Bruce Berg, my 1-1 on RT Mississippi [CCN July 1971], was carrying
those sawed off pirate pistol type M-79s on his web gear. We were taking an
incredible amount of ground fire on approach to our LZ. The whole valley
amazingly lit up like I'd never seen on any of my cross-border missions. It
was our first mission in SVN, and first time in the A Shau Valley.
Berg accidentally discharged his M-79, shooting himself in the leg.
happened while he was riding in the second Huey on approach to our LZ. Bruce
thought he'd been hit by ground fire, and stood up in the slick cussing and
shooting the finger at the NVA standing in the open and firing at us. The
Montagnards on the chopper with him thought he'd flipped out.
Anyway, I was on the ground when this happened, and already calling
extraction of my half of the team. We quickly recognized that we had the
resident NVA completely surrounded from the inside. I know that's not an
original concept, but it's a great description of the situation. To make a
short story even shorter, we were not able to conduct a proper recon of the
area but everybody made it back in one piece.
It wasn't until we returned to the launch site that Berg realized that the
unexploded HE round was still in his pant leg.
Bruce Berg was lost the following week in the same AO, when he went
in with a
heavy team (RT Kansas). His body was never recovered, and he was initially
listed as MIA. One version of that mission, as told by a team member who
survived, makes up the last chapter of Plaster's SOG book.