My NAM Memories
David Floyd A/2-7 NAM April 69 - April 70
Please Assist Me In Filling In The Gaps!!!
Dear Brother Troopers:
For historical purposes, I have, finally, after all of these many years, written down some of the memories I have of my tour in Vietnam during 69-70. Since these are
my memories, they are only from my point of view. I am sure there are accounts of events which are not complete or totally accurate. So, hopefully, some of you, my
Brother Troopers, who may have also witnessed these events will help me in correcting any inconsistencies; assist me in filling in any gaps; or, perhaps you can help
by adding more information to what I have written.

I keep wondering how much of what I remember really happened! It was often so surreal. Like are these events war stories I have heard? Or, did they occur as I
remember?

Please read "My NAM Memories" and email any information to me at: webmaster@alpha2-7cav.com
These are my memories from April 69 April 70. I was 18-years old, and only had an 9th grade education so I wasn't the sharpest pencil in the cup and never one to
write. I do hope that some of you other wiser men can and will fill in some of the many gaps in my memories. My situational awareness wasn't fully developed at the
time either. In writing this I am attempting to be as sequential as possible, although some events may not be in the correct chronological order.

After several delays, due to April storms in Japan, my group flew from California on an Alaskan Airlines 727;
214 enlisted and one Warrant Officer. There was an
unexpected layover in Guam for hours while an engine was repaired; and we found the liquor store at the air terminal sold alcohol and cigarettes real cheap. The
whole plane load got rip-roaring drunk. We were chased out of the terminal and put out on the grass along a taxi way for planes. After a drunken formation around
midnight, we all loaded up and promptly passed out, being woke up by the pilot as we circled Saigon RVN. Have you ever seen 200 plus drunk GI's attempting to get
into a formation? We landed in the RVN around 3 A.M., hung over and sick! Quite a few of the guys that were on our plane were sent to the 1st Cavalry and both
Hawaiians we had picked up in Hawaii were in Alpha. After several days at the replacement depot, it was on to CAV Country and Orientation. That all happened really
fast, Then from Bien Hoa, to Phuc Vinh, to Quan-Loi. When I joined Alpha 2-7, they were still based in Quan-Loi and we were working with the 11th Armored Cavalry
Regiment aka, the “Black Horse." I liked the place it was always fairly cool in the rubber trees. Quan-Loi got hit with a lot of rockets but they mostly seem to impact
near the airstrip.

The worse thing about working with the 11th ARC was having to dismount and follow the tanks and APCs after they had busted jungle. All the crushed and bent trees
kept springing up, we tripped and fell, we busted our nuts, skinned our legs, the ants and spiders, centipedes and snakes got stirred up, their nest were destroyed
and the bugs were angry! Vicious critters! My last post had been in Alaska, so the heat took me down hard early on. It was because of this that I was allowed to trade
off the M-60 and picked up a PRC-25. Never regretted that! The best part of working with armor is the amount of water they carry, plus the protection! There seem to
never be enough water a grunt could hump for 3 days, when resupply was delayed we all suffered. It was nice to have armor to carry gallons and gallons of water and
beehive rounds that could clear a huge area if the NVA decided to probe the perimeter. Those big tank could cave in a bunker and did so a couple of times when
some stupid gook would fire on us and we saw which bunker the gun fire was coming from! Stupid, stupid! Everyone pulled guard on the line in Quan-Loi every time
they went through the rear for doctor or dental appointments or to get glasses. Bunker guard during the monsoon season was the worse. One rare clear night, two
gooks were spotted down slope, I gave range adjustment for a trooper who used a blooper to blow the head off one gook, we could see him in the starlight scope. The
trooper fired a round, missed, adjusted, fired again and I watch it hit the gook in the head. Distance to target was 100 meters, or better. The body was recovered the
next morning, minus a head!! I will never forget that shot, just who made it! It is possible the shooter has died already, if not I hope to see him again one day!

There is a memory that I can not shake, about working with the 11th ARC, which is vivid as hell yet the memory still seems surreal, did it really happen? What I keep
remembering is that Alpha pulled security for a convoy, A NIGHT CONVOY. There were flares the whole way, gun ships working out ahead of us. Once the convoy
stopped for a short few minutes. I never found out why the convoy had halted but gunfire was heard. The memories flicker like an old time movie, seemingly
disconnected yet weirdly connected. Make any sense? Don't know why a convoy had to run at night, maybe the clubs ran out of beer.
Does anyone remember this
event?
When Alpha went on to what was to become FSB Jamie there was a single roll of concertina wire strung. We piled up several more rolls of wire and set out
hundreds of trip flares and claymores, 6-8 per bunker! Sand bags! I saw them in my sleep, we filled thousands of sand bags. The bunkers 1/1 had started by the log
pad and ran around the south side of the perimeter so every helicopter landing and taking off blew sand into our bunkers, hutches and bedding.

