Night Emergency Ammo Resupply

The image above was drawn by a member of the squadron, possibly his nickname was "Minch", to represent an emergency night ammunition resupply mission requested by Company Bravo, 1st Battalion, Seventh Marines during Operation Utah on 5 March 1966.

This was the artists' rendition (I think that he was a Cpl. in the Maint. Dept.) of an emergency ammo resupply that I and my crew performed for B/1/7 during Operation Utah on the night of 5 March 1966.  Briefly, my first approach was a spiraling approach from overhead as the scared young voice on the radio had advised me that we could expect to receive enemy fire from 360 degrees.  As I started my flare we did indeed start taking heavy fire from 360 degrees, I waved off and got the hell out of there, climbed up to 1500' or so and asked them, "Just how bad do you guys really need this cargo anyway?"  Their reply, from an older calmer voice, was that they were surrounded, greatly outnumbered, out of hand grenades and mortars and down to a dozen or so rounds per man.  So we went back in, we had 2,200 pounds of what they needed.  I told the crew chief and gunner to stack everything in the door and that we would just do a quick stop over the zone while they kicked everything out and then get the hell out of Dodge.  I told the guys on the ground what the plan was and to pull everyone back into a 150 meter perimeter to get out of the way. Their reply was, "Sir, we don't own 150 meters" I replied, "Give me 100 then", they replied, "Will you take 75?"   The drawing kinda depicts the quick stop flare/ammo drop.  Probably more than you wanted to know.

An aside.  A year and a half ago I was contacted by a former rifleman from Bravo Co, then a PFC, who felt that that ammo saved the entire company from annihilation.  He then put the former Company Commander in touch with me who felt the same way.  He had given the "fix bayonets" command only minutes before our arrival.  We have been in touch since.  They are having a regimental reunion in Reno two weeks after the Pop a Smoke reunion and they want me to attend with them.  I think that I will.  Never been to a grunt reunion.  They assured me that I wouldn't be able to buy a beer, not that I couldn't drink them, only that my money would be no good.

Terril J. Richardson, 1stLt. USMC (Vet)

1stLt. Terril J. Richardson Pilot
1stLt. Carl E. "Eric"Cederblom Copilot
Sgt. James R. Vance Crew Chief
Cpl. Clarence E. Sexton Gunner

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