Early in 1971 I was a LCpl assigned to 3rd Plt GUNS (M-60s) with DELTA 1/5, 1ST MAR DIV. We had just returned from operations in the Que Son mountains and were manning the perimeter at our base camp, Hill 34. Word came that there was a beauty pageant touring with the USO and they were putting on a show in the outdoor amphitheater at "Freedom Hill", the US Air Force exchange. Our platoon was selected to provide security duties on the hillsides around the the exchange during the show.

Early in the morning our platoon assumed positions on the hillside. We were spread pretty thin. My gun team was comprised of unique individuals; Gertly from Kentucky, Hubbard & Chas from Texas, and I. After setting up our M-60 on the grassy slope we sat back shooting the shit and looked down as thousands of service men from all over I-CORPS gathered in the amphitheater.

Chas was our gunner. I was the A-Gunner. Chas was a big man, about 6'4''. He carried and handled the M-60 like most Marines would carry an M-16 rifle. We called him Chas because he closely resembled the guy of the same name on the old TV western "Loredo". He was a short timer and a crazy dude.

We were lying back in the tall grass and watched as the show went on. Women were dancing on the stage in evening gowns as the troops cheered. Suddenly Chas jumped up shouting "throw me a rifle! Throw me a rifle!" I reeled around and threw him my rifle. He immediately fired two rounds off-hand to our left flank. He fired twice more as I swung the gun around. I observed a small deer running up the ravine. Chas yelled "Dang! almost had venison tonight boys!" I couldn't believe it. I glanced back down toward the amphitheater and saw people running and jumping for cover.

The PRC-25 began to chatter and a react team arrived. Chas calmly reported seeing enemy in the ravine. A sweep of the area revealed nothing. The show went on. Nothing became of the incident as Chas rotated back to the world a few days later.

Like I said, he was a crazy dude. Earlier in the tour he had been teasing a water bull which was staked outside a vil. The water bull got angry, got loose, and came after him. He put most of a 100 round belt into the animal to stop it. He had to pay 100 dollars in compensation.

Semper Fi!