Randy Barnes – Letter #15 – Jan. 6, 1969

Posted by on February 16, 2011, in the category Letters Home

Dear Richard, CARLA & GROUP,

6 Jan – Mon.

I want to thank you & Carla, Rich, for my lamp. It’s just what I wanted. Perfect – One minor problem – The bulb (finally) was broken and they don’t have bulbs for Hi-Intensity lamps in V.N. I am now using a Jeep tail light bulb but it is very dim. Could you send me a few more bulbs?

The lamp is great – I was beginning to wonder if I’d go blind from bad lighting.

I sure like my new job & my new place. As I told you I am at Cu Chi. If I told you in my note the position of it – I was wrong. It’s about 60 miles north-west of Saigon. {a drawn map showing Cu Chi, Long Binh, Bien Hoa & Saigon relative positions.}

Dick Villar has been here – I’m sure you can locate it on the map.

The ride out here was something else as Cu Chi is in the heart of V.C. country. We were in a 2 & 1/2 TON truck with a machine gun on top. I and another guy stood in the bed of the truck at both sides of the cab with our M-16’s pointed towards side of the road – Many ambushes on this road – Saw two dead VC – bodies all bloated.

Really saw a cross section of Viet Nam. Went through rice paddies, small villages & hamlets, a Rubber plantation etc. Three or four times along the road saw Infantry patrols humping along

Crossed a pontoon bridge at some large river – V.C. “Sappers” (Demolition Commandos) had blown it 2 weeks before – they say that bridge has been blown 10 or 12 times.

Saw small Special Forces Camps along the way – Damn those guys live rough.

I got here wednesday – Wed & Thurs I witnessed the worst things I have seen in the war.

Wed. before I left my old station, some V.N. brought a small girl in with cuts all over her legs. Her brother, mother, & she had been in woods by Ho Nai; gathering greens. V.C. caught them – Must have been waiting – Her dad was a village Chief – Killed and decapitated her brother & mother but let her live to tell the tale. – THINGS LIKE this are hard to explain because words don’t do justice.

Thursday after I got here, VC boobytrapped 554th Engineer’s Mess hall with 100 lb mine – killed 15 injured many – I saw some of them at 25th EVAC HOSP as I was there to pick-up supplies. I can’t explain what saw too horrible to try & explain.

This camp is much bigger than my old one & heavily fortified – Have a “GUNSHIP” unit here (Cobras) & base camp of the 25th Inf. However, Charlie hit us every night somewhere along the perimeter – Nothing big just small probes – also rockets – been in bunker twice this week.

I’m a tough old veteran now – doesn’t bother me much.

I’ll be going out on the Dusters next week – Out into the boondocks – where its happening – Kind of looking forward to it. Guess I want to see what real action is.

So many things I’ve seen & heard Just wait till I get home – I’ll keep you entertained (or sick) for days.

Our Dusters are seeing Charlie everyday at Tay Ninh, Thunder Mountain, Dow Tiang Dau Tieng, Crusher Mountain, Hill 638, on & on – I see em’ coming back beat – but strangely happy – They all blow grass continually – RELEASE

Xmas & New Years were vert Drunk – Champagne – Missed home so much.

Got an invite to Paul’s party at Hodson’s – how was it? What about New Year’s? – Where was the party? – Who was there? – How many people did Paul allienate?

I’m so tan you wouldn’t believe it. Look like a Soul brother.

Did you get my tape? Did you enjoy it? Are you sending me one?


I got Xmas cards from almost everyone but Bob & Betty Ann – What’s with them? I haven’t had a word?

Heard the Orange Bowl game Live at about 10:00 AM – It’s a good thing we’ve been fans of K.U. for so long – A lesser man would have died of fury


“Sgt. Rock”



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