POL Explosion

by David Dobson
483rd SPS, Cam Ranh Bay AB
2/70 ' 2/71

I was SAT team leader for Whiskey Delta and had been since April. During that time I had set up a routine of making random checks off the area and stationing my team at a central location, which was in the area of Oscar 41. I was setting in the Jeep facing south and talking about my R&R that was to start in three weeks. We were relaxed, waiting for the next three hours to pass so we to get off.
I don't know which came first: the sound of the explosion and the fire ball, or the radio transmission indicating Charlie was spotted in the area. We all sat there for a moment starring at the huge ball of fire. The fire looked so hot we thought that we could feel heat at this great a distance. We then proceeded to make, a check of all posts in the Delta area and make a sweep of the area. Every time we came into a clearing we could see the fire. Over the radio we heard the action of people trying to clear the area. There was a lot of traffic on the radio some even sounded confusing, and when this happened the calm, deep, gravely voice called our flight chief, MSgt Jim Worsham, would come in and take charge calming people down. It gave us the feeling that someone was taking care of what needed to be done to clear the area.
We all joked nervously in order to cover our fear as we drove through narrow roads through this dense under growth of thick vegetation. Every shadow seemed to cover a potential danger. As we continually patrolled the area watching out for Charlie we listened to the action on the radio. Time seemed to crawl by as we waited for dawn.
I agree with Doug that--sometimes it seems like yesterday.

 Reprinted from VSPA Guardmount - Jan 1999

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