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David Alan Boyer

biography

Military Life Basic Training and Advance Infantry Training
On June 16,1969,the day after our Son Jeff was born, I received a draft letter from the Draft Board ordering me to report to the Los Angeles County induction Center. I then visited an Army recruiter to try and delay my entry into the Army. The recruiting officer advised me I could delay my entry by enlisting. I took his advice and enlisted in the Army on July 31, 1969. This gave me extra time to move my wife and child closer to her family before I left for the Army. On July 31, 1969 we were bused from the Los Angeles Induction Center to Fort Ord CA to begin Basic Training. Basic Training was quite an experience. A lot of physical training, military law, combat training and much more. I did quite well and earned a perfect score of 500 in the Physical Combat Proficiency Test. My best friend in Basic Training was Steve Boyce. Upon graduating basic training, I was promoted to Private E2. I continued with Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Ord. I never saw Steve Boyce after leaving Basic Training. In advanced Infantry training my best friends were Steve Werner and Steve Sager..

David A Boyer in Vietnam, Americal Division 3rd Battalion 11th Brigade.
The following is a brief recap of the events that occurred during my time in Vietnam. I knew all of these brave comrades, some better than others. The names marked with a * were very close friends.

On January 9,1970 a plane load of soldiers left Fort Lewis Washington with a destination of South Vietnam. On the flight I was with Steve Werner and Steve Sager, two fellow soldiers I went through Advanced Infantry Training at Fort Ord CA. Our flight took us to Hawaii, Wake Island and we landed in Cam Rahn Bay South Vietnam on January 10, 1970. We were processed into Vietnam. I was promoted to PFC and a few days later I was sent by a C140 Airplane to the Americal Division located in Chu Lai South Vietnam. Both Steve’s were sent to other locations. We kept in touch by letter during my time in Vietnam, but I never saw either of them again. They both made it home, but we did not stay in touch. I spent the next several days in jungle warfare training. It was an unreal experience hearing gunfire and rocket mortars exploding at all times of the day and night. I was then transported by truck on Highway 1 to Duc Pho and was processed into Company D of the 3rd Battalion 11th Brigade. From there I was airlifted by helicopter to Firebase 4-11 near Quang Ngai. I spent a couple of days on Firebase 4-11 before being airlifted on January 24,1970 to Company D which was in the field not far from Firebase 4-11. I was assigned to the 3rd Platoon. The next several days were very scary walking through the lowlands and setting up night loggers in the area called the horseshoe in Quang Ngai Province.

On February 11,1970 our company was airlifted into the mountain region just west of FB 4-11. As we moved out our company was ambushed by the NVA. A firefight ensued for several hours and I along with William Tedrow*, Robert Campbell* and several other soldiers were wounded. I received my Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart on that day. This was my first combat mission, and I cannot describe the fear that comes over you when you hear the sound of gunfire and hand grenades exploding all around you.

Later In February 1970 I was walking point in the mountains along the Suoi Lam river when I surprised a Viet Cong sniper. The Viet Cong fled leaving his model 1944 Russian rifle with bayonet, I was allowed to bring this rifle home as a souvenir.

On March 1,1970 Ken Teunissen* was wounded by sniper fire while we were on a routine mission in Quang Ngai Province.

On March 13, 1970. Jose Colon was wounded during an assault on a POW camp in Cambodia. This was during a combined operation with the 196th Brigade. During this operation in March1970 we also surprised a NVA squadron, and I captured an NVA flag. I was allowed to bring this flag home as a souvenir.

In March 1970 Tom Morrison was WIA in the mountains.

On March 18 Garland Benoit was KIA, and Darrell Hespe, wounded, by small arms fire when they were ambushed in the Quang Ngai Province.

On March 31, 1970 SP4 Harry Baker* stepped on a booby trap while searching bunkers along the Tra Khuk river in Quang Ngai Province. His head was nearly decapitated, and legs and arms were nearly blown off. Very traumatic incident to me. I helped load him on an evacuation helicopter. Harry was my hooch partner and best friend. This day still haunts me like it happened yesterday.

On April 12, 1970, PFC Bruce Armstrong* was KIA when he stepped on a booby trap. Our Company was returning to Firebase 4-11.

Multiple Incidents on May 11, 12 and 13th in Vietnam, Quang Ngai Province near Nghia Hanh, Americal Division 3rd Battalion

On May 11,1970 at our night logger an NVA soldier approached our fox hole and Garry Byerly*, Doug Babcock* and I all fired on him and killed him.

On May 12, 1970, PFC Ted Drew was KIA, when he was ambushed when retrieving a claymore.

On May 12 1970 Sgt Stephen Yontz*, my squad leader, was KIA by NVA. We had been in a day long firefight with the NVA I helped load him onto an evacuation helicopter.

On May 12 1970 CPL Brian Orr* was KIA by NVA . I helped load him onto an evacuation helicopter.

On May 13, 1970, PFC David Winder, Nick Michaesea, Rhea Kidd, Richard Humphrey, Van Wray, and Ed Delikat were all KIA during day long battle with the NVA. Companies Headquarter, Alpha and Delta were all together during May 11, 12 and 13. Many more of our brothers were killed and wounded in these three days. PFC David Winder received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his sacrifice on this day.

In June 1970 we were airlifted out of an area in Laos. After takeoff, Captain Harry Sheppard* had a count taken and it was determined we left Fred Boyd* behind. I was Captain Sheppard’s RTO. He ordered the chopper back to pick up Fred. I assisted Fred on to the helicopter. Fred was in terrible shape and could hardly walk. Our helicopter took fire going in and out as we retrieved Fred. This was one of the more terrifying incidents since we were not protected by other airships. Fred and I joined the Company on the same day in January.

