C Troop "Tell Your Story"
WHO HAD THE MONEY??
by John Conley, XO/CO of B-Troop, 67-68
On the first day of the Tet-1 offensive, I was the XO of "B" Troop and I was
at Lai Khe waiting for a chopper to give me a lift to some location along the
road from Ben Cat to Phuc Vihn to pay the troops. I had what I recall about
$69,000 in a briefcase and it was under my head while I snoozed next to the
C-8 maintenance track in the parking lot next to the helo-pad. I awoke
flying through the air, with dirt in every orfice of my body, as the track
took a direct hit from a Russian made 105mm rocket. Looking back I saw the
ACAV was burning and the ammo inside was exploding. I scrambled to my feet
and ran to the back of the track and up the ramp to help one trooper out and
among the twisted burning metal, just behind the engine compartment, I saw a
trooper on fire, yelling for help in awful pain. I ran in and pulled him
loose and got him out of the track. Someone jumped in to help me and we got
him out in a hurry. We put him on a 3/4 ton truck and I escorted him to the
field hospital at the other end of Lai Khe. I learned later that he did not
survive, bless his soul.
Things were happening fast. When we were putting him in the truck a trooper
tried to hand me the briefcase full of money. I told him to make sure it got
to the finance officer at Phu Loi. I had no idea who he was and still do not
When I returned to the burning track's location someone had a message for me
to get on the next convoy to Phu Loi. I did within a few minutes and before
long a "D" Troop chopper buzzed the convoy to delay it so it could pick me up
and shuttle me into a firefight in the village just north of Phu Loi, as
Captain Bryson had been severely wounded. After being Troop Commander of "B"
Troop for several days, things slowed a bit and I recalled the briefcase of
money. I asked the Squadron Commander, LTC Seigal, if it was turned in to
Finance. He checked and every penny made it there.
There is an honest man out there, a "C" Troop veteran I believe, that
deserves some thanks for delivering that money. I never hesitated at the
time to put complete faith and trust in that man who I don't believe I ever
met before, as I would have done at that moment with any other cavalryman.
Perhaps I paid him earlier that day. I don't know. But he deserves some
recognition and thanks. Can anyone help to identify this super honest
cavalryman?? I'd like to shake his hand in public.
This Page Modified 10 Feb 2017
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This page was last updated on 4 Feb 2017