The Famous, Fighting
Fourth Infantry Division
God bless our troops.
Fourth Division headquarters at Camp Enari,
Pleiku, South Vietnam
There was no
shortage of these
Our squad adopted
two of them; the boy
DERO(S) and the
little girl E(S)T(E)S.
(DEROS meant Date
from Overseas, and
Elapsed Time of
important dates to
all us foot soldiers,
and tattooed on our
Both were very
in a very lonely time
Ready for nighttime Reaction Force duty during Tet, '68. Some of those nights weren't too quiet. I was always very pleased to watch the sunrise 12 hours later. We
routinely did a quick, silent prayer before a night out in the "back yard." I don't know who took pictures during "prayer time", but I have a good idea ...
Two hobbies: Sketching and our little music studio Here's a sketch I made of those pesky little commies, Alexei Kosygin, Ho Chi Minhn and Mao Tse-Tung or, as we'd
say, "Ko", "Ho" and "Moe." The studio was used for listening more than recording. We liked Dylan, Donovan, The Stones, Kinks, Temptations, Four Tops, Miracles, and,
of course, the Animals. Our Reaction Force squad's theme songs included these lyrics from three different songs of the time. See if you can name the songs and
performers. "As i walk this land of broken dreams...," "We gotta get out of this place...," and "...my baby wrote me a letter." We had an ad hoc band that usually
organized after sufficient beer consumption at base camp; two guitars and my drum sticks banging on foot lockers and canteen cups -- rock-on Fox Squad !
Left: That's me in 1968 ... about 30 pounds ago! Above: Opening the safe with a 45-auto
- I hope i was kidding around.
Two Bobs: Me and Bob from Ohio posing with a captured 122mm rocket launcher that was used by the bad boys to attack us a few nights earlier and "Estes" snoozing
on the safe along side a couple of phosphorus grenades...what a gal.
On a Civil Affairs mission, I chat with a Mama San while her older kids rifle my Jeep for candy.
Right: After dispensing some M&M's, Tootsie Rolls, Snickers, et al, I always seemed to acquire some new "pals."
Two mascots and good friends: Left: He adopted us, not the other way around. He didn't speak a word of English
and my Montagnard was almost nil, so I called him "Ralphie." He didn't mind the nom de plume and loved to help us
with our base camp chores; laundry, boot shining, etc. Here, he's wearing my shirt. Yup, that's a size-38 jungle
fatigue shirt with its pockets stuffed with apples and oranges, and I think there was an onion in there too. Ralphie
never returned my shirt, and I'm glad it fitted him so well. Above is another one of our loyal pals. I can't tell if it is
"Estes" or "Deros," but an unqualified friend, nonetheless.
|Steadfast and Loyal
The Famous Fighting Fourth
Enari: Some Memories