Randall Diehl

Randall Diehl

Sinking Valley, Pennsylvania - United States Army

In 1969 and 1970 I was a Spec. 4 in the U. S. Army in Vietnam, stationed at Camp Evans in I Corps.  I was a small arms repairman at the 178th Maintenance Company and was working in the armorment shop on this date.  When I was low on work I would help the guys who worked on the large artillery guns.  I was told we needed some "cherry juice" (what we called hydraulic fluid) for an 8-inch gun. 

Another soldier and I left Camp Evans to Phu Bai, which is south of Hue, to pick up the fluid at a warehouse.  We left Phu Bai later than we should.  We were the last vehicle to cross the An Low bridge right before it closed.  It was getting dark fast and as we sped north it started to drizzle.  We were alone and it was dark.  Highway 1 was not a place you wanted to be after dark.  As we rounded a turn in the road there was Constantine wire strung across it.  The road was wet and we slid into the wire. 

Once we got stopped I looked up and saw five or six ARVN soldiers pointing their M1 Garand rifles at us.  They had set up a security perimeter around one of the wooden bridges.  I got out of the jeep and moved the wire, I then walked across the bridge and opened the bridge on the other side.  The ARVN did not help, but didn't interfere either.  I jumped back into the jeep and we sped off.  When we finally arrived back at Camp Evans the military police stopped us once we got thru the gate to make sure we didn't bring contraband back, we cleared and were happy to be back at Camp Evans. 

This experience taught me under unusual circumstances you have to keep a level head, which later helped me in life when I became a police officer.