Lieutenant David Carr
Came in the Army Oct 1965……Basic Tng at Ft Polk and while there folks said my scores were good enough to go Special Forces……and I asked “what’s Special Forces”?
I said OK……they sent me to Ft Sam Houston for initial Medical Tng and while there folks told me my scores were good enough for OCS and I said “what’s OCS”?
I said Ok and they sent me to Ft Benning for Infantry OCS
Graduated from there……went Airborne and then to Ft Bragg for SFOC……graduated and went to Vietnam in Sept ’67……went to 5th SFG HQS in Nha Trang and they asked me where I wanted to go……..I knew NVA were mostly in I Corps……so wanted to battle the Varsity not VC JV……they sent me to I Corps and I was assigned by LTC Schungl to A Site 107 Tra Bong……..
Spent almost 4 months there and had heard of SOG (very mysterious) and volunteered …….I was Ok’d by LTC Schungl to go and reported in Late January ’68 to FOB 4.
In early February,,, FOB 4 sent me to replace a LT at FOB 3 Khe Sanh…..it took me almost two weeks to get into Khe Sanh because not much was landing there on the PSP runway. I finally got into FOB 3 on a small Cesena piloted by Chinese contract pilots . When I landed, COL David Lownds, Marine CDR of the Base met me at the aircraft and chewed me out pretty fiercely for not wearing my Flac vest and steel pot……. message received !
I spent 52 days at Khe Sanh and was pretty shell shocked to say the least when I was told to go back to FOB 4 on 14 April ’68 (Easter Sunday).
I was on the tarmac waiting for a C130 to come in (with Major George Quamo)…….he went back to the TOC to retrieve some papers and he missed the C130 that landed about 20 minutes after he left the tarmac……..he later went out on the small cesena I had come in on two months earlier and the plane was lost on the way to DaNang and not found until 1974.
Major Quamo was a first rate soldier and had just received the DSC for leading the rescue of Lang Vei A101 Camp in early February ’68 when NVA Tanks stormed the A Site.
I went back to FOB 4 and was assigned to the Hatchet Force……..and had a platoon of Chinese Nungs. We operated mostly in-country and and seemed to be in the bush quite alot!
In August ’68…..I was getting ready to DEROS and get out of the Army to go back to college……..on 21 August ’68 I turned in my wpns and kit to S4…….on 23 August we were overrun by Sappers……..and that is a story in itself !
I left FOB 4 on 25 August for Nha Trang and departed Vietnam on 29 August ’68. Was released by the Army on 2 September ’68 and went home to Phoenix AZ to resume college and play baseball for my old American Legion Coach. Well…….Well…… stuff happens! I was in school approximately 3 weeks and after the last six months of Khe Sanh and Sapper attacks….. my mind was not conducive to school…..(did not know about PTSD at that time).
I sent in a request to the Pentagon in late November ’68 and requested to come back into the Army………..two weeks later on an early Saturday morning in Phoenix, I received a telephone call from DA asking me if I wanted to come back in…..I replied yes Sir! They asked where I wanted to go and I said since I have already had Special Forces time I would like to go to a regular Army unit but stay Airborne. They assigned me to the 82nd ABN Division.
I reported in late January ’69 to Ft Bragg and the 82nd………..was assigned to 2/504 and started work in the BN 3 shop. I immediately put in my request for Ranger School and in March was told to report to Benning for Ranger School late April ’69.
Before I left Bragg for Benning, I put in a request to go back to Vietnam. When I returned in late June from Ranger School, orders to go back to Vietnam were waiting for me.
I arrived in early September to Vietnam and went back to Nha Trang for assignment to a unit. They sent me to SOG, CCC Kontum and I got there around 16 September ’69. LTC Abt wanted me to get my feet wet again so he had me strap hang with RT California. Went an a mission to Cambodia in late September and it was supposed to be for 5 days……but another team and HF got in trouble and we ended up spending 10 days in Salem House.
When we returned to FOB 2, I asked CDR, LTC Abt if he would mind if I went back to FOB4/CCN since I still knew some of the folks there……he made it happen and I reported
to CCN on 17 Oct ’69. After getting there……on 20 October (my Bday) I learned RT California had been ambushed on mission and SSG Bill Stubbs had been killed.
I was assigned to the CCN 3 shop (Maj Gaspard) and worked there for two months when LTC Donahue, CDR of CCN asked me to take CMD of Recon Company.
I had Recon Company for 6 months and was medevac’d for Kidney Stone in late June ’70.
From there went to Defense Language Institute in Monterey CA for Chinese Mandarin school.
After that was assigned to Ft Ord CA and worked on the Training Command Mortar Committee and in the TNG CMD 3 shop.
In late summer ’71, I requested assignment to 46th SF Company in Thailand and was assigned there in Jan ’72. 46th Company HQS sent me to Site 603 Pitts Camp and I was Commander of an A team there until April ’72 when I took Command of the Site (2 A Teams from 46th Company and for awhile…..had two A Teams TDY from Okinawa).
I left Thailand in Late November ’72 and went to Ft Benning to attend Infantry Officer Advance Course……….got to work at Ranger Dept three months prior to starting Advance Course.
In January ’74 was assigned to Panama 3/5 Infantry and commanded a Combat Support Company for a year and was subsequently picked by CDR 193rd BDE to become Chief Instructor at the Jungle School, Ft Sherman, Canal Zone.
I got out of the Army again in late ’75 to take a stab at civilian world.I stayed in the Reserves while back in Phoenix………and in 1978 was asked by RCPAC/ARPERCEN if I wanted to come on tour in St Louis MO for 2 to 4 years. I accepted and it turned out to be for 10 years…..St Louis, Hawaii, Ft Monroe VA (TRADOC) and finally , St Louis .
I retired the first time in 1989 from the Army with 20 yrs active. I was called out of retirement in 1991 for Desert Storm and went to St Louis and Pentagon. Retired 2nd time from the Army on 6 June 1991.
Was called out of retirement again in 2005 for Afghanistan. Went over with 3rd SFG and was lucky enough to receive my second CIB (at 60 yrs old) while there ! Retired third and last time from USASOC Ft Bragg in June 2006.
MACVSOG was by far…..the highlight of my Army career. The men and mission were superlative ………the men beyond compare…..the mission…….unforgivable !