300 yards out from the perimeter) while bulldozers skimmed the low brush out.

It really seemed to be pretty safe duty and we were all very relaxed. We got a lot of books read and cards played while we sat out there and there was ample time to just shoot the shit. There were hot meals at lunch. It was great duty. Altogether we probably pulled this guard for 4 or 5 days.

One day my pal Guinn (Bob Guinn) and I were just sitting around. Guinn was trying to tell me some story. He talked a lot with his hands and was always enthusiastic (and funny) about his stories. He'd gotten a good bit into the story when a small bee began buzzing his head. He'd start wailing away with his hands at the bee and had to stop the story to concentrate on this.

Soon he'd chase the bee away but forgot where he was in the story and had to start over again. As he got into the story again here came the bee and he'd start the whole process over again. This went on for quite a while and I got to laughing at him for all of his antics. I kept telling him that it was just a little bee and wouldn't bother him if he left it alone. But it was no use; he'd start the story, swat at the bee, stop the story and then start over again. I sat there rolling in laughter.

Finally just as he almost got the story finished the bee came straight at me and stung me alongside my eye. Half my face immediately swelled to about twice the normal size. Then the shoe was on the other foot. Guinn laughed till he cried. I have a cherished picture of Guinn and I back at camp. He is pointing and laughing at my swollen face. Guinn was killed about 2 weeks later on June 4, 1970.