In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

A Can of Beer Saved My Life

huffmanitehuffmanite Member Posts: 58 ✭✭
edited February 2010 in US Military Veteran Forum
With the 2/47th Mech Inf Bn at Bien Phouc in 1969, S.E. of Saigon. On occassions I'd sit on a perimeter wall constructed out of dirt filled 55 gal drums, with my back against a sandbag bunker to watch a beautiful sunset while drinking a cold beer. If I wanted to set the can down, had to lean over to put can on a sandbag beneath me.

Just outside our base, less than 200 yards away from me and in the direction I faced while on the barrel wall, was a demolition trench used to destroy old munitions and etc. Shape of trench caused any explosion in it to be directed away from our base. About once a month, something blown up in the trench.

One day, I'm sitting on the wall watching a sunset and had set the beer down and had my back and head against the bunker sandbags. The demolition guys set off a rather large explosion in the trench. I watched the explosion for a few seconds and then leaned down to pick up the can of beer.

Just as I was picking up the can of beer, I heard a swishing sound then a thud of something hitting the sandbags above and behind me. I twisted around and looked. YIKES!!!! Where my head would be resting against a sandbag was a smoking dagger shapped piece of a 105 round that had penetrated deep into the sandbag, point first. I could hear shapnel landing on the tin roofs of the buildings near me.

At that time, I got down off the wall, went to my sleeping quarters and found something stronger than a can of beer to drink. A short while later, I returned to the wall and removed the piece of shrapnel. It was a little more than 5" long, had sharp edges and one very sharp point. If I had not leaned over to pick up the can of beer, it would have hit me almost dead center in the forehead.

By the way the demolition guys had some explaining to do. Their missplaced charge in the trench had blown everything in the trench inside our base. Luckily, no one was hit.


Sign In or Register to comment.