Basic School Class 2-65 New Orleans 2019 Reunion

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Jack Cassidy's Story

Viet Nam Memories….”This Little Piggy”

                                         By: Jack Cassidy TBS 2-65 1st Platoon

            In late November 1965, some nebulous INTEL from G-2 stated there was an NVA hospital or POW camp located in the mountains west of Chu Lai.  I spent the next 14 months looking for the NVA camp.  It was like a college snipe hunt with supporting arms. 

            We put together a super four man team. The company commanding officer Jim Compton was a tough boss and a recon visionary, simply put his philosophy was to forget the physical training and concentrate on map reading, communicating and calling for supporting arms. Our team of four good men could run, hide and raise hell in the back yard of the Viet Cong.  The others were two of our best corporals, Bob Rochweller and Chucky Herbert…and me.

            We spent 5 miserable days in the bush, in the rain, up one side and down the other side of the mountains.  I spend the night of my 23rd birthday on the side of a mountain with my arms hooked around a couple of trees so I didn’t wash down the slope.  We spent one night in what was probably an old wood cutters hut.  It had a sleeping rack but it wasn’t built for Herbert and me.  In the middle of the night, with the other two on watch, I wound up on the deck with Herbert and our gear on top!  Disoriented by this turn of events I looked down at the ground and thought I was seeing stars.  It was actually the glow of phosphorous from the decaying jungle floor! The lights were on but nobody was home….

            On the next day we hit pay dirt.  We heard noise ahead, with Rochweller on point and me on drag we circled around a small clearing.  We moved in and I came face to face with a BIG, mean looking pig!  He saw me and I saw him and we both backed off.  I didn’t want to fire because of our position/situation.  But I have often thought we would have been real popular back at the company.  IF WE COULD HAVE BROUGHT HOME THE BACON! (The pig).


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