Hi,and Semper Fi.
I want you to know that from March of 1968 till June first ,when I was wounded while bringing in a bird for a wounded gook on FoxTrot Ridge,I served as the hst Team Leader with your Company.Though I will not be attending your reunion,I would hope that you would share my thoughts on your Company with those who attend. Yours was the finest Co. of the bravest and most devoted men that I served with in my three tours of Nam.I have many memories of many units I was attached to in Nam,but yours is by far the standout best.We lost a lot of menall good men,during my brief attachment to Echo at Khe Sanh.At one point the junior Corpsman became the Senior Corpsman in less than a month.We never left anyone behind,and always kicked more ass than any other Unit in the area,regardless of their branch of service.
I remember a bird,whose call sounded like whoo-whoo,whoo-whoo.One of your guys told me it was an NVA bird,and it was calling out to them"Here Comes Echo",as a warning. I can only hope that some of you remember that bird. I will always remember going up FoxTrot Ridge with Echo,on 30 May 68. You went up and swept the hill "On Line",after Fox 2/3 had been overrun the night before.Fox's C.O. gave me holy hell after you cleared and secured the hill,because I used the two available ch-46's to evac all the wounded,and he wanted to evac only the most serious,and use the remaining space for the KIA's.I told him that Echo never left anyone behind,that sorry as it might seem the dead would be just as dead in the rear as they were with us on the ridge,and I had faith enough in Echo to gaurentee that the ridge would be held long enough for me to get more birds in,in the morning.As it was,the gooks left us alone that night,and I got the resupply birds to take Fox's KIA's out at first light.But know this,I never felt that my words would be meaningless.I knew that if for any reason we were forced to move out by morning befor I could frag any birds on the net,you guys would hump out the KIA's without a second thought.I would have bet my life on it,as I knew the pride and honor in each man of your Company.
We got hit on the night of 31May68,on Foxtrot Ridge,and the gooks realized they had fucked with the wrong unit this time.It was very foggy that night,and the bastards had already registered their mortars with taking Fox on. I remember we got in two RVN prop planes the next morning,to straff the bastards at daylight.I had no warning that these planes were coming,and it was pretty "hairy" ,until I could see their markings.I was with your company the day before Fox2/3 was overrun,when the convoy out of Khe Sanh had been hit on it's way out from the main base on a water and resupply run.We fought from dawn to dusk,and were really pissed when we returned to the "arty" base,outside Khe Sanh,and discovered that those assholes had shaved,washed,and used up every drop of water.We had to spend that night and most of the next morning bone dry,until the next convoy could get back from Cam Lo with water. My service with 2/3 Echo ended at 1235 hrs.on 1june68,when I was wounded by an enemy booby trap,as I was trying to bring in a Ch-46 to take out a wounded captured gook,from the night before.I was never again to have the priviledge of serving with your fine unit,as by the time I got off the Sanctuary,Khe Sanh had been abandonded,and I was sent to Con Thien to provide HST support for Bravo 1/1.
Of all my memories for all these past 35 years since I left Nam,my dearest are of Echo 2/3.I served with Lima 3/7,Alpha,Bravo,Charlie and Delta 1/1,and the 5th of the 51'st Arvn Co.,and saw my share of action.And to my dying day I will tell anyone who might ever ask,that the Bravest,Fiercest,Most feared by the enemy unit I was ever privileged to serve with in Viet Nam,was Echo2/3. God Bless you all,alive and fallen,and may you all enjoy this and all other reunions for many years to come.Of those who fell in Viet Nam,and all other conflicts,may it always be said and remembered-"They gave up all of their tommorrows,so that We could have today.
Semper Fi,Bob Phillips-Sgt-Ret.
Alpha Co.1st Shore Party HST
Viet Nam 68-69-70