MARINE CORPS TANKERS VIETNAM HISTORICAL Foundation's

Vietnam Personal Accounts

The Medal

 

by Art Allen

Bravo Co., 1st Tank Bn., 1965/1966

 

The 3rd Herd from "B" Co., 1st Tanks was operating south of Chu Lai in 1965 during Operation Hastings. We were headed south to form a blocking force and had to cross a small bridge over a small creek.

We knew it wouldn't hold the weight so, the Amtraks and tanks had to use the bypass.

Charlie Waggle was T.C. of B32 and I had B34. Bravo 31 went through the water which was road wheel high. Waggle followed and got stuck. I told my driver L/Cpl. Kuzek to get close to the bridge where no other vehicles had gone. The rest of the tanks followed by lead and we waited on the other side for Waggle to get B32 out.

We were able to proceed to our positions and serve as blockers for the operation. Afterwards we headed back toward Chu Lai and had to go the same route. As I got to the bridge Charlie Waggle and B32 was struck in the same spot. This time the Vietnam mud was too much! We tried with two tanks to pull him out and then added a third. After this failed, we did it the old fashioned way with shovels by digging around the hull and tracks. This finally freed him.

Upon arriving at the base camp at Chu Lai the tankers decided to have some fun. They ripped open a cigar box and painted the picture of a "stuck tank" on it and wrote "Stuck Medal, For Getting Stuck Twice In The Same Place" They placed a string on the "Stuck Medal" and when Waggle came into the tent they placed it around his neck and we all took pictures. 

At first Waggle was really mad but, he calmed down and placed it in his footlocker.