Monthly Archives: August 2015

George Buck – B Battery XO (Executive Officer) – Part One

George Buck held more jobs during his Vietnam tour than perhaps anyone who did time at LZ Sherry.

Fresh into Vietnam, his first assignment took him to the 4th/60th Duster battalion as a platoon leader. After four months of action up and down the Central Highlands he went to the 5th/27th artillery battalion as a forward observer for Charlie Battery. Three months later he became executive officer of B Battery at LZ Sherry, but spent most of his time on air mobile operations. The last six weeks of his tour were relatively quiet. Lt. Colonel Crosby brought him to battalion headquarters in Phan Rang as his intelligence officer, where again he spent a considerable time in the air on recon missions.

If there is a single theme running through these many assignments it is isolation, a bloodless wound suffered by many young men who were forward observers or in small mobile units away from their comrades. Here is how George described it in an email to Hank Parker:

“I recall little from my four months as a Duster platoon leader and then my stints as an FO for C Battery, XO for B Battery and then the S2 job which included doing daily aerial recon around Phan Rang air base. I think one reason I recall so little is that I never had any chance of bonding with anyone. I came to Vietnam on individual orders, went to Dusters, which is a completely different MOS (military specialty different from field artillery),  was isolated totally as a platoon leader with no other officers within fifty miles of me, then as an FO with a different non-U.S. unit every ten days for months, rarely shooting for my own battery, and then as XO for only a few months at Sherry, which was, at the time, a new fire base.  At the battalion I think I was the only lieutenant, so I was isolated there too. The captain that flew the L19 (recon fixed wing airplane) and I became good friends, but only for about two months and then I was home again and out of the Army.  It was a rather lonely existence and to top it off my jeep trailer was raided on multiple occasions and I lost my cameras and film, so I have very few pictures.  I wish I had kept a diary.”

Lt. George Buck at LZ Sherry
Lt. George Buck at LZ Sherry

The start of my military experiences go back to my freshman year at Penn State when I was in Army ROTC. Due to an antiquated law going back to the days of land grant colleges, ROTC was mandatory for all incoming male students. If a college was given land to build its school, in return it had to have mandatory ROTC for the first two years for all male students, with an optional advanced program for the final two years. I chose the Army ROTC program, and at the end of my sophomore year opted for the advanced ROTC program. Then after I graduated on December 17, 1966 I was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Reserves.

After a few months off I reported to Fort Sill for Field Artillery Officer Basic, which lasted about ten weeks. From there I went to Fort Knox, Kentucky to the U.S. Armor Training Center. Initially I was made Executive Officer of an artillery battery (B Battery, 3rd Howitzer Battalion, 3rd Artillery Regiment), which was interesting since there were other lieutenants already in the battery. I am not sure how that happened but within a month I got bumped by a 1st lieutenant who had been in graduate school, and I spent the rest of the year as the Assistant XO.


The Army put you where they needed you, and not always where you had the training.

In December, 1967 I was on leave for the holidays when I got orders for Vietnam, telling me to report to Oakland, California on January 1. From there I flew to the Philippines and then to Saigon where I was under the control of USARPAC (US Army Pacific Command) RVN. I was a single assignee, not travelling with any unit, so I was not sure where I would end up. Eventually I was assigned to the First Field Forces and spent a week waiting for my unit orders. When they finally came I was surprised that I was assigned as an assistant platoon leader to B Battery, 4th/60th Air Defense battalion, which was a Duster unit and not field artillery. This was an entirely different MOS (military occupational specialty): 1174 MOS and not the 1193 MOS I was trained in as a field artillery officer.

The 4/60th Duster battalion had a chronic shortage of lieutenants. Operations reports from 1968 to 1970 list an average of just eleven lieutenants for almost a thousand personnel.

For a newly minted 2nd lieutenant newly arrived in Vietnam, taking his first command job outside his area of training would have been tough. He felt as if he knew nothing, knew no one, and would be forever an outsider – another wrinkle in the curtain of isolation that shrouded George’s year in Vietnam.

I had no clue what a Duster was all about. My only idea of a Duster configuration was the Naval guns on Destroyers and the other big ships that had exposed tubs on their sides with twin 40 mm guns mounted in them for air defense. If you were a fan of the old Victory at Sea shows, these “Duster” tubs were the final defense against Japanese suicide planes.

