This is Tower 4 Phu Loi Vietnam. Our camp was ringed with these towers, I don't recall how many, perhaps 10. Between the towers were fortified bunkers. I spent many hours in Tower 4 or in a bunker keeping watch on my comrades in arms. We pulled 12 hour shifts, two men to a bunker or tower. During daylight hours the bunkers were not manned. We were equipped with an M60 Machine gun, an M79 grenade launcher. Some of the various rounds we had available for the M79 were, HE=High Explosive, WP=White Phosphous (Willy Pete), Beehive=Little metal darts about an inch and a half in length, Shotgun=buckshot pellets. We didn't have tear gas but it was available for this weapon. In addition we also had our own personal M16. We had night vision binoculars in the tower. They were called "Starlight Scopes" and they were crap. We had a little ditty we used to sing " "Star Light Star Bright, Kill the First Gook I See Tonight." In front of the tower, in the minefield, we had Claymore mines and Foo Gas that was detonated by a a small hand-held firing device we called a clacker. The claymore was an antipersonnel mine which, when detonated, propelled small steel cubes in a 60-degree fan-shaped pattern to a maximum distance of 100 meters. Foo Gas was a mixture of explosives and napalm, set in a fifty-gallon drum. During our instruction for Guard Duty we were told of Sappers coming through the wire and getting so close to the bunkers they turned the Claymores around and faced them toward the bunker not away. Take note; the wire, then the mine field, then the open killing fields. Agent Orange was used to keep the grass mowed and the weeds down. Phu Loi was a distribution center for Agent Orange spraying operations. Much was sprayed around the base which was circular. So whatever way the wind blew the mist covered us on the base. From the picture you can see how close the village was that we were guarding ourselves against. When I arrived in Vietnam I was assigned to a Replacement Company and from there to my duty station at Phu Loi. On arrival at my duty company I was assigned to the security platoon until they could figure out what to do with me. As it implies the security platoon was responsible for the security of a section of the perimeter. I would have been in the security company about two weeks which is the time frame of these stories. My first day with the security platoon we had to go into the minefield and repair barbed wire or spray Agent Orange; anyway one fellow stepped on an anti personnel mine and blew his foot off, had been in country like me for 1 day! Many hours of boredom were endured in these towers. There is nothing like a bored creative G.I. to get something started. To us well fed G.I.'s our side of the fence must have smelled like heaven because the villagers dogs were always attracted to us, and therefore came to us, right through our mine fields! We would whistle to them, shout , hoot and holler and laugh like hell if they trod on an anti personnel mine. Hey we were bored, just wanted to blow something up and see if the mine field really worked. Up there in Tower 4 we also had parachute flares! Oh boy what fun they were! A parachute flare comes in a perhaps 18" metal tube that the operator fires by striking with his hand, a flare is fired that rises to perhaps 300' and illuminates the terrain below dangling under a parachute. Well us well trained G.I.'s used to take the parachute out of the flare tube, reassemble it without parachute and fire it at the village outside the perimeter. That always used to get them running, and to us it was fair as they were shooting rockets at us too. C'est la guerre! We did not experience full scale NVA attacks through the wire. Victor Charlie would infiltrate through the wire and place satchel charges where ever he could but that was rare. More common was for Victor Charlie to shoot rockets at us. In response we would call "Puff The Magic Dragon" and a C47 (DC3) would show up and with his mini guns a roaring to lay down a field of fire just outside the wire. We G.I.'s would be up on top of the bunkers screaming and yelling just like we were at a football game! Tower Duty was always sort after, especially by the dopers in the company. It was one of the few places where one could be truly isolated. To his front the soldier would have a mine field that had perhaps 4 rows of concertina barbed running parallel to him. To his rear the perimeter road. Perched "high" in his tower the on duty trooper could see everything that was taking place around him and it was basically an impossibility for the Duty Officer to catch him unawares. Not that the Duty Officer would try too hard. In those days there was a very poor officer enlisted relationship. While fragging never took place in our company I do recall the officers showers receiving a CS gas grenade for a present. Wow does that sting a naked wet body. It was another boring hot day in the tower. There were no village dogs outside the wire to entice into the mine field. What to do? Just outside the wire was a little pagoda structure with some type of religious icon contained in it, about 5 feet high, the villagers would visit it on occasion. Says one G.I. to the other "Reckon I can hit that thing with my M79 before the Officer of the Day gets here?" So we were on! We took turns at taking pot shots at it with our grenade launchers until we saw the officer’s jeep come tearing out of the company area and race down the perimeter road in our direction. Pulling up the second lieutenant shouted up to us an enquiry as to what we were firing at. Not us we replied, but we thought we heard something down at Tower 6. So the officer jumps back in his jeep and speeds off to Tower 6 in a cloud of dust. Just too funny! Butterbars were so much fun to mess with. In case you’re wondering, when I was there no enemy was shot from Tower 4. Just VC dogs. So one more Tower 4 story. I wasn't in the tower for this one; I was manning the bunker next to it. I told earlier how we could take the parachute off a parachute flare and then fire it as a projectile that would burn on the ground for awhile. Well this G.I. in the tower removed the parachute from a flare with the intention of firing the flare into the village to piss off the locals. He fired the flare but it did not clear the roof of the tower. It hit the inside roof did a 180 and hit the guy who had fired it before exiting out the door. Cries of great pain came from the tower and it transpired that our friend had a huge gash in his leg that was bleeding profusely and would need immediate attention. We made the required calls and the officer of day turned up and then the medics. We made up this story that the flare had been fired from the village. An alert was called, the whole base was awoken and sent to their posts, helicopters took off and menaced the village and Puff the Magic Dragon turned up. By dawn things had quietened down and the sleepy G.I.'s made their way to work while this G.I. who was just coming off guard duty laughed himself to sleep. Boy we had some fun. My buddy in the tower by the way got a purple heart for the incident! I don't know why this picture is not as large as the others.