Monday, 9 July 2007
A Firework Display.1968. Remembering Phan Thiet. Vietnam
One night at our camp the ammunition dump got hit during a Viet Cong mortar attack. This dump was for our battery of ARVN 155s. The resulting firework display wrought much devastation. As we were on a hill overlooking the town of Phan Thiet it must have looked quite impressive from there. From a distance of a hundred and fifty yards where I was situated I had the most strange sensation of my eyes looking at it with a sort of wonder, my brain not really taking it in, and all the while puffing calmly on my pipe. Sitting alone behind a low wall, my Swedish K sub machine gun in my hands, no helmet or flack jacket at that time, although they would be issued a few days later, I couldn't see all the shrapnell and shells falling back to earth, nor did it even occur to me that it was happening.
There is a shade of fear where one's mind escapes from the surrounding reality whilst the body calmly goes through the correct motions of its duty.
The photo shows some ARVN walking wounded.