I have done a number of foolish things in my life, but none so foolish as to lead an assault against a defended enemy position with six guys and me with no weapon. I dived down behind a log. There was a lot of firing going on now and I looked and saw that all my Nungs were down too. I looked at my shoulder. There was a large black hole in my shirt, rimmed with red, drying blood. It was pretty nasty looking, but my arm moved just fine, and other than the initial sting it felt all right. I grabbed the charging handle on my AR-15 and tried to budge it. The handle went way back. The circumstances were the same as the last patrol at Buon Beng. It jammed on the second magazine in the rain. I couldn’t bust it loose. We were taking all kinds of fire, and what we needed was to put some indirect fire on the enemy. I turned around and bellowed, „We need an M79 up here.“ There was no reply, so I bellowed again, but there was no hearing over the sound of the firing, and nobody seemed to be coming up the hill for us.
That was when my thinking started to go awry. The rifle was jammed and I couldn’t get anything going and I didn’t have any means to get at the bastards at all. I could have whipped out my Randall and stormed up the hill with it alone, and I was almost, but not quite, angry enough to. I was in a cold fury of frustration. „Aw right,“ I muttered, „gimme a fucking carbine!“
Some Nung in the bushes behind me, that I hadn’t even seen, threw one at me. An M-2 carbine, with a thirty round magazine, and I had no idea how much ammo it had in it. I checked the safety and saw the switch was on full auto. Then I started looking back up the hill.
About twenty feet on up the hill a Cong poked his head up from where he was hiding behind a felled tree trunk. I squeezed off a three round burst at him and he ducked back down. I started counting. When I got to ten he poked his head back up again and I squeezed off another burst. Ten seconds; in ten seconds I could get up there and blow his head off. I jumped up to go after him and just as I got to the squatting position some son of a bitch that I didn’t see shot me in the left nut.