Rick Holt's Adventures in Vietnam
Letters Home from Vietnam, 1971

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Da Nang
March 15, 1971
8:30 pm

Dear Folks,

It has been rainy and drizzly all day. Now that it has stopped, the mosquitoes are out in full force. This place isn't any better than the tent as far as the mosquito situation is concerned.

We're still on standby. Just waiting for a clear day so I can get to China Beach. You say you'd like to know a little more about these missions. The last time we flew I believe we were supporting the 101st Inf. Div. I believe they had there headquarters in Guang Tri. Then there are the different parts of the division spread out in the boonies.


Headquarters is on one frequency and the other stations are on a different one. Our equipment in the plane is nothing more than two FM receiver-transmitters hooked together in a special way so that a signal received on one radio is retransmitted by the other one. For some reason there has to be a frequency spread of 10 megacycles on the two radios. That's why headquarters is on a different frequency than the other stations. When we're in the air we fly in a certain pattern like the dotted lines in the diagram. Every half hour or so we make a commo check that usually goes something like this:
Swamp fox this is red barron, commo check over
Red Baron this is swamp fox, I hear you Lima Charlie, how me? over
Swam fox this is Red Baron, I hear you same same, going back to retrans in 01, thank ya much, out.

That's a far cry from the fancy radio procedures they taught us at Fort Dix and Gordon but it gets the message across and that's what counts. We have crypto gear hooked in our circuits so it's not likely Charlie knows what we're saying.

Kelm says that on some missions he flew down south he had to manually relay messages. In other words he had to copy down a message received from one guy, then call up another station and give them the message. That was mostly coordinates for artillery strikes. The grunts in the field would call him and he had to call headquarter. I guess that would keep you busier than what we're doing now. Well, that's about all I can say about what I am doing. Not that much more to know.

Haven't done anything today but eat, eat, eat. Looking forward to midnight chow at the mess hall. A plane came up this morning but it didn't bring any mail. How about taking the camera on your next trip.

Mai nhe'

(read the next letter home)