This “Hill” soon defined our platoon and the Area of Operation (AO) we patrolled.
The morning of July 8, 1969, in a column of twos, our platoon entered the rear of the Chinook helicopter. It lifted off, taking us to secure the new firebase location on a hill seven miles west of Quang Ngai City. The Chinook landed without receiving enemy fire, and we exited through the rear door as soon as it dropped. We moved up the hill, encountering many mines and booby traps along its crest. The Company Commander deployed Sergeant Owens with a minesweeping device to sweep the hill for booby traps. We found booby-trapped grenades, 2.75-inch rockets, and a canister full of napalm with a firing device planted in the ground.
Lt. Baxter, Alpha Company’s First Platoon Leader, taking a break while the platoon and company start building the new firebase Hill-411. Note the small sandbagged shelter to his top left. Each position had the same shelter. They were all we had until the bunkers were built a week later. Combat Engineers built the bunker shells, and we sandbagged them.
When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir and Soldiering After the Vietnam War.