DaNang ammo dump

DaNang ammo dump

Smoke at the DaNang Ammo Dump Re: SSgt D.J Huntsinger’s letter about the DaNang ammo dump.

The ammo dump explosion on April 27, 1969, killed only one Marine (one too many) but did cause an estimated 120 mil loss to the US. As CO, Alpha Co, 3d MP Bn, FLC, I was in the front row for that day. The explosion, caused by the Vietnamese burning out one of the roadside garbage dumps, caused damage to the USAF bomb dump, the Navy POL dump, and some damage to the USMC fuel farm. Of course, 3d MPs, being right next door to Ammunition Supply Point #1 (ammo dump) suffered greatly. We did evacuate the brig prisoners and the Vietcong POWs, and suffered the loss of one Marine scout dog.
LEATHERNECK ran a story, together with my corrections, many years ago.
Ed Craft, LtCol USMCR (Ret.) Plt 187, San Diego, 1505691

I read the above on the Sgt Grit page a while back , and vowed that some day I would drag that old footlocker out of the attic and send the attached pics.

Marines viewing smoke cloud from DaNang Ammo Dump We had just come down from Phu Bai a few weeks before and were somewhere nearby waiting for orders to return to the World. I recall being in a large metal building with fluorescent light fixtures , waiting for processing. I had turned in all my gear . All I had was the clothes on my back and a manila folder stuffed in my Jungle utes front pocket, (my service record and orders )

The big booms began, I don?t remember anyone issuing any orders , but I elected to adapt to the situation and return to where my unit hooches were located, I knew where to go as the crow flies, but was otherwise unfamiliar with the terrain.

I ordered myself to return to a safe area, across some rice paddies cordoned off with concertina wire and little signs that said ? MIN? What the hell is a ?MIN?? I wondered, ?? just then I noticed a young Vietnamese boy 8-10 years old yelling ?li dai, li dai, li dai,(spelling?) he guided myself and several other Marines through that minefield and to a paved road, and then I ran the rest of the way back to our unit area while snapping shots over my shoulder with a 35 mm Yaschica camera, reloading film along the way.

When I finally got back to my unit , all sweaty, dusty from the fallout of the expended ordinance, NO COVER !, shirt unbuttoned , I was greeted by a grizzled , cigar chomping Master Gunnery Sergeant Sydlowski who informed me that I was out of uniform, , he was joined by a brand new shiny LT., who wanted to know why I was out of uniform .. Master Gunnery Sergeant Sydlowski dismissed the shiny- new ?just- in -country – that – day LT and said HE would handle this matter The Master Gunnery Sergeant then went into his hooch and produced 2 ice cold beers .and a couple of cigars .

Ken Martin
Corporal of Marines
Serial #2361495

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1 comment

  • Dale Liscombe

    I was there that day and night and had never seen such a cluster fuck in my life. Get into the command bunker, no go to the online bunker, lock and load, they probably attack here. Keep your head down! How am I supposed to see what’s coming at me with my head down? Soon found out. The guy running around and telling us to keep our heads down got hit right in the head with something big. Terrible sight. Never saw him again. Last I heard he was in a Hospital in the Filipines. But who knows? He could have been the only Marine that died that day according to The Stars and Stripes. I’ll buy that for a dollar. NOT! I saw a deuce and a half with dead men piled in the back with no body bags over them. What really happened that day/night/next day I probably will never know. Oh well, fuck it.

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