View Full Version : My War Story for the Day

QRQ 30
06-17-2004, 18:15
I just composed a letter to MACV-SOG.com to clarify the cuircumstances if the death of SFC Linwood Martin. I thought I'd post it herer if someone is interested:

I'm writing this in hopes of clarifying the circumstances of the death of SFC Linwood Martin. He was the 1-0 and I the 1-1 on an operation which commenced on 21 Mar, 1968. The team was Delaware and there were 9 Montagnards on the team. The operation was a recon of an area in country. It was requested by the CG 4th ID since his LRRPS were incapable. We were inserted in the afternoon and everything was more or less uneventful. We were looking for a road/trail and possible crossing point of a medium sized river.

Around 1700 we came upon a classic high-speed trail. It was about 4-6 feet wide and smooth and clean. We also found some fresh bunkers looking over the trail and river. While the indig got water I found some"rabbit holes"¯ dug into the bank. These rabbit holes were squared off and“ apparently man made.

It was getting late so we decided to pull back and observe the trail over-night. One of the yards planted a toe-popper on the trail. We heard the mine go off and decided to pull further into the jungle. One NVA happened upon us. We killed him and a small fire fight ensued until we could break contact and pull as far into the jungle as possible to RON.

All night the NVA probed and threw rocks and sticks trying to get us to betray our position. In the morning they started making noise, beating sticks, blowing whistles, etc. They had us surrounded on three sides with the river being the fourth side. Martin and I discussed the situation and decided that the best course of action was to slip through a flank, rather than go where they were pushing us. We managed to evade without a shot being fired.

Linwood decided to go back to the bunker complex and take pictures. I was dead against it. My every instinct said not to return to the hornet's nest we had just left. I said that if they wanted pictures I'd draw some foogin pictures. Martin, being the 1-0 prevailed. Upon arrival at the bunkers we found the shoe of the individual who had stepped on our mine. It still had the foot in it along with a letter from home. We were just getting situated and setting up a perimeter when we took a high volume of fire. I was face to face with Martin and a round from the first burst hit him over the left eye. I was going to apply a dressing but when I reached behind his head it was obvious he was gone.

I immediately panicked and started screaming on the radio, after a few minutes I realized the antenna was laying on the ground. I set it up and got Covey and we declared a Prairie Fire Emergency. We couldn't go back into the jungle so we pulled into a clearing and set up a "wagon spoke" perimeter with me in the middle. I imagine we looked like Custer and his last stand from the air. We were in the center of a football sized field. We couldn't go anywhere but the NVA had to cross the open to get to us. This exposed them to CAS and ground fire from us.

I got support from gun ships as well as 2 F-100s The F-100s had napalm and I for one liked it at the time. My standard correction was: "Put it in the same place but on the other side. " After three attempts they finally managed to extract us. I grabbed yards by the collar and seat and literally tossed them into the choppers. After we lifted off, the crew chief wanted to know who was on the first ship. I asked him why and he said it had gone down. My stomach turned flips and I could see the looks on the yards faces. However we found out the ship hadn't been shot down. One of the indig caught his gear on an extinguisher and the crew saw the smoke and thought they were hit. They unloaded, realized the ship was OK and reloaded and joined us.

In MACV-SOG.com they say Martin was with Torres and Wells out of FOB-5. This is wrong. The account of Torres' mission is similar to mine. I don't know what happened but I was with Martin when he died. We were ST Delaware.

The Reaper
06-17-2004, 18:35
You did the best you could with what you had.

Prayers out for your friend and 1-0.

Thanks for sharing.


06-17-2004, 20:05
Could this be moved to the briefback forum so it doesn't get lost in the post count?

I'm sorry for your loss Q. What TR said.

Roguish Lawyer
06-22-2004, 11:14
Originally posted by Kyobanim
Could this be moved to the briefback forum so it doesn't get lost in the post count?

I'm sorry for your loss Q. What TR said.

Concur on all three counts.