Chu Lai, Vietnam 1965 - 1966

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The Soulful Veteran's Blog

 

 

Greetings,

Scroll down to join me on a journey back in time to Chu Lei, Vietnam, 1966. The photos were taken the year I turned twenty-one.  Except for the few I appear in, I was the photographer (a few of the pictures were scanned from the 1st Tank Battalion's photo book for 1965-1966--sort of like a high school yearbook.).  I carried that camera with me from Okinawa to Vietnam until it was damaged while hitching a ride in a tank. I also carried a forty-five automatic, an M-14, a KA-BAR (U.S.M.C. Fighting Knife), an assortment of grenades and sometimes a claymore or two.

Sincerely,
Lloyd Lofthouse

 
 

 

 

published January 2013

Discover Chapter One

Where to buy:

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

Amazon.com

Barnes&Noble

iTunes: Available for iPhone, iPad or iPad touch

Smashwords

 

Running with the Enemy is a suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War. A rogue CIA agent needs someone to blame for his crimes. Recon Marine Ethan Card is the perfect patsy. As a teen, Ethan ran with a Chicago street gang, and he has a criminal record. He also has a secret lover, Tuyen, who is half Vietnamese and half French.

But Tuyen is a beautiful Viet Cong resistance fighter.

Since she was a young child, Tuyen has lived under the brutal control of her older, sexually abusive half-brother, Giap, a ruthless and powerful Viet Cong leader, who has forced her to kill Americans in battle or die if she refuses.

When Ethan discovers he is going to be court-marshaled for weapons he did not sell to the Viet Cong and Tuyen will be arrested and end up in an infamous South Vietnamese prison, where she will be tortured and raped, he hijacks a U.S. Army helicopter and flees with Tuyen across Southeast Asia while struggling to prove his innocence.

The rogue CIA agent and Giap—working together with the support of an unwitting American general—will stop at nothing to catch the two, and the hunt is on.

The star-crossed lovers flee across Laos to Cambodia's Angkor Wat; to Bangkok, Thailand, and then to Burma's Golden Triangle where Ethan and Tuyen face a ruthless drug lord and his gang.

In the rainforests of Burma, Ethan discovers that a massive assault has been planned to hit his Marine unit's remote base in South Vietnam with the goal of killing the man he admires most, Colonel Edward Price, who is the only one that believes Ethan is innocent.

Ethan must risk everything to save Price and his fellow Marines. Will he succeed?

 

 
 

To discover more about this story, visit
From Memoir to Novel - the metamorphosis of a manuscript about war as hell
.


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former US Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.


A Night at the 'Well of Purity'

A short story based on a real event that took place in Vietnam in 1966.
This story was named a finalist in the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.


 

 
 

 

 

First Day:  On the beach, March 28, 1966

It was an amphibious landing with boarding nets, etc.

 

 

The structure under construction to the right was the First Tank Battalion's underground radio and communications bunker. I was part of the team that built it. I doubt if any of it has survived. The wood was not treated for termites.  As a matter of fact, that wood had been slated to build a house for the First Marine Division's general. Our colonel sort of borrowed that wood without permission. I was on the detail that did that dirty deed.

 

 

 

 

Me sitting in front of the battalion radio inside the bunker after it was completed. This radio was linked to all of the battalion's gun companies.

 

 

 

 

 

This was our house.  A wooden floor built on stilts because of the average one-hundred-and-fifty inches of rain that fell on Chu Lei each year.  The canvas tent was supported by a wood frame.

 

Flame tank burning off brush with napalm so the Vietcong won't have a place to hide near our base camp. I drew in the flame. It was invisible in the photo.

 

 

 

 

Our first night there, a dozen Vietcong attempted infiltrating our hill. When the call came from the flame tank for permission to fire, I was the radio operator that gave the okay.

 

 

M48 Patton

Ready to fire a mission with ninety millimeter ordinance.

 

 Stuck in the mud.

 

Some died on both sides! This one was Vietcong.

 

 

Helping out. 

 

 

 The Marines called it Civil Affairs.

 

IN THE FIELD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On one field operation, I carried an Ingram submachine gun—a good thing since we were so far in front of our lines, I lost radio contact. When we drove through one deserted village, a Vietnam flag was flying from the top of a radio antenna sticking out of the top of a tree.

 

 

SOMETIMES WE RELAXED

 

 

 

 

On the left, that’s me next to the Playboy centerfolds inside the battalion communication bunker. A major from division headquarters told us to take those Playboy nudes down.  While I was taking them off the wall, the commanding officer of the tank battalion, Colonel A. W. Snell, walked into the bunker and asked why.  After I told him, he turned to the major and said, "This is my command, and I want those pictures on that wall."  He ordered me to put them back. Those centerfolds were still there when I rotated back to the United States. To the right is the USO show I almost missed, but we returned in time from an all night ambush to hear the last few songs.

 

   

My Splendid Concubine Home Page

Lloyd Lofthouse.org

The Soulful Veteran's Blog


 

 

 

published January 2013

Discover Chapter One

Where to buy:

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

Amazon.com

iTunes: Available for iPhone, iPad or iPad touch

Smashwords

 

Running with the Enemy is a suspense thriller set during the Vietnam War. A rogue CIA agent needs someone to blame for his crimes. Recon Marine Ethan Card is the perfect patsy. As a teen, Ethan ran with a Chicago street gang, and he has a criminal record. He also has a secret lover, Tuyen, who is half Vietnamese and half French.

But Tuyen is a beautiful Viet Cong resistance fighter.

Since she was a young child, Tuyen has lived under the brutal control of her older, sexually abusive half-brother, Giap, a ruthless and powerful Viet Cong leader, who has forced her to kill Americans in battle or die if she refuses.

When Ethan discovers he is going to be court-marshaled for weapons he did not sell to the Viet Cong and Tuyen will be arrested and end up in an infamous South Vietnamese prison, where she will be tortured and raped, he hijacks a U.S. Army helicopter and flees with Tuyen across Southeast Asia while struggling to prove his innocence.

The rogue CIA agent and Giap—working together with the support of an unwitting American general—will stop at nothing to catch the two, and the hunt is on.

The star-crossed lovers flee across Laos to Cambodia's Angkor Wat; to Bangkok, Thailand, and then to Burma's Golden Triangle where Ethan and Tuyen face a ruthless drug lord and his gang.

In the rainforests of Burma, Ethan discovers that a massive assault has been planned to hit his Marine unit's remote base in South Vietnam with the goal of killing the man he admires most, Colonel Edward Price, who is the only one that believes Ethan is innocent.

Ethan must risk everything to save Price and his fellow Marines. Will he succeed?