There were no showers yet, so when we went west we crossed a river where sometimes we were given time to bathe. Once we set up an NDP near by. That river
turned into a leech filled swamp a little further south. Jamie was a good FSB and we staged a lot of Combat Assaults out of there. I was surprised to see a cook that
we had in Basic there on Jamie. He always tried to get lemons sent out Alpha and I ate and enjoyed many of them, they helped us keep going when we ran out of
water!
 His name was Johnson, a really good Trooper whom I would like to locate. The month of June 1969 was not a good month for Alpha, Arby Gafford
was hit early on when 1st squad 1st platoon walked into an ambush. Not good being caught in the open with gooks in the wood line. We were lucky only one man was
hit, I remember hearing an AK-47 and Arby was down. The weird part is that a medic or doctor told Arby he had been hit with an M-16 round which he gave to Arby. I
am not surprised that they used an M-16, they threw an old “Pineapple” grenade at me which landed about 2 feet from my head. After it went off I was deaf for 2 days,
but alive! I don't think any one in 1/1 fired a weapon until AFTER the AK opened up and Arby was down! We had been hit with rockets the night before Arby was hit,
and I think one guy on LP was wounded. The gooks got danger close to the LP and lobbed grenades at them so that the LP was pulled back into the NDP. Another
patrol located several more rockets the next morning aimed at the NDP, I think the launch cradles were bamboo. There are pictures of these rockets; photos sent in
by
LT Richard Nelson click here to see photos.

I think it was June 13th, a Friday, when we went into a freshly bombed bunker complex assessing the results of the B-52 strike. Second platoon was point and we were
skirting two huge bomb craters so close together they almost touched, 2nd platoon had just reentered the jungle and was about 100 meters in when the gooks
opened fire from two or three bunkers. Men were hit screaming pleading for help as they were pinned down; somehow the wounded and wounded/dead were pulled
out; most of 1/1 crawled into the jungle to help lay down more cover fire and help the rest of 2nd platoon break contact. Helicopters were firing rockets into the jungle
just meters from the men pulling back, I mean right on their asses! Most of the medics were wounded, one was a new guy an Indian, who was shot right through both
lungs. Later on, I ran into him at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado where he was posted. He spotted me and asked about a few guys, however, I
never saw him again. I sure would like to find him! When we pulled back to the NDP/LZ where a landing area had been chopped out and the wounded had been
loaded. Some of us in 1st squad,1st platoon were tail end Charlie, it being
Bill Holland, Jim Underhill and myself. I got stuck with an LP that night, it rained like hell
and the lighting was awesome; and I remember watching 6-8 gooks with ponchos walking around a clump of bamboo. They turned away from us and walked into the
dark. We were very lucky, that was a long miserable wet night. I remember we got mortared several times in June because that was when I got wounded, in fact, I think
we had some type of contact every day or night in June, mortars, snipers and bunkers, one complex after another, one so huge I think it had to be bombed several
times to hit section after section.

During June or July 69 FSB IKE was hit and almost overran or part IKE was over ran and Alpha did a combat assault in the early morning, before daylight even onto
the lading zone out side the berm around FSB IKE, it was still dark when we landed. The 2/8 Cavalry was on IKE and they lost about 12 men that night, we swept the
area around the perimeter and found a lot of NVA dead and some wounded. Later after we had left IKE and humped all afternoon we set up our NDP a little before
dark. A LOCH came over us and they hit a tree and crashed. We scramble like hell and got the pilot and gunner out asap in case of fire. Half the guys didn't even
have weapons when we ran to the rescue. Both crew members were hurt and had to be medevaced, web removed, the M-60, the ammo, smoke grenades and the
helicopter were then destroyed. What a wild crazy day.

