84th Engineer Battalion (Construction)
Association Viet Nam

Gather round chillin


Jhon (Wags) Wagner

  Those photos were taken by Tom Filz who I believe was on post #1 that night.   I had "Go-Team" (reactionary force).   I remember we had ben to the club that night and got pretty liquoured up.   We awoke at around 3:30 by multiple layers of explosions.    Advanced party was allready in Danang and we had most of our stuff packed and ready to convoy to Danang.   I had my Akai M10 sitting on the floor of my room.   When the shit hit, I remember jumping up and grabbing my gear and running right over the Akai like Bo Jackson running over Brian Bosworth.   We were on the second floor of the hootch by the basketball court and I remember guys were running down the hallway and jumping off the second floor stairs, straight out.   Luckly the hill was there to decease the distance to the ground.   When I got to the bunker designated for Go Team.  I remember I had someone elses knee high rubber boots on, my pants, flack vest helmet, gun, and no ammo.   Roger McCarty gave me half of his.   I don't recall this but Roger said the OD shows up without any pants on and Roger told him "We go but not with you".   We couldn't get anywhere near the scene of the incident.   I remember that mountain with the spotllight behind the ammo dump was like the ones behing the 84th and I remember the fire was higher than the mountain in its peak.  The explosions were so intense, so much shit going up simultaneously and it continued at that pace for quite a while, then slowed after a few hours, but explosions were still happening in the morning.    We heard a demo guy was blinded the next day.   Tom took some great pictures but to be honest they really don't illustrate the magnitude of the explosions, it was just a giant fire ball, like a fountain.   Years later camping in the Mountains a violent thunderstorm awoke us and I remember I jumped up and just for a moment I was back at that night in 71.     It actually helped me get my AFEES assignment to NYC upon my DEROS because Co Lt GRasso wanted someone to ride shotgun on the ammo truck in the convoy to Danang.   He was reluctant to assign someone arbitrarily and asked for volunteers.   I agreed to do it if he would ok my reguest for assignment upon DEROS.  It had to be Ok at company, battalion, group etc.   I remember he was going to have a 60 mounted ont he back with a swivel chair, but when I said I'd do it Randy Becht and Roger McCarty said they would go to so we saw no need for a m60.    The trip was a great, saw lots of the country and didn't get blown up (what a bonus) and I got my AFEES assignment (cake).

I wish someone had filmed the ammo dump going up, just so people could see how huge and powerfull it was.  Trully awesome.   I don't know what kind of ordinance was stored there but some people said that it was a regional dump and everything from Willy Peter rounds, claymores and whatever we used was in there.   I wonder if the airforce had anythign in there (500lb bombs or whatever).  It was something, those flames just dwarfed that mountain.   I remember thinking of the guys in the towers surrounding the compound, man shit must have been flying all over the place over there.    I'll never forget it.   Wags

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