Medics Cross training in Explosives
 

 
Ben the  plunderer writes..

Bong Son  1966 ...Central Highlands    A-227...Demo man .SP-4 Mike Berry asked  me to help, the  jr. Medic in the  camp to him blow a large  assortment  of  dud ammo , mainly 4.2  mortar  rounds  and  miscellaneous explosives  that he  had  assembled  in a  large pile  off beside  the  end  of  our  runway in Bong Son.  Being  a Medic I was  eager  to play with firecrackers and larger  explosives  and  cross train in explosives ....we drove our  large  duce  and  a  half over to the   bad ammo dump and  wrapped  det  chord  and  some  sticks  of  C-4 around everything  and  after looking  around  and  seeing  no one around  we  lit  a  5  min fuse and  jumped  into the  truck and  drove  about  200 yards  away and go out  and  hid  behind  the  heavy truck tires.........

We  watched  the  runway  and  the  pile  of  explosives  and  just waited for  things  to blow  when  Montagnard  farmer walked out  of  the  bushes  an started  walking across the  red dirt runway  carrying  a  huge stack of  Bamboo on his  back ....We yelled at him waving our  arms  , we  jumped  up and  down, we  fell on the  ground to demonstrate  our  demands.  , yelling Dung Li, and  tried  everything  to get his  attention....He  saw,  but continued  to  walk to the stack of dud ammo that was  about  to blow...
In desperation  I pulled  a  small useless 25. cal. Beretta out  of my pocket that I had  smuggled  into Vietnam in a  can of  pipe tobacco, and carefully tried  to kick up dust  in front  of  him ...at 200 yards a 25 cal. round  is  about as  accurate as a  closing  your  eyes and  throwing  a  rock....I emptied  the  magazine  kicking  up little  puffs  of  dust  across  the runway in front  of  him and  at last when he  was in the  center  of  the  runway and  perhaps 100 yd. from the dud stack of  ammo with the  fuse  burning and  close   to setting of  the  C-4 and  exploding everything  he  finally got the  idea  that we  trying  him to get him to lay down fast.

 As  soon as  he  hit  the ground  it  seemed  like  the  world  blew up!....Red dust and  rocks  were  falling  down  all over the  place The heavy smell of  cordite and acrid  smoke blew  in our  direction.  We  blew  the  windshield  out  of  the truck and  had  shrapnel everywhere was  sure  we  had  probably killed  the  hapless farmer.

.Suddenly ....The  farmer  got  up with his  tied  bamboo and  continued  his  journey  across  the  runway as  if  nothing  happened...Mike  looked  at me and  asked..."Do you suppose  we  used  to much explosive to blow up all of  that stuffs ?" I looked  at him...and said..."Nope! It  looks  like  we  blew  things  up real nice."..We  drove  back to camp and  got  out  of  the truck  parked  near  the  other trucks  in the  compound  and  went  and  had  a  beer  in the  team house  as  we agreed to  change our  story and say ..naa we  used  a  different  truck...What  happened  to that other one ?.