A Duster was an Army Air Defense weapon that became obsolete once the era of jet fighters became the norm. But it still was effective as a ground defense weapon for strong point security, convoy escorts, and perimeter defense requiring heavy direct fire support. The gun tub was mounted on an old model tank, so it basically was a tank with a tub on top and two 40 mm guns that could fire either automatically or in semi-automatic mode (one shot at a time). We also had attached Quad-50 machine gun units, so combined these platoons of Dusters and Quads were extremely effective in providing fire power superiority and eliminating large enemy assaults and concentrations in a very short time.

So one of the unique aspects of my year in Vietnam is that I was a combat commander in two different MOS categories with three entirely different weapons systems (Dusters, Quad-50s and howitzers). Fortunately the crews on these assignments knew precisely what their duties and missions were, and could function independent of any kind of direct supervision.  It is why for the Duster and Quad-50 crews it was a “Sergeants’ War”.

My platoon was located along Highway 19 about in the middle between Pleiku (Battery B headquarters, 4/60th) and the Mang Yang Pass near An Khe. We were at a bridge site with defensive positions on all four corners, a Military Police shack, and an ARVN (South Vietnamese) Regional Force unit. There was also one tank from the 4th Division commanded by 2nd lieutenant John Abrams, the son of General Creighton Abrams, who had taken over for General Westmoreland, and ran everything in Vietnam. Lieutenant Abrams’ tank was my main defense against a frontal attack on my Duster, and I reciprocated with my Duster providing cover for his tank and defensive position. On the day Lieutenant Abrams became a 1st lieutenant his father flew in and pinned his silver bars on him.

Acosta and Donovan

Our Platoon Leader was a 1st lieutenant from the west coast who was really laid back and a nice guy, what you would describe today as a “surfer dude”. We got along, but I had some very definitive security issues that concerned me, though I was careful not to rock the boat too much. I didn’t believe that we had enough wire out on our perimeter, and I didn’t like the Montagnards (mountain tribe people) coming into our garbage pit rummaging around for scraps. Too much could be salvaged for land mines and other things.

A major issue was that every morning we were the first on the highway, because we had to go up to a 4th Division base camp to get our hot food for the day, which was put in mermite cans (insulated food containers) to keep it warm. Highway 19 had been paved at one point but now it was full of pot holes, so the convoys rode on the side of the highway which was all dirt and easy to lay mines in by the enemy. I wanted our tracks and vehicles to stay on the paved portion since it could not be mined easily, but unfortunately I was not making much of an impact being only the assistant platoon leader.

Two weeks into my tour my first major tragedy and setback occurred. Two of our men driving my jeep up to the base camp for our daily chow were riding along the side of the road and ran over a mine, killing both instantly. It is something that I will never forget. Names and people from my tour escape me, but I remember Acosta and Donovan. It was such a sobering event, the loss of two men, the failure of leadership on my part, something I would live with for the rest of my life, and I was only 22 years old.

Mike Lindquist – Duster Section Chief

Mike and Jim Logan were in Non-Commissioned Officer school together and together deployed to Vietnam, ending up in the same 4/60th battalion, Jim on Quad-50s and Mike on Dusters.

Five of us made staff sergeant out of NCO school. It was amazing. I was only in the Army at that time eleven months. (It typically took five years to become an E6 staff sergeant.)

My first duty assignment in Vietnam was at LZ Sherry. I went there to fill in for the section chief, Staff Sergeant Twyman, who had re-upped for another tour in Vietnam and was going on a month leave to the states. I flew into LZ Sherry on a chopper in the middle of January, 1970 and my first reaction was how dusty the place was. And hot. I couldn’t believe it.

I remember landing at Sherry and seeing the sign made of mortar tail fins. Sergeant Twyman met me at the chopper pad and showed me where a round had landed. It was no more than twenty-five feet away from our ammo bunker, which was right next to the track. I thought, “Oh boy, what am I getting into?”

4/60th Yearbook Photo - 1970
4/60th Yearbook Photo – 1970

I was at Sherry for six weeks. During my stay we were frequently mortared and we pumped out a lot of firepower many nights. When a mortar round went off, the guy who was on watch would holler INCOMING. Our job was to respond with Duster fire immediately. We’d all race to the Duster, jump into the tub and if we had a sense of where the initial mortar came from, and that was usually from the person who heard the round come out of the tube, we would just start opening up on that point. We would fire ten to twenty rounds, then stop and sit there for another hour. If there was no more activity we would stand down.

