Today I received a gut wrenching story from Robert Cammann. Robert lived through hell on earth at LZ Ike. The 2/5 of the 1st Cav was on LZ Ike before the 2/8 of the 1st Cav. moved in. Robert’s story makes one wonder how any infantryman survived a year in Vietnam. I am publishing Robert’s story here just as he wrote it for me. There are names of men listed at the end of the story that I am certain Robert would love to hear from.
I was introduced to L/Z Ike on June 18th,1969 2 weeks after arriving in RVN.I had spent a week in the bush w/ D2/5, 1/6 & this was my 1st experience on any L/Z.I was to pull gaurd duty that nite w my sgt. so he could show me the ropes.I was to sleep next to him at one bunker but for some reason they moved me to another bunker.We pulled our shift(10-12) & he woke up the next shift & walked me back to my bunker. I crashed outside the bunker,don’t know how long & was awakened to the s—- hitting the fan. It was sheer bedlam shooting over the berm at anything & everything. It wasn’t long & there were gooks all over the place, inside the l/z, in our bunkers; in front of us behind us,everywhere. The place was lit up, explosions everywhere, fires all over, shooting all around. Then I saw some of our guys out in front running into the l/z. Our L/P’s were trying to get back inside, you had to make sure you weren’t firing up our own guys.We were litterally shooting eyeball to eyeball, shooting into our own bunkers. The big guns were firing point blank. Finally things tapered off. When daylight came, it was complete & total shock. I found out my sgt. was dead,shot where he slept. There were 14 dead gooks laying outside one bunker near the log road. We policed up 34 dead gooks. The rest of the day was spent filling sand bags & rebuilding everthing. That nite was spent on L/P out side the L/Z, gooks running all around us. I prayed they wouldn’t detect us. We were observing them all nite through the red eye. I guess they were probing & setting up for another attack, but it remained quiet that nite. Next day was sandbags,rebuilding, preparing for another hit. No one could sleep since the 1st nite; everyone was exhausted. That nite we took turns trying to sleep. I had just sat in the bunker doorway & bearly closed my eyes when all hell broke loose. Here we go again, but this was even more intense & severe. They litterally overran us. They were everywhere, in the bunkers,the big gun pits, the CP.I really thought we’d get completely overrun. I really don’t know how we repelled this attack but eventually the sun poked through. The devastation was unbelievable & indescribeable. Plt. 1/6 in those 3 days went from 37 guys to 7 guys. Me & stevs Brookshire had a week w/ D2/5, 1/6. LT. was gone, Plt. Sgt. was gone, it seemed like everyone was gone. Sgt. Mac was put in charge of what was left of 1/6. I didn’t have enough time to get to know any of the guys. I prayed that the rest of my tour wasn’t going to be like this. God Bless to all who were there.God Bless everyone. Within the next few days we started getting replacement troops. I have a few names I can sort of remember. Maybe some of you guys can help me out w/ some info: John Rauh(n.y.), Joe Brucculleri(n.y.),Larry Schmidt[Twiggy](n.y.),Bob Smith,Steve Brookshire[Hoss](Winston Salem,N.C.),Joe Czarnecki(Detroit?),Dave scherer,Walter Ken Saylor[Popeye](Detroit?),John Hines[Hiney](Mundelein,Ill.),Larry Whitehead[Running Bare](Poplar Bluff,Mo),John Tournet,Mike Spong,Dan Grailian,Orland Fasel,Terry Moynihan; My name is Robert Cammann[NEW YAWK]D2/5,Plt1/6,June3,1969-June3,1970RVN. I’d be more than happy to hear from any of my heroes. Luv you all!!! God Bless you all!!!!
Posted by Randall at 3/13/2011 7:52 AM
Categories: 1st Cavalry Airmobile, 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Cav, US Army, 2/5 1st Cav, Vietnam