Rocket Barrage on VCB, December 24, 1968

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Rocket Barrage on VCB, December 24, 1968

Postby donald » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:49 pm

The company had been standing lines at VCB for most of December. My squad was on line above Task Force Hotel, on the west side of the base. From that position we could see the entire base.
We were in the squad leaders bunker playing back-alley with two decks of cards when the first two rounds of 122's were fired. . I was holding my hand of cards with my back to the entrance. I turned, saw the rockets arc up high in the sky, their fuel burned out, then I watched them free fall, one went short and one long. I watched them hit the ground and explode.
The four of us in the fire-team, calmly walked down to the next bunker, put on our flack gear and walked back back up to finish the game. In a few minutes the barrage started.
The rockets were fired in ten round volleys, I counted them each time and watched them free fall on to the base. There were at least 350 rounds fired. I watched them all hit their targets.
The battalion area was full of Marines. They scattered like ants, trying to find cover.
There were eight helicopters at the refueling LZ, they were hovering at full rev. There were two forty thousand gallon fuel bladders, one was hit and blew up in a big ball of fire. The choppers took of in all directions, two collided and crashed on the runway the rest got away.
KARUMPRUMPRUMPRUMP... It went on for at least 5 to 8 minutes.
I saw a 6 by (two and a half ton truck) driving up a road to battalion area get hit just in front by a few feet. The explosion picked the vehicle up, flipped it backwards in a slow motion summersault, throwing of the riders as it went. I saw a jeep with four riders get a direct hit. Rockets went through the roof of troop tents, explode on the ground and popped the tents like balloons.
It was spectacular. I sat there with my mouth open as it went on.
When it finally ended we had an unobstructed view of the carnage. Since we were on lines there was nothing we could do to help so we just went back to playing cards and drinking beer.
I think this attack set the mood for our action in the Ah Shaw and 1175. It was the beginning.
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