Photo: Ken de Russy in SP Tower.
Thank you so much for keeping me included in the goings on. I am attaching both "MP3" files of an RPG that almost got me, up at Ban Me Thuot. I routinely had my Sony cassette recorder with me and had it at the ready when we first heard 82MM mortar rounds leaving the tubes. I started the recorder and after the first half dozen rounds had impacted and about three minutes into the attack I saw the flash of the RPG leaving the launcher from about 100 meters away and just outside the fenceline. My eyes focused on that round as it seemed to come straight at my position in the highest tower at Camp Coryell. (Photo: self portrait was taken in that tower.)
The shooter's elevation was perfect but maybe he didn't compensate for the slight crosswind. It passed us at eye level about 30 feet away and continued another 100 meters or so and impacted harmlessly in the dirt. The recording is amazing not only because you can hear the rocket motor for its entire flight but you can even hear it leave the launcher. I wonder if the guy that fired it made it through the war to experience a good life as I have. I hope so.
I have never been willing to share the entire audio recording. I'm not sure why or why I am now sharing this tiny bit with you (if someone wants a copy, refer them to my above email).
When the current terrorist war broke out I was happy even somewhat optimistic to see that the troops nowadays have far superior equipment, tactics and training as compared to the primitive quality of what we had. I was feeling pretty good at the start of the war that these guys were far better protected. Lately I just feel like crap to realize that our guys are just as vulnerable to the same things that nearly took my life; 82MM mortars, RPGs, AK-47s, and booby traps. So much for 35+ years of improvements!
Good luck and give my best to my brothers!
Ken de Russy
31 SPS Tuy Hoa Air Base Jun 69 - Jun 70
TDY Det 9, 619 TCS Camp Coryell, Ban Me Thuot