Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 50 years ago)

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Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 50 years ago)

Postby Moring » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:57 pm

Hill 37 was no Battle Of Hue City, Siege Of Khe Sanh, or Con Thien. It was no Operation Hickory, or Kingfisher. It never made the headlines, nor mention in Newsweek, or Times Magazines, and was small in comparison to many of the battles raging at that time, during the TET of 68. But for those of us who fought there that day,(Feb/2/68- Groundhog's Day) it will have an ever lasting memory in our minds. The loss of Brothers, and severely wounded, the acts of courage from all, and extreme acts of bravery rewarded as well. It was no San Juan Hill, but when the Captain shouted out " Fall into two columns, lock, and load" and with his .45 in hand, and signal of double time, we charged up, not knowing what awaited us at top, but we charged up just as proud, and gallant as if Ol' Chesty himself would have been leading us. After taking the Hill, and holding it for over a month, with much less then a full company, and having a full North Vietnamese Army Division, in the mountains, just across the Cam Lo River from us. We were subjected to enemy assaults, and probes, constant artillery, mortar, and rocket barrages, adding again to our loses of friends, and fellow marines. But knew that we had established an outpost on Hill 37, and also to keep open RT 9 for convoys coming from Dong Ha with vital supplies and artillery rounds for the US Army's Big 175s at Camp Carroll, which were not only providing fire support for us around Camp Carroll, but also for the marines and others that were under siege at Khe Sanh. By mid March, we were relieved, and we returned to Camp Carroll. By the last part of March, I left Camp Carroll to head back to the States. As the convoy left Camp Carroll, and turned onto RT 9, heading for Dong Ha, it passed Hill 37, and surrounding area. All had been upgraded, and fortified. Now instead of a charge of Marines up the hill, was now replaced by a bulldozer, widening the road leading up. Instead of makeshift bunkers built into the ramparts, there were now steel reinforced framing and several layers of sand-bags, and rather then three fragmented platoons making up a company, there were many reinforcements above, and below the Hill. It all looked much different then the day we first fought for it, and held it for so long with only a small company of marines. Shortly the convoy crossed the small bridge near Hill 37, that we had also held along with the Hill. As we passed over the small bridge, and into Cam Lo, I only looked Homeward.

SF
Alva
Echo Co 3rd Plt.
3/67-3/68
Last edited by Moring on Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby John Foster » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:43 pm

That was a great synopsis of the events that took place 42 years ago. I hope you don't mind me plaguerizing you. I copied it and posted it on the Vietnam forum of Together We Served. naturally I credited you as the author.
Welcome Home and Semper Fi
John Foster on point
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby beeman » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:48 pm

Who can forget,only those not there. Semper Fi Jerry
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby AK48 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:34 am

Hey Alva, Well written. I was in 2nd Platoon, you must have been 1st or 3rd. Hill 37 was a minor fight in the big picture, but it was important. Hill 37 was the first high ground on Route 9 inland from the ocean and Dong Ha. That's why they kept messing with us, everybody wanted to control our supply route. After Feb 2 there were endless weeks of daytime shelling and minesweeps, night -time probes and 2-man LPs. And it was cold, and it was wet, and the North wind blew. Probably after you rotated we spent a few days on Hill 37. Someone else had built new bunkers with overhead cover downhill from the shallow holes we had lived in. It was sunny , warm, no contact. Then we moved on. Semper Fi, Allyn
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby Moring » Thu Feb 04, 2010 12:39 am

Hello John
NO problem, glade you liked it.

Alva
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby willie » Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:56 pm

Alva,
Well written, heart felt post..Your right about some operations getting very little recognition. Who knows why that is.
The thing that stood out in my mind as I read your words is that you were a short timer in Feb of 68. Your emotions must have been running pretty high then.
That was your exit out of Nam. I'm sure you remember our boat ride in to Danang in 67. After we get on land we eventually get on that convoy heading north to Hue City. Just south of Hue we get ambushed, get out of the 6X's and set up a little perimiter, the LT and his driver hit that road mine..All this our state side utilities no less.
We get to HQ and check in and start filling sand bags. Later that day somebody came around and said, we need one man from your fireteam for an LP tonight.. I'm thinking, WTF have I got myself into..
One good thing that came out of that hell hole was your friendship, which I will always be grateful for..
S/F
Willie
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby Moring » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:44 pm

True Willie, I was pretty short by that time. And it got pretty spooky, not just on the Hill, but when we would guard the little bridge, and creek on Rt 9, especially at night. But during that time, I also felt a sense of comfort being around LT Carson. I was his Plt Messenger at that time. Like many others on the board here, I felt a great respect for the LT. He was an outstanding, and brave officer.
And, I do remember our little boat ride over to Nam. Boy! like most others, we didn't know what in the Hell we got into, did we? But we did the best we could, and what we could to survive.
Hill 37 was my last op, and that is probably another reason it is so vivid in my memory. But many of the earlier ops, we were on, are also very clear in my mind.

SF
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby tomfen » Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Alva,

I'm having trouble getting a fix on the Hill 37 location. I'm guessing, somewhere between Cam Lo and 'Mike's' Hill, north side of Rt 9??
Tom F, Fox, 10/67--11/68
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby Moring » Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:44 pm

Hello Tom
Like AK48 had stated in his post " First High Ground On RT 9".
Hill 37 was the first hill on north-side of RT 9, as you were going west(into mountains) from Cam Lo. I believe Mike's Hill was just west of Hill 37.
Hope that helps

SF
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby Moring » Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:46 pm

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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 42 years ago)

Postby Moring » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:26 am

Feb/2/1968
In Remembrance of Hill 37, Forty Four years ago.

Simper Fi
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 44 years ago)

Postby beeman » Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:23 am

How can we ever forget. I will never for sure. For I was with Capt. Sam when went up that nite.I will never forget today either.Feb. 5th. I was on the north lp when the front got hit. We lost 5 marines that nite. Semper Fi Jerry.
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 45 years ago)

Postby Moring » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:50 pm

We'll never forget'

Semper Fi
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 45 years ago)

Postby beeman » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:42 pm

Sempr Fi..........
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Re: Steep Price, for a Small Hill ( Hill 37- 45 years ago)

Postby AK48 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 10:43 pm

The media calls it groundhog day, we don't. However , a pal who was 173rd Airborn told me he got real tired of living like a groundhog. That sounds like life on Hill 37. SF, AK.
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