Smelling Like A Rose

by Bruce H. Buckelew
483rd SPS
Cam Ranh Bay AB, 1970 -1971

http://www.vspa.comI was off-duty in a bunk at the time of the attack and the strangest thing happened. We all got up and knew something was wrong--even though the explosions had not occurred and "Giant Voice" wasn't even activated. Then all hell broke loose. We heard explosions and saw a giant fire ball. Since all the security vehicles were in use we grabbed weapons from the conex box setup for that purpose and boarded a bus. I thought at the time how ironic it was to be going into a possible fire fight by the school bus and Air Force blue. We ended up in the base dump as a blocking force and you know our mamasans let us know about the smell the next day. I did not hear that the airman on duty in the pump house ran out of it during the first explosion and right into a VC carrying a satchel charge. Not having a weapon he exercised the better part of valor and ran back into the pump house followed by a satchel charge. It was a stroke of luck he was not killed. But the exception of one airman, the POL tanks themselves, the news service reporting that the base had been overrun (scaring the hell out of loved ones) we all came out "Smelling Like A Rose".

 Reprinted from VSPA Guardmount - J an 1999 We Take Care of Our Own
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