Matt Egan LT, USN-Ret:
I received the book on Monday and the only reason that I put it down was I had to meet my wife for dinner and a movie. Except for the fire fights on March 4th, and the 26th, you were right on. My boat 137 was sunk on the 4th and is the one that Eric was escorting the LCM to recover. The 26th was the night Robinson and Cancilla were killed.
Your account about Ap Bac was right on, none of us wanted to go down that canal (Kihn Muoi Hai Canal) for the reasons you listed. We all knew that Charlie would be set up for us on the way back. We the crew of 137 (Irby, Cline and myself ) were in 148 with Gold. We were slowed down because one or both of our pumps were clogged, I think they clogged when we turned around.
I think that that fact that all the crews were volunteers and well trained was what prevented one of us from fragging Eric when we returned to the base camp. We all knew that he was a boozer.
I always wondered why Eric was awarded the Navy Comm. Medal, he received it at the same time Adm.Zumwalt awarded me the Bronze Star.
I took over the 85 boat while we were still at Tuey Non and made several patrols out of Nha Be before I was MedEvaced in June. Your book was what I remember the patrols to be like.
I will be sending you a copy of a letter that Eric sent all the families dated 14 April 69 along with a few copies of pictures from then.
Again Ron, it was a good book about PBR patrols, the 95% boredom followed by 5% shear terror of a fire fight.
Keep in touch,
Linda, Registered Nurse:
Linda, Registered Nurse