This is in Memory of..
William D. Bloomfield, Pfc.
United States Marine Corps
Golf Company, 2nd Battalion
1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division
KIA 2 June 69
* * * * *
Ok, before I start this "In Memory" I want to say that the events I am going to share with you in no way reflect ill respect to *any* chopper pilot other
than the one associated with this memory.
''This "In Memory" needs to be told as it is something a grunt had to face up to. I mean, it happened. I will not use the exact medevac chopper call sign, I have the call sign etched in my mind and will never forget it. I will also never forget the conversation with that medevac chopper that night. I and Myron Olson looked for this pilot while we were in Nam. Myron was a Marine medevac chopper driver temporarily attached to Golf Company. So with that out of the way I wish to pay respect to my friends.
Ricky Dycus was a California surfer boy type, his nick named "Surfer". He was married to a great looking blond. Ricky had gotten incountry just after I did in July 68. As it sometimes happened, my orders to go home had Ricky's name on it even tho he was KIA. I still have a copy of those orders. Ricky
was hot headed. The Hillbilly and him had a couple of knock down drag out fights.
Billy Bloomfield, well we called him "Big Red". We had to distinguish between Big Red and Little Red, cause we had both. Big Red, yep, fire red hair, freckles, and about 6'2" but had the coordination of a water buffalo. I did not know Big Red too good, he had gotten incountry May 8th of 69. I was showing over 10 months in country on my short timer calendar and did not
hang with the new guys. Bad Karma.
We were about 5 days into Operation Pipestone Canyon. Basically what was going on is we had a funnel of Marines for about 10 miles leading to Go
Noi Island. As I have mentioned before, Golf Company was the point of the operation. We had 4 tanks moving with us, 3 Gun Tanks and one Zippo Tank. Now I always hated tanks. They attracted B-40's and RPG's and always got stuck in the paddies, so generally they were a pain in the ass.
We were walking the 10 miles flushing the NVA southwards through "Dodge City" and "The Arizona" towards Go Noi Island. We had had a few few brief fire fights but no real contact and had walked about 6 miles. We took off on the morning of June 2nd and had moved about 1/2 mile when we came upon a river. The tanks could not cross, so we left a platoon with them and the remaining two platoons of Golf Company crossed the river. The tanks and our platoon were going to move to find a crossing the tanks could get across and catch up to us.
We had moved about a mile from the river and were slowly crossing some dried up paddies. We had not expected it so soon but the NVA had decided to quit running and fight us rather than the blocking forces who were dug in. It was mid-morning when they sprang their ambush on us, an ambush well laid. They opened up first with their rpd machine guns, 12.5's and then started in with their mortar's.
It's hard to describe to someone who has not experienced it, how you want to just pull the ground over your head
when you are caught out in the open. We had some cover from the paddy dikes but the machine guns and 12.5's were slowly destroying the cover. I remember hearing the tanks come up asking what was happening, they had found a crossing and they thought they were about 3/4 of a mile from us, and that they were coming fast. Don't know how long it was but the next thing I remember is the tanks, those beautiful, noisy, pain in the ass, fucking
tanks. Just like the movies, dust and black diesel smoke flying behind them, haulin ass and turning to position themselves in front of us to get the machine guns off us. They had no sooner pulled up to a stop when their 90's started workin out, the Zippo was torching NVA bunkers and flushing the NVA out. I guess the NVA broke and ran south, I think because of the tanks. When it was all over, I could not believe it, we had survived with only 5 wounded.
I called the medevacs, sent in the sitreps, got a resupply going and we thanked our Grunt Gods. Battalion came back and told us to dig in there for the night, wait for resupply and that they were chasing the NVA south with chopper gunships.
We set up for the night with the tanks facing forward or south. Along about 21:00 the NVA hit us real hard. They started with their mortar's first then the machine guns and started on the tanks with their B-40's and RPG's. I think they wanted to get a tank because that opened up the biggest hole in our lines.
