MARINE CORPS TANKERS VIETNAM HISTORICAL Foundation's
Vietnam Personal Accounts
Submitted by Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds
In late 1967, we were stationed at a place called "Payable" on Route 9. We had 3 tanks left in the Platoon but had crews for at least 4. It was my turn to drive that day but Ron (Shuppy) wanted to drive. So we traded places and I stayed at Payable. Before they left, for some unknown reason, I threw a case of .45 ammo up on the tank fender near Shuppy.
As the tanks were headed toward Ca Lu, a few miles down the road they got hit by an enemy Claymore type mine. 1st Lt. Harris Himes, the Plt. Commander, had his head out of the TC hatch and got hit. Charlie Carson (the loader) was standing in the loaders hatch and got hit and had to medivac out. Shuppy, who was driving, had his head out of the drivers hatch. The case of ammo that was on the fender took the pellets that would have hit him, as a result he did not get hit.
Photos above show Highway 9 and mine damage to the tank, pellet holes in the track blocks, sponson box’s and damaged vision blocks. Red circles show location of .45 ammo box’s.
After the tanks returned I got one of the bullets from the shredded ammo case and kept it.
I have been looking for it for a few years to give it to Shuppy.
I found it a few days ago in a long forgotten old footlocker. I polished it up and would like to give it to him.
Itís got to be his "Good Luck Charm".
Editors Note:I remember this day well. I had been transferred to the 1st Platoon the day before from Camp Carroll and had been assigned as the platoon mechanic.
As with any new replacement it takes a while to fit in, or not. I was working my way through this process.
My Dad had recently sent me two bottles of whiskey from the states and I was saving them to use for a special occasion, or not. As it turned out I use the whiskey as an icebreaker with the rest of the platoon.
It didnít take long to go through those two bottles in Lt. Himesí bunker.
Within a couple of days the 1st Platoon was rotated back to Camp Carroll and I remained to join up with the 2nd Platoon.-Ed