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AMERICA

 

IN

VIETNAM

BOONIE RAT (an excerpt)

Chuck Rosenberg


I landed in this country,
With one year of life to give,
My only friend a weapon,
And my only prayer, to live.


I walked away from freedom,
The life that I had known,
I saw the weary faces
Of the others going home.


Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat,
Scared but not alone,
300 days more or less
Then I'm going home.


My first few days were busy
As they psyched my mind for war,
I sometimes got the feeling
They're trying to tie the score.


I learned to look for danger
In the trees and on the ground,
I learned to feel with terror
When you hear an A-K round.


Boonie Rat, Boonie Rat,
Scared but not alone,
300 days more or less
Then I'm going home.

  • Colonel Thomas G. Rosell

    Headquarters, 4th Infantry Division.

    Colonel Rosell would get his first taste of comabt in Italy in 1944, he would earn the Silver Star for bravery during the fighting on the Gothic Line. During Korea he worked closely with the 187th RCT in Japan but doesn't appear to have jumped. 

    He did 3 tours in Vietnam, serving with a variety of units eventually earning a second Silver Star for Bravery while serving with the 4th ID.

  • Lt. Colonel Neville Mcnerney

     

    HQ Company, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

    Lt. Col Mcnerney would enlist in November 1941 and train as an air gunner, deploying overseas in 1944. During his 36 mission tour as an Air Gunner he would be awarded 4 Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

     

    After the war he would transfer to the Infantry and serve in Korea with the HQ Company, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He would earn the Bronze Star on September 22nd 1950 for Courage under fire and go on to serve tours in Vietnam, earning further decorations for bravery.

  • Colonel Charles H. Brown

    Headquarters, 245th Tank Battalion, 45th Infantry Division.

    Colonel Charles Brown would deploy to mainland Europe in September 1944. His first taste of combat came in October near Wurm, Germany. Shortly thereafter he would earn the Silver Star for incredible bravery clearing a town nearly alone. 

    He would fight in Korea with the famous 245th Tank Battalion, attached to the 45th ID.  After Korea he would do some tours in Vietnam as an adviser in the mid 60s.

  • Captain Frank Quinn

    USS Gunason DE-795

    Captain Quinn would serve aboard the USS Gunason in WW2 doing convoy duty in the Atlantic and Pacific. He would spend many years at sea afterwards, Serving as Gunnery Officer onboard the USS St. Paul during the Korean War.

     

    It would be onboard this ship he would fire the last Naval shot of that war 1 minute before the cease fire. During Vietnam he would break several records as the captain of a fleet oiler. 

  • Staff Sergeant Victor W. Smith

    Marine Air Group 12, 1st Marine Air Wing, 1st Marine Division.

    Staff Sgt. Smith would serve as a demolitions Expert with the 1st Division starting in March 1944. During his time in the Pacific he would fight in many battles including The Battle of New Britain, Battle of Peleliu, and the nightmarish Battle of Okinawa.

    After some time on occupation duty in China he transferred to the 1st Marine Airwing for the Korean War, he served with MAG-12 during this conflict and would stay in the air force working on airplanes until 1969.

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