(January 1969 to January 1970)

Phillip remembers the following being on Hamburger Hill: SGT Dombrowski, SGT Bradley, SGT Bender, SGT Bradshaw, SGT Calabreese.

Prior to Hamburger, he remembers being on FB Jack (Jack was at 498282) about 10 km SW of Camp Evans.  He remembers a blonde platoon sergeant at Jack – he was from Texas.

He remembers Peter Blazonis who was killed.  He died June 18, 1969.  He may have been the man shot in the chest who was medevac’d.  He remembers Blazonis may have been shot while cleaning up down by a stream – they may not have had security out.

He remembers a guy named Beltrom in first platoon – Hispanic.

He remembers LT Kenney being killed.  Kenney was first platoon leader and had been there only a few weeks.  LT Kenney’s RTO was also killed.  SGT Clegg had just alternated point with Stanley.  Clegstanley2g called for Kenney to come forward to confer about the route when they encountered the NVA.  LT Kenney and SP4 Bishop were killed.

Near Eagles Nest the company found an NVA garden in that vicinity. 

Phil remembers reporters and photographers on top of Hamburger Hill.

After Hamburger, Charlie walked back to Currahee.  After a resupply, he recalls a CA into elephant grass that caught on fire and some ammo that had been kicked out, ignited and was lost.  Both sides of the LZ had bunkers but fortunately, they were vacant.

Phil commented that seeing a trail with a rut in the middle was probably caused by a .51 cal on a wheel for movement.

He recalls that he, Al Colletto, and Al Wall were in the first platoon when LT Moore was the platoon leader.

He said Michael Sample was wounded in the elbow from RPG fragments – this was about the time that SGT Clegg charged up the hill.  Also, a black medic was wounded.

He assumed that the NVA mortar attack on May 11 was pre-plotted and was very accurate.

At the start of the Hamburger operation, a large tree branch fell on Jimmy Thorp and CPT Stymiest, injuring both.  Stymiest had a good head laceration and had to be medevac’d for a day or two.  This may have been on May 11 during the mortar attack.

He saw black / blue commo wire around Hamburger and saw field telephones in many bunkers.

Around Hamburger, all of the NVA bunkers were supporting each other and had a “Z” entrance so that you could not toss a grenade straight into the main compartment.

LT Lee was wounded about this time.

The company was provided with TNT cans with fuzes – about the size of a coffee can.  They learned to throw a smoke in a bunker and then toss the TNT so the NVA could not see it and toss it back out.

He said the US fought for a while with gas masks on but the humidity made it difficult to see.  The CS was fired from the US.

Phil commented that LT LeClair died from a head wound on May 19, 1969.

During part of the Hamburger battle, Phillip was carrying ammo and food to the lead elements.  He recalls that SGT Bender was hit by a piece of our artillery.

After a few days of the fight and due to the heat, there were a lot of decomposing NVA bodies and flies were attracted to the area; the smell was sickening.

Phillip saw one US soldier who had been hit directly by an RPG and another nearby killed by the fragments.  Both bodies were left where they fell overnight.

LT Shumaker was hauled back on May 21, 1969 after being wounded.  Phil remembers he was wounded in the legs.  Shumaker’s award citation said that he was hit with an enemy claymore but held his position and fired until his platoon was able to move to a better defensive position nearby.

In the vicinity of 937, Phillip saw an NVA base camp with hooches, running water via bamboo pipes and a latrine built like an outhouse.  This was in a saddle short of the peak of Hill 937.

About this time Phillip remembers leaning up against an NVA bunker thinking that it had been cleared.  There was a wounded NVA inside (who was later captured?)  This was after the main assault on 937.

He described the top of Hill 937 as being like a pile of pick up sticks as a result of the air strikes and artillery.

He remembered a US flag and a Confederate flag flying on the top of Hamburger Hill.

In the next few days, Charlie Company chased some NVA into LAOS.

In the May to August 1969 time frame, Phillip remembers an attack helicopter being kept on Currahee to go after mortars and rocket launchers.  About this time again, he remembers an officer bringing out snorkel gear to help locate a lost M-16 in the Rao Lao river by Currahee.

Phillip thinks the “Dink” term for NVA may have come from the sound of their metal canteens making a dink like metallic sound when they were marching. 

As far as animal observations, Phillip reports seeing a three foot long worm about the thickness of one’s thumb and a very large rhino beetle.  Saw wild boar around FB Jack.

