LZ Baldy - Mine Work

 

Click on photos to see a larger view

 

This is road 535, looking toward the west, from inside LZ Baldy compound.   We started off almost every day doing a mine sweep of this road from here to where we would meet up with one of our the other companies, Company A I believe.  (Hill 63, December 1967)

 

 

 

 

 

Working our way down Road 535 on our morning mine sweep.  The dump truck is backing down the road.  If the truck did set off a mine then hopefully it would only damage the back of the truck.  (Hill 63, January, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe this is a photo of Company A working their way toward us on the morning mine sweep.  This photo was taken somewhere along Road 535.  (Hill 63, December 1967)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Julius C. Moody (from Georgia) swinging the mine detector.  The fellow behind him with bayonet in hand was ready to probe the area of the road where Mr. Moody pointed out a possible mine.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, December 1967)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We didn't know if there was a mine buried here or not so we set some explosives on top of the area and set it off.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

A mine found and uncovered by Sgt Mike Male.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January 17, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A close up of the mine.  I can't believe I got this close to the thing.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January 17, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We placed a charge of TNT on top of the mine shown above.  This mine was close to a culvert that can be seen in the lower right area of the photo.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January 17, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

Break time with some of the locals.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

Break time.  Sitting on the right is Richard Schmitz from Chicago.  This photo was taken along Road 535.  (Hill 63, January, 1968)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Daniel [Medic -  HHC/D, Feb 1967 to Jan 1968] was at this river crossing when this truck explosion occurred.  Here are his comments about this event:

The sweep was over and we had taken a break to eat a bite.  I was facing away from the truck eating c-rations.  As the driver started to leave the scene, he let the truck roll backwards a bit ( new drivers always had trouble starting 5-tons on grades w/o rolling back a bit).  A 5 ton makes a very distinctive pop sound when starting on a grade IF you let it roll back.  This truck made that sound a split second before the explosion.  I was standing on the opposite side of a small burm to the right of the 5 ton and maybe 20 feet away, when it went up.  The burm was just high enough to shield me from the direct blast, but low enough for the blast to send me flying through the air, landing running with my c-rations still in my hands.  A Sgt/E-5 was literally blown by me on fire.  Myself and another rolled the Sgt., maybe in a blanket, to put out the diesel fuel fire in/on his clothes.  If I remember right, he escaped with minor burns.  The driver lost his left ear and maybe the hearing in that ear and had some minor burns.  Several others scattered around the immediate area had hearing problems for a while.

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Harvey Blair has a story to tell about this river crossing.  Thanks Harvey for sharing this with us.  Here are his comments:

This incident happened after January 10 and before January 20, 1968.  I was at the sight when it happened.  The Sgt that was burned so bad was Ron Huffman from Bellefountaine, Ohio.  I was wounded at the same place on Jan 20 by a mine and lost my left leg.  I saw Ron Huffman later that year when I was home on leave from Valley Forge General Hospital in PA.  I am Sp/5 Harvey Blair of the 2nd plt of D CO.

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General Albert Nolan Campbell was at the river the day this truck hit the mine.  Here is what he remembers about that day.

I remember the truck hitting the mine and the body going through the air.  I was watching the truck back up when it hit the mine.  I was just getting ready to eat some peaches and pound cake, my favorite C rations.  The blast filled them full of dirt.  I did without dessert that day.

 

 

Another picture of the truck above that hit the mine.  I don't think anyone was killed but three were injured.  This photo was taken along Road 535. 

 

 

 

 

 

Another view of the truck that hit the mine.  This photo was taken along Road 535.

 

 

 

 

 

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