To those in Company D that may
remember Larry Fodge,
I don't remember Larry, but I do remember the incident when he was wounded. When the helicopter was shot down, I recall the one doorgunner crawling to my position. He was in shock and burned pretty badly. We pulled him into our little dugout, and tried to calm him down. He wanted his watch removed from his wrist, and as I pulled it off, his skin came along with it. I also recall the chopper going down into the command, or very near the command bunker. By the time the chopper burned to nothing, I remember somebody covering the RTO's severed body. He had not been in country very long. That night, if I remember correctly, we had Puff the Magic Dragon on site most of the night, firing streams of beautiful red tracers into the jungle all around us, looking up I can recall what a beautiful sight that was. Again, sorry to hear about Larry Fodge.
I recently read your tribute to Larry Fodge and it brought back a flood of memories. I had similar feelings about the battle you described. When I received the word that because of a screw up at Battalion, we were going to be left here alone, with the brunt of an enemy regiment coming after us, I started planning for the worst.
Not wanting them to get to the perimeter of that clearing and have us under direct fire, I sent your platoon to protect us. I had also requested resupply and they sent in the only bird they could find. As the helicopter was starting to depart, I asked the First Sergeant to get a short timer from mortar platoon on the bird. I felt he was too short to have to go through what I knew was coming.
I was sitting at my CP on a mound of dirt planning our defense with my radio operator at my side.
Suddenly, a voice inside said get off your ass and thank that soldier for a job well done. I did and as the helicopter lifted off, it was hit by an RPG and crashed on the mound I had been sitting on. As you said everything started burning and exploding around us. The First Sergeant and I rushed to cut the pilots out of the burning chopper. We threw them in a foxhole for protection. The soldier I had just said goodbye to was blown clear and checked out OK. I then crawled over to my radio operator and as I started to pull him away from the burning chopper, I realized how light he was and lifted my head and learned that he had been cut in half.
During the first light airborne assessment, we were given credit for destroying the rest of the regiment we had encountered an element from the day before.
You and your men and the entire company did an outstanding job of defending that plot of ground against enormous odds and won the day.
Thank you and Welcome home!
Page Created: 01/31/06
Last Updated: 02/12/06