“I Rode ‘Mine Alley’ Once”


I rode “Mine Alley”

scared fecalless in a tank:

but the beer was cold!*

 

*(April, 1970.  Someone said ito me: “Wanna ride in a Sherman from LZ Baldy to Fire Support Base Ross? Being a Marine Combat Correspondent – two proofs of dumb right there! – I said yes.  When we stopped at Que Son City and the tank commander mentioned this road was one of but two i n Northern I Corps, South Vietnam to be given the sobriquet “Mine Alley” he figured his team could let me in on the joke, finally: the second half of the journey from the Landing Zone to the tube-farm at Ross was the dangerous part with 250-pound “box” mines, command detonated, not uncommon as we led a supply convoy to the furthest-West outpost under the shadows of th e massive Que Son Mountains.  I climbed back aboard and the driver reached around to the big wooden tank-round wooden crate, flipped it open and reached into a layer of large-chunk chipped ice and fished me out a frosty Budweiser!)

5 thoughts on ““I Rode ‘Mine Alley’ Once”

    • M-48, May have the nomen unright. The reason M-48s never made the Korean passodouble: didn’t fit the roads and bridges…not much changed in VeetNahmb: mostly they were used as portable pillboxes on the few – two or three between Hoi An (25 miles South of DaNang) and Hue, possibly four going E-W, so that kind of limited their usefulness: but the did serve to attract unexploded ordnance turned into clever wooden box-mines which the daily minesweep teams rarely found. For some reason I never went back aboard for a second beer.

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      • UgotThatRight! But 6 106’s – with no recoil (such might send a guy back stateside and Mother Crotch couldn’t allow that!). World War II’s Sherman! Aha! M-48 twern’t no Sherman, but I have no time to dig…And besides, I wanna be able to dig a nice soft hole (with a grenade sump) next time someone’s angry with me. Recall sending one FNG over to the armory for a shoulder holster for a 105 Recoilless Rifle. And of course sent some several boots to the photo lab for a box of F-Stops. In your days with the wing-wipers, how many times did you smirkingly send someone to the zoomies for a can of prop wash?

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      • The Sherman in WWII known as a Ronson Lighter (when faced with a Tiger…but as with all things Soviet, even in the U. S. (H)armby, there was a certain “quality” to quantity. Three Shermans to take one Panzer at and after the Normandy Hedgerows. Tanks are low-flying targets and you don’t have to toss shrapnel at’em to get them to notice. ‘Scuse, Bruce, gotta go back and repost to FB Sheila’s Song – a moment of sensitivity struck and I responded…better now.

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