A couple of events that weren't combat related yet shaped my memories of Vietnam. The first would be when Ho Chi Min died and all units were told to dig in and lay
low. As a results our log day was postponed and we ran out of water. We humped all day without water then CC bird spotted a clearing cause by bombs in the middle
of thick bamboo and directed us to cut our way in and sit up an NDP therein. It was a mean and nasty type of bamboo with some long thorns. After we got into the
clearing and dug in a helicopter came in with a 500 gallon black rubber bladder. We drank all we could hold and filled every canteen we had, even washed up some,
water logged we set up our hutches and started supper, clean our feet, brushed teeth, set up our bedding getting ready for dark and bed. Soon a huge black cloud
appeared and began too grow. It grew into a mean storm. It rained so hard that it filled those two bomb craters in about 20 minutes, full! That is a lot of water falling
fast and hard. It drove these black and red ants out of the ground and onto us. The bite was painful, painful!!

Then there was the time the whole unit got sick, we shat our guts out. We shat so much that we had to move several hundred meters because the air was becoming
toxic! Well, let's just say, unhealthy. Most of us were so sick and weak we could only walk so far before having to rest. We were a disgusting bunch! When they
brought out a hot meal of Ham, mashed potatoes and corn with a buttered roll most of us were still sick. That corn went through me in less than an hour.
Anyone
remember how cold it felt when the temperature dropped to 70 degrees? We wanted to build fires,in Vietnam! We figured that it was so cold the
gooks would be in bunkers keeping warm.

OK, then there were the BOATS! Who could ever forget the boat trip the Navy gave us! Unlike most people I was stupid, I volunteered to be the RTO for the boats, so
I made every trip. It was where the river banks were higher than the water that was the spookiest part of the river. Anyone with a gun could have raked the boats killing
all aboard the boats. One boat had some engine problems but the Navy Coxswain knew the motor well, and we were on our way. This was the scariest part of the
trips. I suppose the purpose of moving us by boat made sense to Headquarters but it sure as hell made no sense to us. Maybe a swamp was in the way and we had to
move fast (so we waited for two boats to be sent out to our location), or all the birds were tied up helping another unit. We had several “Stand downs” in Tay-Ninh with
plenty of steak and beer, most of which we purchased ourselves saving up each pay day. Remember lining up out in the jungle, to get paid? Money didn't seem to
mean a whole lot at the time. The Filipino bands were pretty good. The visits from the “Donut Dollies” were the only time I saw a “round eye” except in the hospitals in
Chu-Chi or Cam Rahn Bay.

The BEES! Those big ass bees! We knew that the guy who had to trip over that vine was going to do so the second it was his turn. Once the same guy had a grenade
sticking out of a hole in his cargo pocket and a branch had hooked the pull ring, had the guy continued on he would have jerked the ring out of the grenade without
ever looking to see what was hung up! Yeap, one of those guys, you know which one, the guy who ALWAYS had to ask stupid question after being told the same
thing ten times. Those damn bees were 1 ½” to 2” long, several guys were stung so bad (they ran!) in the nape of the neck that they never returned to the field. After
we started popping smoke grenades the bees settled down, a clearing was hacked out of the brush and the badly stung were medevaced out. Then a Cobra that had
been disturbed was spotted in a spot between a pack and the owner. I was moving my foot to and fro when I noticed a shadow moving in time with my foot, it was a
cobra! Quick thinking by
SGT Derek "Bull" Boeve and the other Trooper who quickly moved the cobra out of striking range and then beheaded it. There was even
a gook in the jungle who fired on a “Fast Mover” F-4 Phantom. What a day!

November 1969: Alpha had left FSB Jamie on foot, no free rides on birds in early November, when I started to feel really lousy. The night before leaving Jamie I had
raided the mess hall supply tent for hot sauce as usual when I discover two items I had never seen, one was a six pound can of Spam, the other was a large can of
dehydrated Shrimp! What the hell! I hadn't had shrimp in years. I appropriated both items. Later that night I went around serving chilled shrimp with sauce for
everyone to try. As I got sicker, that 6 pound can of Spam begin to get heavier and heavier. I got sicker by the hour and others had to help up and put my pack back
on me after each break. By the time we set up the NDP my temperature had really spiked. That night the guys cooked that Spam using a shovel as a frying pan, it
stunk so bad it made me sicker. I don't remember much about the night as my temp got up to 104-105; but I remember
Doc Jimmy Dillard stuck by me. I think he
used alcohol to help cool me off. The next morning Doc decided I had malaria and directed that I be medevaced . We were in triple canopy jungle so the results were
my being hoisted up through the tree tops on a “Bullet hoist". While being dragged through the tree top an AK-47 or two opened fire at the helicopter rescuing me! As
my world turned black it sounded like all hell broke loose below me as Alpha returned fire. Hope they got the bastards.

