In 1965 , before the Vietnam war came to the front burner, our platoon was known as the Davy Crockett Platoon, where we trained to fire Light Nuclear Weapons, by indirect fire.
President Lyndon Johnson ordered our deployment to Vietnam, on July 28, 1965, because of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, on August 2, 1964, when the U.S. destroyer the Maddox was supposedly attacked by North Vietnamese torpedo patrol boats.
As we were in our Airmobile training, just prior to deployment from Fort Benning, Georgia, we were re-assured that since we were a mortar platoon, we would probably not see front line action and that we would probably all return safely. Ultimately, almost the whole platoon died in Vietnam.
We (3rd Brigade) departed from South Carolina on August 18, 1965 on board the USNS General Maurice Rose bound for Vietnam sailing between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, to the Panama Canal, on August 22, 1965, to San Diego, California, to offshore at Hawaii, through Tropical Storm Doreen where many were seasick, to Viet Nams Qui Nhon harbor on September 17, with immediate deployment to the base camp at An Khe, 36 miles inland.