Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
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Memories from Steve Haygood/Walker

May 30, 1967, 75 men were left out of 144 that day.. 1st platoon had 16 men out of 49 left after about 8 hours of combat.

Union II

We hit more stuff, several days later on Union II. About 3-5 days later my memory serves me correct. Wwe hit a bunch of resistance in a ville and got pinned down in a paddy. 1st plt was more or less on the right flank of an "on line' formation. I was still humping 3.5 rockets. We got pinned down for several hours and literally could not move. I mean if I moved my head up to look around i got shot at, this was from a position of flat on my stomach. I guess in 4-5 hours i must of got shot at 15-20 times...close enough to either have dirt kicked up on me or rounds loud enough and close enough to hurt my ears.

I remember one guy that no one liked, he was a real whiner, he just "snapped" and went crazy. He jumped up in the middle of this firefight shouting, "I can't take it anymore!, I can't take it anymore!. Immediately he got shot a couple of times and was wounded quite seriously. No one could get to him. I think a Corpsman got wounded trying to get to him. It rattled everybody a little bit because he started crying, and hollering for his mother, and that went on for a maybe an hour or so and then he quieted down and died.

When dusk came we pulled back maybe a 1/4 mile and set up for the night, but we didn't dig in. We were told the noise would let the gooks know where our positions were . Anyway about 03:00 word was passed to drop our packs and keep on our "deuce gear".. 782 gear, "web' gear for you civillians! Anyway we fixed bayonets and moved out to the same tree line that had us pinned all day.

We were on line, shoulder to shoulder, with about 5 meter spacing, and about 50 meters from the tree line the word was passed to put our weapons on full automatic.

Everyone was sure the shit would let loose... Just one round of incoming would have been all it took... But, nothing was there. Nothing happened.

We went into and through the ville and secured it and about an hour after sunrise the villagers and village chieftain returned. They told us that the NVA had left just after dark the previous night.. In other words us & them pulled back at about the same time.

I dont really remember much more about Union II, it lasted a week or two and then we rolled right into Adair without leaving the bush. All in all Union II and Adair was about 2 weeks i believe. During Union II was when Sgt. Sullivan joined our unit, if memory serves me correctly.

Operation Swift

    The first or second day of Swift coincided with the national elections. This I remember, for I was "saddled up" and waiting with everyone elese for the choppers when Sgt. Sullivan told me to drop my gear and go!!! I was going on in country R&R.
I remember it was the national elections, for when i got to DaNang, me, and about another 8-10 guys from other units were informed that we were quarantined to base because of the elections. we wound up having our own excitement, but that is another story.. The next day, the day of the elections, everywone in I Corps area was getting hit somehow or another. Months later, in the U.S. there was speculation that that day of the election, in September, was actually a "minor test" for the Tet offensive 5-6 months later.

Part of the explanation for all the heavy contact in our area of I corps during the summer & fall of 1967 was because the NVA were loading up and storing weapons and supplies for Tet.

Semper Fi!

Steve haygood
aka Steve Walker
Mike 3/5, 1st Platoon
Mar-Nov. 1967