At some point my temperature spiked to 106, and I woke up on the helicopter being bathed in alcohol at 5000 feet and it was cold, cold , cold. I got better after a week
was released back to Alpha and promptly had a relapse within 3 or 4 days. Then I was sent to the hospital in Chu Chi. There was where
Lyle Templeton was sent
after Alpha was ambushed, Lyle was walking point when the NVA ambushed the unit. I understand that it was a machine gun and Lyle had been hit in both legs, in the
groin, had been hit in the knuckles on one hand and had one arm almost shot off. He was in ICU but still knew who I was. He said the doctors wanted to take his arm
off but he wouldn't let them do it. Lyle said he had promised his wife that he would come home whole. He had a really pretty blond nurse who promised to take good
care of him. Many years later I heard he did keep his arm. I have always wanted to hear from Lyle to see how he was doing, he sure was a great guy. I had walked
back up point with him for a while and he had a great sense of humor for a short guy! I think he came up to about my chin in height!

After the malaria myself and
Rodney Denius were sent to Cam Rhan Bay for rehab, Rodney made me take my Quinine each day as I hated the stuff. Rodney was
one of the guys who came to Alpha from 1st Infantry Division when the unit was shipped stateside. Another transferee was
Bill Swain from Anchorage, Alaska. Bill got
“Black Water Fever." I saw him at the Ft. Carson hospital in late 1970, he was yellow and very frail. Bill was killed (1971?) in a drunken driving accident, his garbage
truck stuck a school bus in the early morning. Apparently Bill was pretty soused at the time. I had really liked Bill and considered him to be a friend.

February 1970: I doubt anyone who were there will ever forget the night (February 3, 1970 )
Jesse Creekmore, aka LURP, was killed along with our Kit Carson
scout. Also KIA were
Danny Lee Jones, Larry Edward Newman and Charles Henry Wright. Another trooper Roosevelt George Dockery died on February 4,
1970. I think he died as he was loaded on the helicopter that next morning. A fatal mistake was made when the LP didn't move after dark. Hell, we had just walked into
a bunker complex, the gooks were still chopping down trees when we found the complex. I remember that we weren't allow to dig in that night, I think the Battalion
Commander thought we could form some kind of NDP quietly! Being short I did not think it was a good idea, I was ready to cut the buttons off my shirt! Rifle pits would
have been better than nothing! We were in the middle of “GOOKVILLE." I know that
Don Greene and Rodney Denius survived that night. Don was killed in August
1970 (that is a sad story), I understand that Don was needed back home so badly that he was getting a Compassionate Discharge) when a claymore mine in his pack
blew up.

Rodney Denius died in 1998 of a heart attack. He was listed in the “Veteran” magazine put out by the VA. My wife and I were able to visit with Rodney and his
family in 1990 or 1991 in Calhan, Colorado. A blizzard blew in while we were eating and I wanted to push on, somehow we missed the fact that the Highway Patrol
closed the freeway from just north of Denver to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The freeway was completely empty not one truck or car. It was great! Snowed like hell, but it was
a nice drive!

I don't know the whole story but others do and I hope they will correct my many mistakes. Some of the above are my memories and some has been told to me. I spoke
with
Al Thomas, aka “Little Doc”, before he died, he was the first medic to get to Don and Daniel Lawrence Grover, the other man killed. He described what Don
looked like after having a claymore go off in his face. It wasn't pretty, Don got a closed coffin funeral.
Don Greene was a hell of a good man and I am proud to have
known him. I have always wondered about his family and if the Legion, VFW, or DAV offered any help. Has anyone ever checked, Don was from Jacksonville, Florida.

In March of 1970, before Alpha went onto FSB Jay we were working that same area, deep in injun country. Us old hats knew things were getting a little sloppy with the
newer guys coming into the unit, A lot of things were going on stateside, all those college student didn't want to be drafted! Maybe it was time to get out, every
President involved in war made decisions that were out of kilter with what needed to be done, most didn't listen to wise advise ( when do they ever?).