You never knew when this was going to happen. My sense was that Charlie was just trying to keep us awake and trying to wear us down. I became a very light sleeper, with one ear awake. Fortunately no one was hurt on our tracks, however several in the gun battery were wounded.

On Reflection …

The craziest and maybe the stupidest thing that I did, one day the XO (executive officer) of the battery came over and said, “We’re getting reports that there’s activity outside the fence, and we want you to go take a look with your Dusters.”

Being new in country and trying to please an officer I said, “We can do that but I got to get permission from my lieutenant,” who was at LZ Betty. I called him on the radio and told him the situation and got the XO from the gun battery on. My lieutenant said to take the recon out and look around, so I followed orders.

I got the two Dusters going and put the XO on the M-60 machine gun mounted on top. Normally I would be on the machine gun, but I said to the XO, “You man the M-60, and I’m going to be on the other side of the tub.” I had fairly quick hands, so I could load the shells fast, and I could direct fire from that position as well.

We went out five or six hundred yards and spent about an hour riding around. Nothing happened, but I thought about it later: Boy, that was really, really dangerous. We were out there all by ourselves. We did not have any support from the standpoint of ground troops or choppers, nothing. If Charlie had been around with a rocket propelled grenade, we would’ve been in trouble.

The identity of the battery XO is unknown, but it fits 1st Lieutenant Rudewiec. He was always looking for a fight, and when there wasn’t action at hand he manufactured something. It would have been very much in character for him to go out to a Duster and say, “Boys, we got activity. Saddle up.” And no place would have suited him better than behind the M-60 machine gun.

Things Could Only Get Better

I was glad when Twyman came back from the states. Beyond the barbecues I don’t remember any fun times at Sherry. I just remember being dirty all the time and dusty. We provided convoy escort to LZ Betty once, and it was hot and dusty all the way there and all the way back. I was very glad to get the hell out of that hot and dusty hellhole!

On the positive side it made me appreciate my next assignments. From Sherry I went up west of Cam Rahn Bay to Firebase Freedom. Once again I took over for the section chief who had re-upped and gone home for a month. Firebase Freedom was much quieter than Sherry. I enjoyed it tremendously, because I’m a hands on guy and we had to build hooches. Us ten or eleven guys were busy filling sandbags and building hooches day in and day out, and we didn’t have to worry about mortars too much. I was there five or six weeks, similar to Sherry, and I certainly enjoyed it there. You could go to the PX for booze or to shop, then jump in the South China Sea. It was almost like a vacation of sorts. But I did wish I could get my own section instead of replacing guys on leave.

From Firebase Freedom I went northwest to Buon Ma Thuot, to a pretty large firebase with two Duster sections. We were on one side of the firebase, and on the other side was another Duster section headed by Duane Skidmore. He was also in NCO school with me and Jim Logan, so we were close and had a lot in common. Duane went to Cambodia for the May 1970 invasion, but I stayed back. Later I went toward Cambodia, but not into it. Again at Buon Ma Thuot things were fairly quiet. I think we received incoming once.

I remember only one piece of excitement. We had to get more fuel and took the Dusters to a fuel dump several miles away guarded by the Vietnamese. We had backed into place and I had gotten off the track and was talking to another fellow when I noticed a fire had started up on the other side of my Duster. The Duster tub was loaded with live ammunition, five hundred rounds of Duster shells along with M-60 machine gun ammo. I hollered to MOVE THE TRACK, but they didn’t hear me. I ran toward the track and somehow or other I landed on top of the back deck. It’s high and I somehow landed flat footed on the deck. The guys on the track looked at me like I was Superman. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and said, “Get this track the hell out of here.” I jumped off toward the fire and was able to get it out. I don’t know how I made the leap but I was able to launch myself. I was a pretty good athlete in high school and I guess being 22 at the time also helped.

Mike still in good shape,  resting his hand where he landed flat footed 45 years earlier
Mike still in good shape,
showing where he landed flatfooted 45 years earlier

Mitch Reynolds – Quad-50 Mechanic

I was in the Army for a three year tour. I was drafted for two years and extended a year to get surface-to-air missile school, because they did not have missiles in Vietnam and I did not want to go to Vietnam. About half way through the school they said your math is not good enough to stay in surface-to-air missiles. They said your choices are either automatic weapons or cook school. I said, “I ain’t cooking eggs at four o’clock in the morning. Give me this automatic weapons thing. By the way, what is it?”

