09 November 1967
Larry Shelton Collection
Audio (Reel-to-Reel - 2 Track Mono [3.75])
Audio Letter from Larry Shelton to Family 9 November 1967 Side A The mail has been greatly delayed, and this was the first letter Larry Shelton had received recently. His company was on a routine patrol when an ARVN unit was attacked near Rach Kien (?) Shelton's company was transported to Rach Kien to aid the ARVN unit. When Larry's company initially exhausted their ammunition, a helicopter flew over and the crew threw ammunition out of the door because the area was so hot. During the night, the company called in artillery support which fired nearly four thousand rounds at the VC. They also called in air support, of which three helicopters (2 gunships, and a medivac) were shot down. In the morning, the company found thirty dead VC and captured several prisoners when they pushed into the town. During interrogation, the prisoners disclosed that they were a fresh unit from Cambodia and were not expecting any resistance while they were setting up a base camp. Larry said that all of the VC equipment was brand new (uniforms, rifles, and ammo). He also said that they were a platoon sized force (possibly the CP unit) that was surrounded during the night so they didn't have a choice of escape so they had to stay and fight. Larry was hit by a sniper in the arm and was returned to base for treatment of his wounds. Shelton had very little time left on his tour and was hoping that he wouldn't have to go out anymore. He said that he should be getting his orders to leave soon. He's hoping to have some time dropped from his tour. Side B Shelton states that the company policy says that a soldier no longer has to go to the field when he has 21 days left before he goes home. Unfortunately, due to a lack of replacements, he might still have to go out to the field. Shelton states that one of the primary missions of his company is to provide security for the firebase. Shelton has fulfilled his mission in Vietnam, and cannot be accused of shirking his duty. He describes the differences between the two firebases that he's been assigned to. He says that there were more VC at the village around the other firebase. At his current location the Vietnamese appreciate them more and are trying to farm rather than joining the VC. His company prefers calling in 105mm rounds over the 155mm because the 155's have a much larger explosion radius. He said that when they encounter VC they are usually much closer than the 155's allow. The 155's are better for preparing an area for assault by U.S. forces. He also said that he is making plans to buy a new car when he returns to the US.
audio letter, 09 November 1967, Larry Shelton Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University. Accessed 3 Sep. 2015. <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/items.php?item=1139AU0889>.
Pub. Credit Line
1139AU0889, Larry Shelton Collection, The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University
Added: 5 May 2003[Updated: 27 Nov 2013]