|Unknown, probably at Hotel Battery
|At Hotel Battery.
|Steve Lewis under a hootch at Hotel Battery.
We moved from Cobb Bridge to Hotel Battery in early August 1969. On August
12th the road sweep that ran out past the Catholic Ville was hit. 1st platoon went
out to help. We got out there and started searching for the gooks. After a bit we
were on line sweeping back toward Hotel Battery. Just as we crossed the road
that ran to Hill 22 we found some. Cecil Lambert was killed right off and Doc
David Dean who went to his aid in spite of Lambert lying in the open only 20-30
feet from the gooks was shot also. David Dinehart got shot in the arm.
There was a small hill just on the other side of the road. It was very steep right
there and the gooks had dug a couple of pits in the brush there. There was some
high heavy brush between where I was and the gooks. Sgt Tom Ferguson crawled
over to see what was going on where we were and I suggested that Steve Lewis's
squad (he was the squad leader) move around and get on the hill. Tom thought
that was a good idea so we did. There was a half built concrete block building
there. Most of the squad jumped in it but Lewis and myself crawled over to the
edge. There was a small pile of bricks on the edge overlooking the area where the
fighting was taking place. So we crawled over to take a peek. I looked and saw
nothing but heard a bullet hit Steve. I jerked around to see him sit up and throw
his flackjacket off, the bottom left inside was a big splash of blood. He sat there
for a second, looking at me. I did't know what to think, so I cleverly asked him,
"You okay?" He calmly replied, "Yeah, it was just in the chest." We looked at
each other for a second and he keeled over. I got him and started dragging him
back to the block building and Robert Martinez came out and helped me. I did
what I could for him, which wasn't much. After a bit a truck came and got the
wounded and hauled them to Battalion Aid at Dai La, about two miles away.
Steve recovered and now lives in Oklahoma.
In August 2004 I took a trip on my bike and visited Robert Martinez in Los Osos,
CA. We were talking about that day and he told me that when the firing started
Clarence Stevens dropped to his knees, right out in the open, and got out his bible
and started reading. He went into some kind of catatonic state. They took him
away with Steve and when they picked him up he was frozen in that kneeling -