With Bayonets Fixed – Mike 3/9

Pencil drawing of a Spartan Warrior

Although not officially recorded that I know of, 2nd Platoon, Mike 3/9 (my platoon) in 1966 did a bayonet charge when we were pinned down in the middle of a dry rice paddy behind a short dike and were running low on ammo. We had no attachments, so just had rifles and grenades.

We were on a platoon size daylight combat patrol when we were hit crossing an open area by a bunch of VC in a bamboo tree line about 100 yards away. We had very little cover because the dike was only about 18 inches high. We returned fire with our M14s as well as we could, but when we were down to 2 magazines, Sgt. Shireman, our Right Guide, yelled:

“I’m tired of this sh-t! FIX BAYONETS!”

The word went down the line to fix bayonets, accompanied by a huge cheer.

Then Lt. Rowe, waving his .45 in the air, yelled “CHARGE!”

We jumped up and charged across the open ground (thank God it was dry!) screaming and yelling and firing from the hip.

The VC evidently were shocked. They stopped shooting and immediately withdrew. I don’t know if we ever hit any of them, but no one got to bayonet any of the VC since they had hastily retreated when the crazy Marines charged!

It is one memory that lives in my mind in full color to this day!

S/F
Centurion

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