Since money was the major reason for prolonging the war I think that to follow the money would be lead to the reasoning behind most of the screwed up decisions. Of
course Nixon didn't need any reason for screwing up his part in the war. The man was a JOKE! And, it cost America boo coo dollars! At this time I was a “double digit
midget” so, I was real edgy. I think some of the newer guys didn't really believe how dangerous it was in the area we were working! One morning three of the guys
went out to recover their claymore mines, they were goofing around, playing grab ass when they tripped their own claymores. I don't remember what the cause was,
either the gooks turned the claymores around or the guys walked pass the mines then tripped them when they tried to return. At any rate it was their own claymores
that blew up. I was eating peaches when it happened and as the wounded were carried by me I never stop eating, I looked at them and had no sympathy. I looked two
of them in the eyes as they went by me. If I felt any thing it was the fools had probably saved a good mans life because they were dangerous! I have always wondered
what really happened and carried the guilt that I felt nothing that day or for years afterward.

Records indicate that a
Sgt. Paul Warren Rose was killed on 13 March 1970. Does anyone remember this event and who else was involved? It must have
about 10-12 days after this incident that Alpha was sent to FSB Jay. As some of us stood at a bunker I lifted a full sandbag with pone hand, the dirt was black but very
light. A day later and the First Sergeant came out to Jay and put me on a bird and out of there like “right now, damn it!" I was pass my DEROS date by 2 weeks or
more. Dumb, huh? Later at Battalion Aid Station, a urine test was given, drug test I guess, when the medics and doctor saw my urine, which was black. I was
immediately put on a gurney, an IV inserted and then medevaced to Japan. I spent the next 4 months in the hospital which blew my 6 month extension. Pissed me off!
Many years later, when I found out that FSB Jay had been just a lure, bait and that the Troopers of Alpha 2-7 Cav were sacrificial goats; and that my brother Troopers
had been killed and or wounded as bait I got pretty pissed; and the guilt that I had because I not been there became even worse.

These are just some of the memories that I have of my tour in Vietnam. Since these are my memories from my point of view I am sure there parts that are not
accurate. I hope other troopers also witnessed these events will correct my errors! Or, add to my account. I keep wondering how much of what I remember really
happened! It was often so surreal. Like are these events war stories I have heard? Or did they occur as I remember? How many times did Alpha 2-7 Cav have to force
march out of an area we had just arrived at to avoid being hit by bombs. During an “Arc-lite” B-52s dumped tons of bombs on the Trail or a bunker complex. Once we
were so close that we were being bounced 6” into the air as we lay on the ground to avoid the concussion.
Anyone remember which 2-7th company refuse to
follow a fresh trail because they had to vacate an area that was to be bombed? That could have been a death sentence for the unit had those
bombers been a little early, a tail wind would have been enough!
The incident was reported in several newspapers, maybe the “Army Times” and/or the 1st
Cavalry newspaper “The Cavalier." I never heard the rest of the story, if anyone was court-martialed, or was Article 15ed over that.

I have avoided telling about how FSB Jamie had been hit and the rotting bodies in the jungle and body part inside the wire stank up Jamie for weeks. You could taste
the rot in your food and water. My favorite were the “Crispy Critters” and the awful smell when the bodies were moved, how they would rupture out. I can't describe the
fear, constant and everlasting, that I felt as we humped through “Indian Country” or while sitting guard in the black nights or waiting in ambush. The horror of seeing
friends die, the deep-deep seeded sadness felt as we loaded our KIA on helicopters for the long trip home. We came home alone except for the memories both good
and bad, the nightmares and flashbacks.

I sat on a bar stool for 20 years doing nothing to help myself or others. I met and became friends with men from other units, who served different years and had
different stories to tell. There was a hollow spot that I needed to fill, and it was that I need find the friends who survived and those who didn't survive and their families
and friends. Many of the men I needed to talk to, and to see again had already died prior to this Alpha 2-7 Cav website coming into being. There were many others I
needed to find, such as the survivors of FSB Jay. Further, I have discovered that other troopers from Alpha 2-7 CAV also needed to locate their friends just as much
as I did. Thankfully, I am blessed with a sister, Jenni Floyd Balis who has always been here for me; and who herself served twenty-years in the military and is a Retired
U.S. Navy Veteran; and who has come to understand our war! Without her this web site would never have been possible. Thanks Sis, I love you!!
                                                                        Peace Out Brothers!
                                   Garry Owen and Welcome Home!
                                          David B. Floyd RVN 69-70
Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 3rd Brigade,1st Cavalry Division (AM)

                                                                             Posted April 2013/jb
David Floyd NAM 69-70.
David Floyd, 20004.
David Floyd, 20004.
David Floyd NAM 69-70.