Story of the USS Eldorado in Vietnam
Middle Aged (35-54)
Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
On February 14 Eldorado weighed anchor and set course to an amphibious objective area of Quang Ngai province south of Danang. Winthrop woke from deep sleep as the 12th bahng of the 13 sounded for battle stations, shaking his head clear here, the one emcee. This is not a drill. This is not a drill. General quarters, general quarters, all hands, man your battle stations. Bang bahng! He pulled on his pants, pushed his arms into his shirt sleeves, pulled on his socks and shoes, grabbed his helmet out of his locker and headed for the bridge while tucking in his shirt. Operation Deck House six. A Marine landing by the Special Landing force. It commenced. He ran forward On the starboard side is men rushed through officer country toward their battle stations. The convention forward on the starboard aft on the port side kept the stampede orderly. The one emcee announced set condition Zulu throughout the ship. He took stock on the bridge, his battle station junior officer of the deck, an indicator of the old man's esteem. But, um, or experienced officer Lieutenant Joe Trucker took over his officer of the deck for general quarters. Winthrop was an extra hand. No specific assignment. Just stand by for anything. Through the mist of the early dawn, he spotted two smaller vessels. LMS, ours rocket ships close to shore. They fired broadsides inland Engineering checking in on the 21 EMC reported the ship's watertight doors buttoned up with condition. Zulu set in all compartments. Trucker approached him. Fred, how about taking the radio? Handset and reporting are fixes to the flag, The quartermasters calling them out. The captain has the conn. The department's reported in over the 21 EMC intercom. Combat manned and ready. Damage control manned and ready. Gun control manned and ready A sailor check them off on a status board. Winthrop picked up the radio telephone handset on the forward bulkhead, already set to the correct channel by a guy from calm. After a radio check he started reporting. Using the ship's call sign is the quartermaster called out The fix. This is Decanter Tango, 500 yards from Anchorage. Standing forward in the wheelhouse, he viewed the battle scene as it unfolded. Several waves of choppers passed overhead as Marines headed for their landing zones. The concept of vertical envelopment involved landing Marines by chopper inland a few miles, the plan being to catch the enemy between them and the Marines hitting the beach. Winthrop spotted a wave of AM tracks tank like armored landing craft churning toward the shore, followed by two or three waves of World War two style landing boats designated LCV peas and called Papa Boats. Marines, God bless the Marines. 1/3 thought some of them would die today, young men from villages and towns and cities all over the United States, enough of them to mount a real fighting force. Despite the demonstrations and the flood of draft Dodgers headed for Canada, the nation's still produced young men of honor.