A tree like the one 304 hid in during the second afternoon---just prior
to the failed rescue attempt before darkness.
The final rescue point is at the tree---mid-way up the ridge in the center
of the photo--- and on the flat spot of the ridge just to the left of the tall
tree in the foreground. A family now lives in the hooch on the left side of
This is the way "dawn" appeared in Tchepone for Streetcar 304
In the center is the possible "monkey tree" but of course it has grown
some since then. And, while I was hiding there, the rice would have been waist high---making it look like an open field to me ---and the enemy
squad was walking toward the tree from our view point in this photo.
I'm standing on the site where we found my plane's wreckage and the
guy is the Laotian who farms that area now. We're not sure if he liked us....
I'm pointing across the Xe Banghian river at the spot where my target,
a barge, was tied up to the shoreline.
A pig---just like the one in the Streetcar book story....
My teammates on this wild adventure....l-r....Nail 69 (Pete Lappin)....
our driver, Mr. Hec....Pete Staaf (an Army Mohawk "Navigator" in Vietnam)....Kenny (Streetcar 304).... Ryan Bendixen, (ex-Army grunt).... and, in front, Doc Johnson, (former Jolly Green PJ) who also survived a shootdown. The Xe Banghian river bridge behind us is on Route 9 and was destroyed in the war, then rebuilt. My target was three miles downstream....
This is the way it looked when I was hiding next to the monkey tree---
looking across the open field as the 10 man enemy squad approached
on day two---and when the leopard approached me.
This "dead" Jolly is inside a Laotian war memorial "Victory Park" in a
town near Tchepone.
In the book, the Jollys always orbited at the high "Rooster Tail" mountain
that I am pointing toward. For you guys who flew there, this is the way
Route 9 looks today but it is full of potholes.
The village close to the target....Notice how they make use of left over
bomb dud shells as vegetable pots.
Village kids near the target area....
Another view of the village close to the target.