O. D. was with me from the beginning of my tour having arrived in country
a couple of months before me. A large man, 6' 4" or more tall - he was
my forward gunner. He could swing that old gun tub better than anyone in
the division. He could have five M 79 rounds (40 mm grenades) in the air
before the first one hit. For you that don't know, an M 79 grenade launcher
is much like a single shot sawed off shotgun except the bore is 40 mm (1
and 9/16 inches) rather than the 20 or 12 gauge that you may be familiar
with. O. D. completed his tour as a member of my crew and left a couple
of months before my tour was up. He was replaced by a Vietnamese Sailor
as part of the ACTOV (accelerated turnover to the Vietnamese) program.
O.D. And I never missed an assigned patrol together and at one time could count more then 40 rockets that had been fired in fire fights that we were involved in.
O.D. was the first of my Crew that I was able to locate. I located him several years ago and am happy to report that he is doing well and has a tractor dealership.