Ricky's and Big Red's hole was close to one tank, I remember seeing this as my hole was 40' to the right and behind them. The first RPG went screaming to the right of the tank and over our heads. Ricky had broke open a LAW and was lining up on where he thought the RPG gunner was. The RPG gunner was faster than Ricky and let he let lose first. The RPG hit the tank, blew up, but it was a glancing blow. Ricky and Big Red were not as lucky as the tank. Ricky and Big Red took the deflected RPG blast. Doc Marshall took off to Ricky and Big Red while I started a medevac.
Ricky was missing his right side but was alive. Big Red had torn schrapnel wounds all over him, and a sucking chest wound. Both of them were in bad shape.
Ok, no offence intended here after to any branch of service or your job.!!!!!! I realize that the chopper driver was responsible for his chopper and men and could make a abort call.
Battalion had came back to me and said they had diverted an Army medevac bird and he would be coming up on our frequency in a minute. I thought this was great, less than 2 minutes and we got our medevac, the guys are going to make it.
Myron Olson (remember my land bound medevac chopper driver assigned to me) was helping Doc Marshall and Doc. Van treat Rickey and Big Red, when the medevac bird came up on my radio.
Most of the below is my radio transmissions of that night, as long as I live, I will never forget those transmissions.
'Golf 28..Blondie 22, Do you have a visual?'
'Blondie 22.. Golf 28, I have your lights, vector 120 degrees relative approximately two miles.'
'Golf 28..Blondie 22 Is the LZ secure? I see lots of muzzle flashes both directions, are you in heavy contact?'
'Blondie 22..Golf 28, NVA at the 180 degree 100 to 200 yards from us, LZ will be 300 yards to the north of our position, am lighting up LZ now, contact is light, your LZ will be secure.!!'
'Golf 28..Blondie 22, Be advised have spotted 12.5 muzzle flashes and RPG's ... you got a hell of a firefight going on down there! Golf 28...Blondie is aborting.!!!!!'
'Blondie 22..Golf 28, If you abort the WIA's will be KIA's before I can get another bird, LZ is secure, I say again LZ is secure, swing around and approach from the north, the north is secure, I say again negeative contact to north, the north is secure.!!!!'
'Golf 28..Blondie 22, Sorry your LZ and area looks too HOT for approach at this time.'
'Blondie 22..Golf 28, The fire fight is 400 yards to he south of the your LZ, We will get the tanks to work out when you come in, your LZ will be safe, I say again your LZ will be safe.!!!'
'Golf 28..Blondie 22, Negative, Negative that, Blondie is aborting.'
'Blondie 22..Golf 28 "You Chicken Shit Mother Fucker!!!!!"'
'Golf 28..Blondie 22, I will have you busted for that transmission, request your name and rank, Golf 28.'
'Blondie 22..Golf 28, "Fuck You. You want me, come on down and get me chickenshit! I knew we should have gotten a Marine Bird.'
By now Myron has realized what was going on, he asks for the handset, for a chopper pilot to chopper pilot talk. I grab another radio, call Battalion and start requesting another medevac bird.
Myron is on the radio talking to Blondie 22:
'Blondie 22..Marine Medevac Swift 17, Be advised I am a Marine medevac chopper pilot.. your LZ is 400 yards to the north of the fire fight and your LZ is safe, I say again your LZ will be safe.!!!!!'
'Marine Swift 17..Blondie 22, Be advised Blondie is aborting now, good luckMarine Swift 17, Blondie 22 out.!!!!!'
We were left high and dry, it was about 20 minutes before the next medevac bird showed up, about 35 in all...Rickey was KIA by then, Big Red was dying
fast. Big Red never made it to NAS, he went KIA a few minutes after leaving the LZ.
Blondie 22, I say this:
Were you NEW????
Were you SHORT????
did you have a FEELING????
Another day in the life and death of a Marine Grunt.
'"I am over the frustration of that night 27 years ago. If and when we meet, may it be in this life, or in life afterwards, all I want to know is your side of the story. To ask you...
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