!!! Warning --
Sections in Red Italics Contain Graphic Stories of Combat -- Warning !!!

Stories read well even without these sections.

SUICIDE  !!!   Combat Deaths still happening forty years later.  The hidden enemy  !!! SUICIDE!!!

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Click on the Purple Heart to visit the Wounded Warrior Project Website.

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Memories of an Infantry Small Unit Commander in Viet Nam, with B/1/8 and D/1/8, 4th Infantry Division, AUG 1968 - MAR 1970.

Here you will experience life among the Grunts, who slept in the mud of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on the Cambodia/Laos Border.  There are stories of unsung heroes, bravery, regrets, and haunting mistakes.  I was a Platoon Leader, Executive Officer, Headquarters Commander in base camp, and a Company Commander in the field.  Come along as I recall courage, death, anger, fear, sadness, and red Pleiku mud.  Arriving a Second Lieutenant and leaving a Captain after two consecutive tours, nearly destroyed me psychologically.  Go on to the 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages to get the full story.

Me in the dust of Pleiku

Ivy Leaf Shoulder Patch
the 4th Infantry Division

  Click here for more info on patch symbolism

Bullets was the nickname
 of 1/8th Infantry. We wore a bullet in the camouflage band of our steel pots, a sign we did not intend to be captured alive!

Above - Me as XO of B/1/8 on run from Dak To to Pleiku during the dusty dry season.
Below - Bathing in a stream at Polei Kleng, just minutes before a mortar attack and my departure to join Task Force Alpha.

Dam's Photo 

"Thou Shalt Not Kill."

Someone I deeply regret KILLING, was a young NVA Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm.

This photo of Dam is on an Altar in his family's home. To view other Personal Documents carried by this heroic Medic, the story of our deadly encounter, and the impact of returning these personal documents to his family and village, nearly 35 years later, click on the photo.  This simple act resolved only one of the nearly 200,000 missing in action cases Vietnam is still desperately investigating.  In May 2008 I returned to Vietnam and aided the Hoang family in locating and returning Dam's remains to the family cemetery.


Nation Books released Wandering Souls: Journeys With the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam late in September 2009.   On March 19, 1969, then young First Lieutenant Homer R. Steedly, Jr., shot and killed a North Vietnamese Medic, Hoàng Ngọc Đảm, when they met on a jungle trail. Nearly forty years later he returned to locate and bury Dam's remains in the village cemetery.  This book tells that emotional journey with details from both sides. It is a captivating story written by Wayne Karlin, a former Marine Corp helicopter door gunner in Vietnam, who has written extensively on the Vietnam War and visits the country often. The "Thou Shalt Not Kill" section above tells of his aid in my journey. My version of the story pales in comparison to Wayne's.  Everyone should read this story. It will touch your very soul.

To read my complete story, click My Combat Stories.  To read about the other units, who served with me in the 4th Infantry in Vietnam, click on 4th Infantry Division Unit Pages. These links also appear on the floating menu for Java equipped browsers.

Any of you who served with me, please contact me and tell me what you remember of these events.  I can't be sure my memories are accurate after over all this time and I know each of you have different viewpoints and memories.  You all have stories to tell, many that I was too busy to even notice.  Write, email, send photo's, video, audio tapes.  I will incorporate all stories into this site's guestbook and return your precious materials to you safely.  I want to tell our story from all our perspectives.  It's time everyone found out about us and what we did over there.  Not all heroes got medals, in fact most did not.  I do not remember all your names, but I do remember your courage every day, when I wake up alive and free, and again every night before I fall asleep.  Help me to keep the memories of those we left behind alive for future generations.   As John Lennon so aptly said in his 1969 single, lets just "Give Peace a Chance".

Anyone who served with, or in support of the 4th Infantry in Vietnam is welcome to contribute to this site.  That includes the family members of those who served.  Your story about how their service changed them and your lives is just as significant as the tales of your loved ones service overseas.  We were all changed by the Vietnam experience. Click Here for more information about how to help me build this site and tell the complete story....

Where are all you support and service troops??? We grunts would never have made it without you.  I know you have stories to tell...we want to hear them also.

          Never Forget The Price Paid by Veterans For Our Freedom         

You will find some maps of our Area of Operations, including a pan and zoom topo.  Click the magnifier...

The 4th Infantry Division underwent a major reorganization and became a “modular” division, and as a result, the 124th Signal Battalion was inactivated on 16 December 2004 and remains inactive to this day. A Specialist from Hq & Hq Bn, 4th Inf Div has located thousands of photos from the 124th and needs help identifying these images in his efforts to preserve these important historical documents. Click Here to see his guestbook posting.

Kent C. Combs, HHC, Recon and E/1/8 4ID, died 22 NOV 2014 after a long fight with cancer and heart disease.

It is always sad when we loose one of our own Vietnam Vets. Kent trained with Leslie Bellrichard and was at one time in C1/8 and the Nine Days Days In May Battles.

If you knew Kent...send an email to swampfox and I will post it to the guestbook page to honor the memory of his service.

Colonel Hale H. Knight

Colonel Hale H. Knight was 1st Brigade Commander with the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam from 24 October 1968 through 31 January 1969. He was one of the finest combat leaders I have ever known. Only recently have I learned where he came by his incredible understanding of the soldier on the ground in a jungle environment. It appears Colonel Knight was a hero and accomplished jungle fighter early on in his career while serving with Detachment 101 of the Office of Strategic Services in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II.  Colonel Knight died in June 2001 and was buried in Arlington that July. His family has graciously allowed us to post nearly 200 photos from his personal collection.  Many of the Brigade and Battalion Staff, as well as, many Company Commanders are shown here for the first time. Click on his photo for the full story and photo gallery.



Joe Galloway's "God's Own Lunatics" tribute to the 4,095 helicopter pilots, crewmembers and observers lost in the Vietnam War.
The sound of chopper blades still stir my soul nearly half a century later.

Visit  www.tibart.com, a wonderful nature photography site designed by my wife, Tibby. (Some of my photography is shown there also.)

Please send me the link to any page with errors since the last site update.

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