Then I said, “What about my extra year?”

They said, “We guaranteed you the school, nobody guaranteed you to pass it. You’re committed to the three years.”

There were twenty-six of us in my mechanics class at Ft. Bliss. Twenty-four went to Korea and two of us went to Vietnam. By then I thought, Thank god I don’t have to go to Korea – too cold and a lot of playing Army.

Junk Yard Mechanic

In Vietnam I was the only guy certified to work on the Quad-50 for the whole battalion. From the headquarters at An Khe they would send me to every place that had Quads in order to do maintenance work. I was on a lot of firebases where it was quite hairy: the Quads were down and people were trying to kill you. Then I would fly back to An Khe, report in and see what else is broke, or they would send me on gun trucks (Quad-50 mounted on the bed of a five-ton truck) running convoy support. I was never anywhere very long.

Mitch on the front bumper of a Whispering Death truck
Mitch on the front bumper of Whispering Death

Working on those old pieces of WWII equipment was an experience most 19 or 20-year-old people don’t get. I did constant preventive maintenance: tearing them down, putting in new solenoid switches, cleaning them, putting them back together, and trying to get the “Little Joe” Briggs & Stratton engine that moved the guns to work. The drive belts would wear out and the little motors under them would burn out, so you took them to the electrical shop to be rebuilt. Then you’d have to readjust the entire weapon. It was all quite a chore.

The Quad-50 was not being made anymore, so I always had trouble getting parts. Some I had to fabricate myself. The drive motor under the seat that turned the turret, up and down and 360 were plated with cheap Chinese metal. Due to stress and tension they would break off and the bolts would break off. You could not weld them because they would not take the heat. So I built plates out of scrap metal and welded them on underneath the gun turret.

I had a hard time getting barrels for the Browning machine guns. They glowed red when they were fired for a sustained period, which would warp them and burn the rifling out. With the rifling gone and the rounds coming through a smooth barrel, you never new where they would go (like a knuckleball). You could be shooting straight, but the rounds could be going to the left, or right, or up or down

When I couldn’t order a part or make it, I robbed Peter to pay Paul. I would take an old gun mount, take it off the road, take it off the truck, set it up on three 55-gallon barrels and strip it for parts – meaning we only had nine or ten working Quad-50s for the battalion instead of the twelve we should have had.

Memory Slots

My memory is like a roulette wheel. You spin the wheel and the ball drops into a slot. That is what my brain is like trying to remember 40 years ago. I did not get into all of the blood and guts, the gory stuff that other guys did. Fortunately I was always one step ahead of it. For example, we got rocketed last night but I had already left.

I do remember a close call from a sniper. They put me on a helicopter to LZ English near Pleiku, a little firebase of two mortar tubes, a squad of infantry and two Quad-50s sitting on a low hilltop that looked down over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. I had to work on a Quad just north of there at a place I can’t remember the name of. I do remember the Quad would not rotate 360 or traverse up and down because of a broken cotter pin.

I had the front cover off and was leaning over the turret when sniper rounds started pinging off the bat wings (medal shields to protect the gunner). One was an inch and a half to the left of my head. I di-di-mau’d off the truck saying, “I got to go.” (di di mau: Vietnamese for “leave quickly” and borrowed into English by US soldiers)

LZ Sherry

The closest I ever got to getting killed was at LZ Sherry. Naval guns were shooting over the top of us and you could hear the rounds whistle. But one round made a WUMP WUMP WUMP sound. When I heard that funny sound I dove under the Quad-50 truck, just before the round exploded overhead and sent a big chunk of medal the size of a license plate down right beside the truck. They told us afterword a medal band had come off in flight.

I have two other little memory slots of Sherry. 

I was working on Logan’s gun. I remember the stick control cotter pin had come out. I was looking out toward the trash dump which was off the southern perimeter in front of Logan’s Quad. I noticed five or six girls we called Coke Girls. They were local prostitutes who also would come out to sell Coca-Cola. This time they were scavenging at the dump when Viet Cong popped up and shot all of them in broad daylight.


