1/83rd Long Binh to Nui Dat

Calvin Loftis (66-67)

"A" Battery

Calvin Loftis sent in this recollection of the trip from Long Binh to Nui Dat and our first days at Nui Dat.

"Hi Bill,

Calvin Loftis here, this is in reference to your 7-03-2014 weekly report on reminiscences detail's of the trip from Long Binh to Nui Dat.

I remember the trip from Long Binh to Nui Dat somewhat. I was in A Battery motor pool so we were left behind in Long Binh with the equipment drivers to wait for the equipment to be unloaded at Vung Tau and at that time we were to fly to Vung Tau and deliver the equipment to Nui Dat. But for some reason after a couple of days at Long Binh we were all loaded up and flown to Vung Tau and there loaded onto trucks for the trip to Nui Dat. By the time we got to Vung Tau there was all kinds of rumors flying around as to why we were been sent to the base camp at Nui Dat without the equipment none of us knew what to expect upon our arriving at Nui Dat, but I am sure you call imagine the things going thru our minds.

When we arrived at Nui Dat all was well, they had been receiving a lot of night fire action, but the picture I had in my mind that we were going to be faced with had not happened think God. I do remember the first afternoon at Nui Dat there was a Aussie infantry squad or platoon that came thru our camp on there way to pull night patrol they were loaded down with ammo I thank that was when I first realized this was the real thing because they were heading into the rubber grove out side the base camp and they were not going out to play this was the real deal.

I don't think I got much sleep that first night at Nui Dat for all the shooting out side the camp or all the mosquitoes or maybe both. the next morning the Aussie patrol came back thru the camp they were not loaded down with ammo on there return back I don't know if they made contact with the VC or just shoot down a lot of rubber trees, but I was sure glad we had them to pull night patrol for those first few days we were there.

The first night I pulled guard duty there was three men to a post and the guard post consisted of a few sand bags made into a bunker. There was a lot of tracers flying overhead that night but we were told not to fire back and I guess that was a good order because they probably knew they were just harassing us and the Aussie patrol was not going to let them break thru the line.

I don't know how long it was before we were allowed to take over the night patrols out side the camp but that was a big mistake. If only the VC had known our night patrol experience they would have had a field day with us and I think that was the reason orders came down to give up night patrol and that was a smart call. We were an artillery battalion and a very good one, but we had very little infantry training.

That is about all I remember about the first few weeks at Nui Dat. I would like if some of the men had pictures of the first few weeks at Nui Dat that they would share them with the group.


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