platoon leader proves he's a swinger
BINH PHUOC - "It's all over", said a 9th Infantry Division Lieutenant
as he flew through the air, 60 feet above a river in Long An Province
Second Lieutenant John R. Sweet, 23, a platoon leader of Company B,
5th Battalion (Mech) 60th Infantry was serenely riding on his APC on a
road security mission when he suddenly went airborne.
As his platoon's lead track rumbled across a bridge its antenna struck
an overhanging 3 foot by 10 foot sign. Sweet, riding next to the
driver in the second track, casually pushed the dangling sign aside as
What he didn't notice was that a hook on the end of the sign had
attached itself firmly to the cuff of his fatigue pants.
The track continued on at 20 mph. Suddenly the surprised platoon
leader was gone. His startled driver quickly spotted him
swinging across the center of the bridge.
Hanging upside down he gracefully sailed between two iron girders and
out over the river 50 feet below. "I opened my eyes when I was
swinging over the water," said Sweet, "and decided it's all over."
On his return trip, Sweet brushed the two girders with his hands and
stopped in the center of the bridge where the next track removed him
from the hook.
"I hate to think what would have happened if my cuff had ripped," said
Sweet. "It was the most frightening experience of my life."
Sweet's men, however, now consider him a real swinger.
7 August, 1968
Oh, that creeping feeling
BINH PHUOC - As most combat infantrymen can tell you, the weird and
unusual events that take place on a mission or night patrol can rarely
Specialist Four Jimmy Johnson, 20, of Dallas, Ga., had such an event
occur while on a night ambush patrol with the 9th Division's 5th
Mechanized Battalion, 60th Infantry. His squad set up their security
and Johnson, along with the other men not on the first guard, went to
About 11 p.m. Johnson was aroused to a state of semi-consciousness by
an unusual wiggling sensation on his leg. At first, he thought
he was dreaming. A second quick jerky motion on his leg not only
convinced him that he wasn't asleep, but sent him in a series of
violent contortions. squad members rushed over, thinking he was
having some type of seizure.
what had taken place was that an 18-inch snake had crawled up his pant
leg while he was asleep. Johnson quickly took hold of the snake
from the outside of his pants and was trying to rip a hole in the seam
when another squad member grabbed him and held him down thinking he
was having a fit. Luckily Johnson was still able to rip a hole
in the seam of his pants and throw the snake out.
"I guess he crawled in to get warm," Johnson said. "Whatever, it
was one of the weirdest feelings in the world."