Third Battalion, Fifth Marines
Marine, NVA Have Contest. . . NVA Lost
By Cpl. Earl Gerheim
HUE/PHU BAI -- A Marine interpreter and a North Vietnamese (NVA) soldier held a grenade throwing contest in the mountains south of Phu Bai.
The enemy trooper lost.
Sgt. Terry Wilkinson (5119 Meridian Ave., N., Seattle, Wash.) of the 1st Interpreter Team, 1st Marine Division was accompanying "M" Co., 3/5 on a company sweep when an enemy camp was found.
The Marines were met by fire from enemy positions on a ridge, overlooking the camp. The Leathernecks assaulted the ridge but were pinned down under heavy automatic weapons fire.
"I got down behind a tree," said Wilkinson, "and then an NVA popped up 10 meters in front of me and threw a grenade."
The Chi-com (Chinese-communist) grenade hit Wilkinson's foot but failed to explode.
Wilkinson threw a grenade back at the enemy.
The NVA threw three more grenades at Wilkinson.
The grenades injured Wilkinson's wrist.
Wilkinson lobbed another grenade.
The duel ended . . .