“3rd Bridge Company left out of Oakland on a transport ship in Oct of 1966. The Company members lost their hair when they crossed the International Dateline and it was called the ‘Domain of the Golden Dragon.’ We stopped in Okinawa for liberty. What a wild experience that was. We landed in Da Nang and had to ride onto shore in small crafts, because it took a week to unload all the Bridge Equipment.”
From: Harry Dill ‘Original 2nd Plt. Member’
“We traveled to Viet Nam aboard the U.S.S. Daniel I. Sultan. Interesting fact was that we won the ship’s cabins for our Company over the officers of an Army Battalion we were traveling with, in a game of poker (show down)? And, I think, our trip was about 23 days.”
Semper Fi, Dave VanBuskirk, SSgt, USMC(Ret)
Other originals were Jerry Frankle; Harry Jackson; Wayne Rhyne; Sgt. Todzie; and Micky Elflein who unfortunately lost his life on Aug 31,1967 when HQ Company got hit at night by a mortar barrage.
The ‘ORIGINALS’ was the way we referred to the members who brought 3rd Bridge Company to Vietnam. I was a replacement for them on 13Oct67. But I knew a few of them that had extended their tours, like Pablo ‘PePe’ Reyes, Billy Cross, Beagan and Joe Zapulla.
The original members set the stage for us Bridgemen that followed them. They built the huts we lived in and built the early bridges we maintained all along the highways of I Corp from Da Nang to Dong Ha at the DMZ. They set the standard of excellence, by which we built those bridges. We refined that standard.
The decking for the M4T6 bridge had three types.
* The ‘Long Deck Balk’, 15′ in Length, 8 3/4″ in Width, 9 1/4″ in Depth, 225 Pounds in Weight.
At the start of my tour in October, it would take four of us ‘FNG’s’ to pick up one. By January I could pick up two long Balks, by one end, and drag the other ends, from the trucks, where we unloaded, to the bridge site, on a half run. We ran because the gooks were usually shooting at us. Snipers, 62 mm or 82 mm Mortars, 122 mm Rockets, we have seen them all. What more motivation could you want, to get the job done FAST!
* The ‘Short Deck Balk’, 8′ 4″ in length, 122 Pounds in Weight.
* The ‘Tapered Balk’, 6′ 8″ in Length, 100 Pounds in Weight.
From: Mike Moran
This is the history of 3rd Bridge Company. It is in the memory’s of the member’s of 3rd Bridge Company. So Bridgemen, write it down, and Email me. I’ll get it into the web site.
2nd Platoon Original members Photo by: H. Dill
Harry Jackson Photo by: H. Dill
L-r; ?? ; ?? Photo by: H. Dill
Front sitting l-r; Riley, Pat; Gardner,?; Rodriquez, ?; Moran, Mike; Zapulla, ?; ‘Grandpa’ Gardner; Cooke, Bobby.
Standing l-r; Kenney, Fred; Jordan, Bruce; Head hidden ?; Reyes, ‘PePe’,?; Walkowiak, ‘Woke’, James; ?, ?(wht T); Avent, ‘Big One’, Dave. Photo by: R. Brodzik March68
Rodger Brodzik with 2nd Platoons Shield.
March68 Gorden Smith “Gordy”
Photo by: R. Brodzik March68
2nd Platoon Leader 2nd Lt. Wm. Pease
Photo by: M. Moran
L-r; PFC Mack Clark; L/Cpl Ron Brannon
MACK REPORTED TO GUARD DUTY ON HEAVENS STREETS NOVEMBER 17, 2003.
Mack was my Best Buddy in Nam and for all the years afterwards, we had a bond few people are lucky enough to ever experience, I will miss him dearly.
Semper Fi Mack,
Photo by: M. Moran
Sitting; Pablo ‘PePe’ Reyes, Mike Moran Standing; Doc Groulx, ‘Grandpa’ Gardner on M-60 Passenger; 2nd Plt. Sgt. Marvin Hall
2nd Platoon May 1968 Top ‘Front Headless’ row; ‘Grandpa’ Gardner, Sunglass’s, Al Moore(Radio Operater), James ‘Woke’ Walkoviac, Mike Moran, Pfc Smith. Sitting-Kneeling; ‘Ogie'(??), Roger Brodzak, Doc Groulx, Johnnie Emswieller, Mantago(sp). (I know this is a p_ _ _ poor picture to post, my hope is someone has a better picture, since several were taken that day.)