POL Attack!
Cam Ranh Bay AB Air Base

483rd Security Police Squadron
© 1999 by Janke, Steve

483rd SPS, Cam Ranh Bay AB - 483rd SPS, Cam Ranh Bay AB - On May 23, 1971 I went to my assigned Kilo post #6 along with my friend George Reavis and a new fella we called Ski. We quartered our post and took our positions. George and I were next to each other and walked between our posts to talk. These posts were about 150 yards out in front of the POL tanks in a cleared area just in front of an open wood line.

We had just received our new orders that day and were excited about going home in a few months. The new man, Ski, came over and said he had an alert and were we walking around in the woods a few minutes ago. New guys always have animal alerts was our thoughts. Reavis and Ski started walking down Kilo 5's post, I followed. George left his web belt with ammo on the ground but had one clip in his weapon. Soon all 3 dogs hit an alert as we entered the woods and shots rang out as we were taking small arms fire. I was yelling for George to get down when a suitcase-satchel was thrown at us. Before it hit the ground it exploded.

Silhouetted by lights at our back I stood to fire at the muzzle flashes only to find my weapon is jammed. A second satchel charge is thrown at our direction and my dog Kobuc starts pulling me toward my post up a small hill. I followed him and at the top of the hill see about eight enemy soldiers coming toward us. I could not get through on the radio so I called in on law enforcement frequency. They were surprised to hear from me. It is at this
point I see my first sapper up close. He looked younger than me. With the lights in his face I put him in my sites. Do I give away my position by firing... am I in someone's sites also... do they have grenades? A lot of things were going through my mind. As I looked at him he spotted me and jumped behind some bushes. I immediately fired three rounds into the bushes and then heard a volley of gunfire going over me into the woods as our men
were firing at movement.

A helicopter came in and opened fire into the woods. He put a spotlight on me and Kobuc. I said a prayer and made sure he saw the dog. George and Ski had pulled back already and I had thrown my radio away in anger when talking to an officer on it who asked if I was sure it wasn't some animal out there. After being pinned by "Friendly Fire" for a while, I was able to be identified by the chopper and to pull back.

As we were sweeping the tanks out past the woods in the direction of the Army POL area, the sky lit up. This sapper squad, or a similar team, had hit them also. We are feeling kind of lucky when Cam Ranh starts taking rockets---not your average night here at Cam Ranh. The next day an enemy camp site was found not far away with a stash of weapons, and some swim gear. There was also a pool of blood found in the bushes I pointed out.
Notice I said pointed---couldn't get me in those woods so soon.

The Air Force wanted my lost radio, which is actually why I was there. And yes, we found it. It seems just when you felt safe stuff happened to straighten out your thinking. I didn't feel short for sometime. I also want to thank Eugene Blaskowski, the "New Guy", for probably saving our lives and others: Wherever you are Ski, thanks! I also want you to know about Sgt Steve Keife who responded with another K-9 team to give me cover-fire so I could pull back. Sgt Keife was with Billy Klinger and his dog, Bingo. We called him Skull and he always carried a shotgun. He served two tours and we always felt safeer knowing he was around.

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