15. You Meet LRRPs In The Strangest Places By James DeWitt

I left Vietnam from Cam Ranh Bay and noticed a guy with a very familiar look, but for the life of me I could not place him. On the flight home, I had an aisle seat and he had an aisle seat one row back on the opposite side from me. Several times during the flight I looked back and caught him looking at me and he did likewise with me still no clue why he was so familiar. We landed at McCord AFB and after clearing customs we grabbed taxis and headed for the Seattle airport to catch a flight home. Well, this guy is in the taxi with me and another guy. As we and another taxi from the plane pull up we bail out and tell each other "meet in the bar after you get your tickets."

I was having trouble getting a ticket home, since Hurricane Camile was storming ashore in Mississippi and south Alabama airports were closed down. Finally after getting my ticket home I head for the bar and was the last to arrive. There was an empty seat next to this "familiar" guy and a drink sitting there but no one was sitting there. I walked up and ask had this person gone, and the guy replied, "no that's your drink, Demon 26". Well, you could have knocked me down. He didn't know my name but finally recognized my voice and put the call sign and voice together.

As it turns out, he was the 173rd LRRP Platoon Leader that always briefed us and flew the high bird. Most of the times I had seen him he had on his cammo, etc. but he was the one in the high bird that gave me directions while I low leveled and attempted to sneak up on the bad guys to drop the LRRPs off (didn't always work!).

What a small world, and for him to remember my voice! Anyway, I sat down and we began to reminiscence about some of those sorties and LRRPs dropping rifles and wanting me to go back so they could retrieve them. No way, I pulled them out under fire and I wasn't about to go back to where I had just got shot at.
AM Def Ser Cam
Last modified: Friday March 17th, 2023