At a place like Sherry you tended to get a little jumpy. One night I called for an illumination round because I saw something in the wire. They wouldn’t give it to me and I was scared to death. After the sun came up I saw it was a trash can laying out there.

The Back Door To SAM

Clerical errors and oversights plagued almost every Vietnam vet. Sometimes Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars and other medals for valor went un-awarded. Or entire foot lockers of personal effects disappeared. Or parents learned their son was missing in action, when he was safely recuperating at an aid station. In Mitch’s case a clerical error had a happy ending.

When I had to leave the surface-to-air missile school because of my math skills they should have given me a different specialty code for Quad mechanic. But when I left Vietnam my records still had the original 16 Foxtrot (16 F) specialty code, on paper making me a graduate of the SAM training. I told them it was a mistake but they said they didn’t care and sent me to Germany to track Russian MIGs. So I ended up in surface-to-air anyway.

Jim Logan – Quad-50 Squad Leader

Sergeant Jim Logan Picture courtesy Bob Christenson
Sergeant Jim Logan – Picture courtesy Bob Christenson

Jim went to Vietnam in December 1969 as a Quad-50 squad leader after completing non-commissioned officer training at Ft. Bliss, Texas.

The first part of my tour in Vietnam I was stationed out of Artillery Hill near Pleiku (300 miles north of LZ Sherry). We were on the road six days a week: Kontum, Dak To, Ben Het, LZ Hard Times, LZ Blackhawk and Pump Station Eight. We escorted a bunch of infantry guys over to the Cambodian border in May, and right after that I went to LZ Sherry.

On May 1, 1970 U.S. forces joined South Vietnam units which days earlier had crossed into Cambodia to attack approximately 40,000 Viet Cong in safe haven just over the Cambodian border.

The first thing I saw getting off the helicopter at Sherry was that sign that said WELCOME TO LZ SHERRY. It was spelled out with mortar tailfins, and they were not our tailfins. I always liked that sign.

Picture courtesy Andy Kach
Picture courtesy Andy Kach

It reminded me that a few weeks before I got there one of our guys was killed on the other Quad-50. (There were two Quad-50s at Sherry. Jim’s was on the south perimeter. The other was on the west perimeter where Charles Cordle was killed.) He was hit with a mortar round. I think it was the first mortar round that hit. It landed damn near on top of him.

“Fire power for hire” is what we were. We were supposed to have rounds in the air before anybody else. That’s the way we were trained: first to fire and last to leave. When it started getting dark it was flack jackets and steel pot helmets. We had better flack jackets than the other guys in the battery, with those big ceramic tiles. We were exposed, so we had those great big heavy-ass flack jackets.

At Pleiku I was always on the road and I lived in some pretty primitive conditions, so to get to Sherry and have a permanent bunker was kind of nice. I liked a lot of things about Sherry, most of all the free fire at night (firing at will within a given sector). Everywhere else I had been, the hardest thing to get was clearance to fire. If we could get clearance to fire the enemy didn’t want to mess with us. But if we didn’t get clearance, we’d get messed with. At them other places it took an act of Congress to get permission to fire. At Sherry we were encouraged to fire.

And Sherry was the first LZ I was ever on where they had a great setup of Claymores mines (command detonated anti-personnel mines scattered throughout the perimeter wire). They were already set up when I got there.

Claymores – containing 700 steel balls and with the helpful instruction: FRONT TOWARD ENEMY With the helpful instruction: FRONT TOWARD ENEMY
Claymores at LZ Sherry containing 700 steel balls, and with the helpful instruction: FRONT TOWARD ENEMY 

We pulled the blasting caps out of them every morning. I always took the last guard duty at night so that I could reserve that job for myself and make sure the wires were still good on the blasting caps. Then I’d go to breakfast. In the evenings after dinner I would go back out and hook the mines back up myself. There was a wooden box at our guard station with a strip that had all the wires coming from the Claymores. You had another wire with a battery connection that let you fire one Claymore at a time, or just run it across and blow the whole perimeter in case the world was coming to an end.

Want Eggs With Those Shells?

 One night a radar guy pulled guard duty with me because their equipment was down and the radar guys were on loan to us. He was – and I don’t mean this in a negative fashion – he was kind of a computer geek and didn’t carry a weapon. He was a technical guy and a nice guy, super nice. After unhooking the Claymore mines in the morning we went into the mess hall. We were the very first ones there.

