A New Fire Support Base


Morning crept in from the murky darkness,

All was quiet and serene.

The humidity and the mosquitoes followed with promptness,

Quick to be back on the scene.

The CP phone rang off the hook;

I remember the Captain’s startled look.

We were ordered to abandon the fire support base

And get all of the guns and troops out just in case.

The area was too hot, that’s what intelligence told us,

For a regiment of NVA were almost upon us.

We passed the word as quick as we could,

Loaded things up, even the cook.

[The previous night we were hit with rockets and mortars;]

[This took out some personnel quarters.]

[Shrapnel was flying in all directions]

[And the enemy’s tracers flew from their weapons.]

We started down the road that we came in,

When all of a sudden an explosion shook me thin.

It knocked me from my perch in the back of the truck

And I fell to the ground yelling “What the F___”.

The truck in front of me hit a road mine

Which the enemy buried under the vines.

The hole in the road was about 10 feet deep;

The truck just laid there in a burning heap.

Some friends got killed and some were wounded;

Our defense attack had just been mounted.

The Quad fifties opened up on the bamboo patches,

The 50 cals just tearing through the thatches.

The duster opened up with their Bofor 40’s

And the dust rose from the ground, Oh Lordy!   

The Captain called for a cease fire;

The enemy was gone and we were tired.

We regrouped and made our move

To A New Fire Support Base as we were ordered.


 Copyright Stephen R. Henninger


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