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

10 thoughts on “LZ IKE: HELL ON EARTH”

  1. 7/10/2011 9:00 PM Dan Cooper wrote:
    L.Z. Ike, I was with A 1/77th Arty on the night of this attack. We shot everything we had and were down to a few Bee Hive rounds in the morning. Cobra Gun ships were in a shoot out with 3-50 Cal machine guns a couple hundred yards out. I recall three attacks during the time I was there. We also shot every thing we had when Carolyn was attacked. Robert was right on with his story. (4-69 to 6-70 )

  2. 7/24/2011 6:49 PM Mike Donnally wrote:
    I was in Echo Co. 2/5 in the motar pits both nights and I agree. Those were probably the scariest nights of my life, bar none. NVA everywhere….lost alot of friends those nights.

  3. 3/31/2012 6:49 PM bill routhier wrote:
    Thanks for experiences. I was with c25 from feb. 69 to oct.69. Our co. built LZ Ike. I am quite fond of my memories as you no doubt are too. We humped in to Ike after one of the fights you had. I remember passing a few dead NVA on the way in. C-conpany had a bad fight on the LZ Nov. with many NVA dead. I left the field 2 weaks earlier and missed that fight but shared in to many others. Onlt by being there can one know. Still hard to live with. Thanks you guys. Check out tallcomanchee.org

  4. 4/28/2013 2:34 AM James Wiloughby wrote:
    I was on IKE in 68 and 69. I was a Blackhat ( pathfinder) I went into the field with the 2/5. Would like to hear from any old friends. jymbo47@aol.com.

  5. I have memories of LZ Ike. I was with A Battery !st 77th. I was section chief of FDC.The night of the attack there was a report of fighting in Tay Ninh City. We weren’t far from there.
    About midnight I was awakened by rocket and mortar fire. It was like the 4th of July. Our sleeping quarters were behind the FDC building. While putting on my pants there was an explosion in the hootch behind me. An RPG shell had hit the wall and blown a hole in it. No injuries. I got to FDC and there was hole blown in the wall. No injuries. From that point it was total noise and chaos.Our guns were firing self-illumination. We had Puff the Magic Dragon dropping flares and firing the minigun. It was like daytime. You could see flares and claymore mine going off around the perimeter. Fdc was in contact with blackhats to insure no guns fired at choppers.The Cobras were on station immediately. They were there the entire night. We were blessed to have their support.The infantry company(Perimeter defense) fought bravely as did the men in our battery. Some of the names i remember – Jerry Bennett(best buddy) – Bill Bliss -Terry “Red Bean – Craig Welder. Age and time have a way of dulling the memories. The morning after brought some calm. The assessment was a group of 500 or so NVA troops attacked. We had about 180 troops on the LZ. Outside the periimeter was a sea of dead bodies. Apicture i won’t forget

  6. New Yawk, this is Greg Miller. I joined 1/6 in mid July and we were in the same squad. John Rauh was squad leader, Brookshire was carrying the 60 and Twiggs and I were switching off walking point. I think John left and Bruce Giese ( goose ) became squad leader. Lt Brace was our platoon leader. I don’t know if you were still there on Oct 20th 1969 when we were ambushed. That’s the last time I saw Goose and Sgt Mac, both wounded. I remember Popye, Grailian and “logpad Larry”. Im still in touch with Twiggy. Greg Miller, San Diego. “killer miller”

    1. Goose is my 1st cousin. Yes, he almost lost his leg from that night of October 20. He already had earned a Bronze Star and Silver Star and Purple Heart before that night.

      1. John, I would welcome contact with Goose. I believe he was from Newport Beach and have tried to look him up in past years without success. Oct 20 was a terrible day for 1/6 platoon. I have a home movie that I took with an 8mm camera of our squad and LZ Ike that he might like to see.

  7. My Dad served 1st cav, D co. 2nd. Bat/5th reg. He mentioned arriving at Ike about June 6, 1968. His name is Dick Pennington, he’s from WV, and walked Pointman, recieved 2 purple hearts. More details of his time there and any information leading to finding people who knew him or friends would be great. He has mentioned a name of a Sgt. Prejean, not sure of thats the correct spelling, Prejean was from California.

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