U.S. Army's 6th Battalion/14th Artillery Regiment
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The 6/14 Arty is officially open but is still a work in progress. We hope that it will soon take form and someday proudly stand as a testament to the brave men of the 6th Battalion 14th Artillery Regiment.

Okinawa to Catecka: Some Memories - by  Bob Lund













The 6/14

The Gordon at dock
"Brother Patrick,
The first time I saw him I knew I better stay out of trouble as this officer looked tough. The first week Cpt. McVeay was with us I was called to the Captains office by a Colonel. The Col. had me in the Capts office chewing my tail up one side and down the other. He said his girl was in trouble, seems she had told him I was to blame, I wasn't but that didn't matter... I knew I was in deep shit with the Capt. Later after the chewing out the Capt. took me aside to have me explain. I did, and he told me I was better off staying on post till we shipped out. But sure enough, the night before we shipped out I got busted for fighting and being off post. They took me to the hospital to fix my busted up teeth. When I left the hospital the Capt. was there to take me back. He didn't say much at all, he just kept shaking his head.

Well Brother Patrick I'll chat with you later, hope you like this story,
Bob Lund"

Okinawa to Catecka: Some Memories - by Bob Lund

Gordon decks awash with testosterone
(Photo courtesy of: Bob Fulk)
Most of the troops who made their way in the early years to "The Nam" did so by General Class Troop ships such as the USNS Upshur, Geiger, and Gordon. These crafts carried two thirds of the U.S. soldiers to Vietnam; later, most American troops arrived by air. Those who came later were denied the joys of these "pleasure cruisers". 
Let the following serve as only a small example of just what was missed. 
Imagine if you will 1100 Marines and 2200 Army soldiers, not counting the crew, average age about 19, for three plus weeks crammed deep in the holds and scattered all over the deck of a transport ship.

Life Boat Survival Drill
(Photo courtesy of: Dick Barry)
"I don't know what exactly the higher ups were thinking when we docked at Okinawa for a brief liberty and introduction to what was to come. But after they finished dropping the "bomb of reality" of what we were going to encounter at our destination "Vietnam, Republic of " they had the bright idea of bringing in a truck load, and I mean "Truck Load" of beer to where we were at White Beach, Okinawa.
Now keep in mind what we have just been told; where we are going and what we are going to face. We are all mostly around 18-20 years old and we've been cooped up on a ship for three weeks eating cream chip beef. Well, to say the least, most went wild. I'm not sure what all happened that night, it's kind of a blur but when I was brought back to the ships brig there was fighting everywhere and the on board brig was burning."The Brig Was Burning!?" Yeah, here's what happened, so I was told. The story is, one guy killed another and the MP's put the alleged killer in the brig. Now the buddies of the one that was killed took it upon themselves to seek revenge for their fallen comrade by removing a foam rubber mattress, put it in the brig, and set it on fire... the alleged killer died. The effect did not end there. They were taking lots of other guys that were in the brig off the ship on stretchers. I saw Fraiser, one of my buddies from B battery 6/14th on a stretcher... he was almost dead.
The sounds of fighting lasted long into the night. At mornings first light you could see... coming from somewhere deep in her holds... the Gordon was still smoking."

- On to Catecka - 
"We continued on to the harbor at Qui Nhon where we began to make our way across Vietnam all the way to the Cambodian border. One of our many assignments had us attached with the 1st Cav and landed us with the first wave at the Catecka Tea Plantation.
I remember it was really hot and muggy at Catecka so all the pilots and enlisted men had thier shirts off and were arm wrestling and playing chess or cards  on the choppers. It was as if there wasn't any rank just a bunch of kids having fun. We had a large aluminum pot that we were heating up C-Rations in and looking forward to a nice hot meal. We never had a chance to touch that food as moments later... all hell broke lose. Our Commander Captain Riley J. McVeay was a heck of a guy and a great leader. He took complete command of the situation when we found ourselves on the receiving end of a barrage of mortar fire. McVeay order up a chopper and told the pilot to get him up and over to the three VC morters that were firing on us and doing the most damage, he and that pilot kicked butt and wiped them all out. I remember choppers flying over me firing rockets... what an unbelievable noise, and the heat from those rockets, Man! I hit the bottom of my foxhole and thought the whole world was coming to an end.  When things settled just a bit Cpt. McVeay organized and personally led a search and distroy mission. I remember his words to us were, "Stay in a line behind me and don't stray from where I step." as he led the way. He pushed a clear path for us to follow for quite a long way. I don't know for sure exactly how far before he caught a toe popper... Phamm! What a guy, he took it in the foot by that booby trap... but never stopped, he just kept on pushing.
I was in my foxhole later that night when the "old man" (McVeay) radioed me to say he was sending me two replacements so I could get some rest. Two cool black guys ( new recrutes ) from the 101st airborn showed up soon after. They knew what had happened throughout the day and night and were quite understandably nervous. So I left the good work to them and I drifted off to sleep, well, almost. They were a bit jumpy, (who wouldn't be? just when I would drift off to sleep they would see something move and give me a nudge. This went on for a while so finely I told them if anything moves call the old man and report it or if they can ID it... fire on it.  Well that was a mistake. It probably was about fifteen minutes later when one of them opened up the with his M-60. The old man was on the horn in about ten seconds asking "What the hell is going on Lund?" I told him and man did he chew me a new... well you get the picture.

This was McVeay, and this was Catecka"

Editor's Note:
Bob had always hoped that he could find his Commander and talk with him someday.  Well that day has come.
He located Riley J. McVeay last year and has shared many letters and emails with him.
Bob wrote me about some of them:

- June 15, 2003 -
Hi Patrick,
Just a short note, I told Jim McVeay a while back I wanted to buy him lunch some day... well he took me up on it, I hope to be in Biloxi Mississippi around next week-end, been 38 years. I'm going to take pictures so I'll send you some.

- June 27, 2003 -
Hi Patrick,
I had a ball in Mississippi, Jim McVeay is as tough as ever and keeps very busy. I got a few pictures. I told him when I first saw him after all this time (38 yrs) I figured he'd still be nine foot tall and bullet proof. I had the privilege to meet his wife of 51 years, she is a true southern lady. I always knew if I found where he lived I'd go see him and as soon as I was invited for a visit I was on the way. I wanted to tell him in person how I, and a lot of other guys in '65, were glad that if we had to go to Vietnam that we had him for a commander. We had a lot of good laughs when I told him about some of the things I was pulling before he took over. I had a big car back at Fort Sill and needed money for chasing girls so I was loaning money to guys in the middle of the month for 50% return payday, like $5.00 for $7.50, and a few other scams, Jim said he over looked a lot because he came up the ranks. His main thing was getting us ready for VN, and to look out for us... he did that well!

Photo of Jim McVeay during Bob's visit - June 27, 2003

Bob Lund 2003
Qui Nhon, An Khe, Catecka, Pleiku, E5, 6/14 B Battry 1965-1966

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