During the time of Al Colletto’s death, Phstanley3illip remembers going in to the wrong LZ at first – perhaps landing with Bravo Company.

When Al was killed, Phillip thinks the second platoon was in front of first platoon and the NVA were flushed out and got between second and first platoons.

Phillip liked the M60 machinegun as it prevented him from walking point.

Thank you for the drafts of Charlie Company and the disc.  I kind of read thru it quickly, up to where it started getting into Firebase Granite.  I'm a slow reader.  From what I read, I was amazed that you had all those grid maps and daily activities of some of the missions we were on.  I've been busy.  We went camping with the family over the weekend, and didn't get your letter until Tuesday.  I have a lot of information that I will be sending you.  Tonight my wife and I tried to look up some of the old stuff I have on computer to send, and I have some more from some other guys that I talked to.  I have only been able to research during the past few years because I didn't have a home computer and I couldn't remember anyone's full names.  I did have one address in my wallet when I got home, SSG Lee's from Colorado. I had 6 months yet to do when I got back from VN and I was sent to Fort Riley, KS.  99 % of us were returnees.  I met one of the guys from our company and he told me our company had been shot up and CPT Moore had been shot up and SSG Lee had satchel charges thrown at him, which blackened his whole body and he was sent to Japan.  I don't know if that is true, but that’s what I was told.  So after I got out of the service in Aug 1970, I found Lee's address in my wallet and I wrote him a letter to say Hi and see how he was, but I got no answer.  There was no "Wall" at that time, so I thought he may have died. 

We had two machine gunners in our platoon, the rest of the platoons only had one, I do believe.  I remember SSG Lee, SGT Clegg, and a radio op and the other machine gunner.  They got picked to go up Hamburger Hill on a 6 man team.  I don't remember who else went.  They were to lay low and just observe the enemy.  Well they were found out and all hell broke loose.  I remember when they came back after about three or four days the machine gunner had a bullet thru the back of the butt plate of the M60 and also an AK round lodged in his tail bone, at the top of his butt.  I think the radio had a bullet hole in it.  You could probably ask SGT Clegg about that.  Anyway we were at FB Currahee when they asked for the men to go up in that 6 man team and I won, (not going up) by the toss of a coin, or that gunner would have been me.  I remember they all came back looking poorly, with tears in their eyes.  I think they were pretty scared.  The enemy located them after about three or four days and I think they were supposed to stay there for about six days, Anyway, I'm glad they all made it back.  If you know anything about SSG Lee I would appreciate knowing. 

I still have a lot in my head about the war and the times we were at FB Currahee.  I remember you talking about getting mortared and rocketed there.  Do you remember when we were cleaning up the FB, getting ready to move out?  It was the first time I had seen ice cream over there and just as I got the spoon to my mouth someone yelled "incoming" and the rockets starting coming in.  I had to run 75 to 100 yards to my bunker.  We had a lot of ammo, white phosphorous, mortars and all kinds of loose stuff piled behind our bunker.  Our kit Carson scout, Sau, was in the bunker with me.  I was telling him the NVA were # 10,000 and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in sign language and about that time, one hit the back of the bunker and all the stuff caught on fire, and we had to run out.  Thank God that was about the last one.  Later, in the road, on the inside of the perimeter was a six foot rocket stuck in the ground, that had not gone off.  I later was told that one of our sergeants and a medic, that I remember well, had a direct hit in their foxhole.  I didn't go to look.  I always wondered, until I got home, what that ice cream would have tasted like.  I have a lot more to talk about and a lot more to send.  Hope everything is going well and I enjoyed talking with you on the phone.  I'll talk to you soon.  CURRAHEE!!

Your brother in combat,


I have a lot of pictures on a disc I will send to you, I can't seem to get the computer to e-mail them.


I remembered some more names; there are 3 that aren't on your roster.  They may have been there before you were with us.   Danny Montgomery from Dayton, Ohio, whose nickname was Mongo and he had also been on Hamburger Hill.  Michael Sample was the guy who got hit in the elbow, that you were talking about in your draft, along with a black medic, but I do not know the medic’s name, but Sample was from Texas and he was in Viet Nam before I came.  He was a good guy.  I believe he was on Hamburger, too.  I also think there was a Danny Owens in our Co., but I am not sure about that one.