On July 19, 970 Ron Horton* stepped on a booby trap in the Quang Ngai Province and was injured quite badly.

On July 30,1970 David Allen and William McPherson were KIA .

In August 1970 I served as RTO for Captain Harry Sheppard. Captain Sheppard was seriously wounded by sniper fire from the surrounding hills along the Suoi Lam River. We could see the bullets bouncing all around us. I called in the artillery strike to where we thought the fire was coming from. I helped load Captain Sheppard onto an evacuation helicopter. Captain Sheppard received a Silver Star for either this incident or the incident when we retrieved Fred Boyd. In my view, all of the brave soldiers involved in these 2 occasions should have received the Silver Star. We were all there and endured the same fire while assisting a fellow soldier.

In August I went on R&R and flew to Hawaii to meet up with Sandy (wife) and Jeff (son). We had a great 5 days in Honolulu.

On Sept 2,1970 PFC Bob Weidle was KIA while fighting in Quang Ngai Province.

On Sept 5,1970 1st Lt. Emil Naasz* was KIA while fighting in Quang Ngai Province.

On Sept 5,1970 Sp4 Don Linzey* was WIA while fighting in Quang Ngai Province.

On Sept 5, 1970 I was promoted to Specialist Fourth Class.

On Sept 7,1970 I was selected to be RTO for Col Culbertson our Battalion Leader. This was quite an honor. I was his RTO for a week and as a reward I was granted a 3 day in country R&R in Da Nang. While I was at China Beach I was interviewed by a Los Angeles area TV station. I turned 21 while I was on this R&R The clip of the interview was sent home to Sandy. My Dad sent me two dollars so I could buy a beer. US currency was no good in Vietnam.

On October 12, 1970 Larry Batcher and William Neu were KIA.

On Nov 12, 1970. SSgt Garland Felton* along with Sgt Don Chipps, PFC Titus Ebbs*, ,SP4 Joe McNett and PFC Jesse Kestler were all KIA when the truck they were riding in hit a land mine in the road to Quang Ngai.

In late November I finally received a rear job as a RTO at a military compound in Nghai Lo in the Quang Ngai Province.

On November 29 or 30 I received orders that I was going back to the United States. I was taken by Jeep to Firebase 4-11 and then airlifted to Duc Pho and then on to Chu Lai. I was then flown on a C130 airplane that was to be a direct flight to Cam Rahn Bay. During the flight one of the engines failed and we had to make an emergency landing in Saigon. We changed planes and proceeded on our flight to Cam Rahn Bay. On December 1,1970 We boarded our Freedom Bird back to United States. Our flight home took us through Tokyo Japan and then on to the Sea-Tac airport where we landed on December 2,1970. After serving our entire combat time together, Jerry Richardson*, Arvin Zwart* and I came home together.

I served America honorably while being exposed to Agent Orange while putting my life on the line fighting in Vietnam from Jan 10, 1970 to Dec 2, 1970 in the Americal Division 3rd Battalion 11th Brigade. I Was in the infantry and fought in the rice patties, jungles and mountains of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. I saw and did many things that no one should have to. I am very proud to have served America. During this time period, I earned the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Three Bronze Stars and Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device. All of the Vietnam Soldiers returned home by ourselves with an ungrateful nation to support us. It was many years before some of my coworkers and friends even knew I served in Vietnam. I pray everyday for the families of these brave soldiers and also for the many friends that have died, way to young, since returning from Vietnam. The following are my friends that I know have died since coming home. Capt. Harry Sheppard* 2011, Garry Byerly* 2004, Chuck Trimarche* 1990, Don Linzey *2008, Fred Boyd 1995*, Dale Arnos* 2008. These are the other Brave Soldiers I served with: Denis (Rocky) Bourcier, Mike Mecetic, Robert (Doc) Horridge, Carl Lewis, Tommy Hayes, Rich Harpster, Gary Young, Captain Robert Lichtner, Mark Birkner, Bob Butler, Ken Turner, James Ballard, Richard Harrington, Ron Horton, Lt Freeman Harrison, Bobby Thompson, James Bennett, Roy Vance, Mike Sherrill, Ken Teunissen, Richard Simon, Carl Erwin, Frank Bueno, Earl Leigy, John Friess, Larry Stearns, Jesse Alvolos, Captain Michael Fitz-Gerald.

I was then placed on a 30 day leave and I made arrangements to go home to Lomita CA. I was unable to reach anyone by phone so I left a message with my brother Steve. When I arrived in Los Angeles Airport, I was greeted by a very pretty young lady who gave me a big kiss on the cheek. At the time I had no idea who she was. Soon after Steve approached me and introduced me to his new wife Shari.

I was then assigned to report to Fort Riley Kansas to finish my last six months of duty. With the help of Sandy’s brother, Doug Heeren we rented a U Haul truck and moved to Worthington MN. On Jan 4,1971 I reported to Fort Riley KS. At Fort Riley I was assigned to an armored vehicle unit and drove an Armored Personnel Carrier. In March of 1971 I was able to find a cheap rental unit off base in Junction City KS and Sandy and Jeff moved to be with me. On June 3,1971 I was promoted to Sgt. E5. On July 30, 1971 I received an Honorable Discharge form the US Army and moved to Buena Park CA.

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