The mess daddy was a Spec 5 or 6 named Chaves. He never got along with anybody. Chaves always cleaned the grills in the mornings. He would just throw some eggs on there, shells and all, beat ‘em up and wipe the grill up with that, and then start cooking.

My radar guy had never been there early in the morning before. We walk in and Chaves takes one look at this guy and says, “How you want ‘em? How you want your eggs?”

The guy says, “How about scrambled.”

Chaves says, “You got ‘em.” He grabs two eggs, throws ‘them down on the grill shells and all, takes his little beater, wipes them around two or three times till they’re done, puts them on the spatula and pokes them out to the guy. The guy didn’t know what to do. He finally puts his plate out like he’s gonna take them, and Chaves just dies laughing. You had to be there to appreciate it, because Chaves was not a real friendly guy and he fit the part good. That was probably my favorite experience at Sherry, just to be a bystander.

Saved By Kool-Aid

Memories of Vietnam are often a slurry of half-facts and twisted timelines. The incidents veterans remember – in fine detail – are the trivial decisions that saved them from a tragedy, but laid it on another.

We have veteran reunions and when we get together it takes three of us to remember a story, and four of us to remember a name. But I’ll always remember this.

Sherry was the smallest fire base I was ever on, so small the chopper pad and the dump were both outside the wire. And we had to get our water for showers from a well outside the wire. We were supposed to go get water one day and Lem Cox off the Dusters and I were settin’ in the mess hall together drinking orange Kool-Aid. Two of Lem’s crew, Jackson and a guy nicknamed Fluffy, came in and said, “Y’all want to go with us?”

We kidded them and said, “Na. We’re gonna sit here and drink a few more pitchers of beer.” On that water run these guys hit a mine. They medevac’d both of them out and they never came back.

A Permanent Scar

 The water at Sherry was so dang nasty it was hard to drink, so when you could you drank beer. Each gun was allowed a case of beer a day. It was Black Label or Falstaff typically. So during the day if we were not on duty, we’d have a hot Black Label or a hot Falstaff, and it would spew out when you popped the tab. Ever since I put ice in everything. A year without ice left a permanent scar on me.

Nights Of Death And Beauty

When it was quiet at night I’d sit up on the gun watching whippoorwills and owls land on the wire looking for rodents. I’d take my M-16 and I’d pick them off. Then in the morning when I unhooked the mines I’d gather them up and take pictures of me with the owl or whippoorwill. (None of these big game photos survive.)

My Quad shot south. I could see LZ Betty’s lights at night (sister firebase five miles to the south outside Phan Thiet). I could look the other way over the Duster behind me on the far perimeter and see LZ Sandy (the other sister battery to the north). I had a good friend on a Duster there, we were in school together at Ft. Bliss. We’d talk on the radio and he would tell me when they were going to practice fire. Every round was a tracer and they would fire high in the air.

Or sometimes fire direction control would call me at night and tell me when they were going to shoot a Willie Peter (white phosphorous: an incendiary howitzer round that could ignite cloth, fuel, ammunition and other combustibles, and sometimes shot as an airburst over enemy soldiers). We would close our eyes when we heard the howitzer go off, so when the round popped it was not like someone jumped up and took a flash photo in your face. They would pop right in front of me. You closed your eyes, then when you heard it bust you could open and enjoy the beauty of it.

White phosphorous impact at Sherry
White phosphorous impact at Sherry

Skilled, Tough, Ready Around the Clock

Mitch Reynolds was the lone Quad-50 mechanic for the battalion, traveling across its 25,000 square mile area of operations to repair aging equipment. He remembers Jim Logan fondly.

What do I remember about LZ Sherry? The dust, the sand, the road that ran to Phan Thiet being heavily mined and you had to sweep it all the time. Lots of mortar fire, a lot of incoming and lot of outgoing. Illumination flares all night long.

I liked going to Sherry because I liked Jim Logan. He was a nice guy. A gentleman with a great sense of humor. More than anything he was a strict military person; he wanted everything the military way because our lives depended on the guns being right and things being correct.

After working on the Quads I would stay for a couple days to make sure they worked right, and I’d pull guard duty at night with the crews. The other Quad-50 crew at Sherry was kind of loose. They had a better guard tower, but they were a little loosey-goosey. Jim and his guys were STRAC.

Later in life Mitch renewed the friendship with Jim and was able to talk with him before he died.