I'm going to show you some typical boats that came along side us on YRBM-16 and remember, we all had in our minds what happened the previous Thanksgiving when some innocent looking person attached a mine to YRBM-16 and killed a bunch of people, so we were pretty alert when any of these boats were going by. This is right after the rainy season. You don't see any canal bank; the water's right up to the vegetation, and this is a very typical water bus here. It carried about eight passengers. Up on top, you can see those shiny silver cans of nuoc mam, this fish sauce that they would sell in the marketplace, and all the way to the right was a five-horsepower, two-cycle gasoline engine with a direct link to a propeller shaft, and the guy put the blade in the water and used it to propel and steer the boat. And believe it or not, with a light load on board, one of these guys could outrun a PBR. He couldn't outrun the M-60 or the 50-caliber guns, but he could outrun a PBR on calm water. First, the boat's really deep in the water. It's loaded very heavily and can what we see account for that much weight. Also, can you see everybody's hands? Is anybody holding anything or appear uncomfortable because they're sitting on anything and you had to ask this question constantly because the decision on whether to open fire or let them pass was very quick and if you shot these guys, a board of inquiry was going to take months to look at a decision you had to make instantly. This was very scary for twenty-two and twenty three year old Lieutenants Junior Grade.
Slide VAS022682, No Date, Edwin L. Oswald Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 1 Aug. 2014. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=VAS022682>.
Pub. Credit Line
VAS022682, Edwin L. Oswald Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University