Short stories and recollections by former members of Project Delta

SUBJECT: Al Montez Remembers

I don't remember the time frame, but we were operating out of Quan loi, a team had been inserted at last light using two FAC aircraft for the insertion. John Fasick and I had landed first so I could recover the second A/C John Young (A.F. radio operator) met us at the strip to help me recover both planes. We taxied toward the revetments and had executed an 90 degree turn, two sharp blasts echoed along the strip all of a sudden the fading light turned a violent white-bluish color when a mortar round destroyed an air strip landing light generator. The generator was perhaps fifty to sixty feet behind where John Young was standing the direct hit on the generator enclosed in it's own sandbag bunker kept John from injury. I had by this time slipped out of the back seat and was starting towards the bunker that Young had dived into. I don't know if Fasick was aware of what was happening because he was still talking into his helmeted mike. By this time two more rounds had landed further up and across the runway, I yelled to Fasick to get to the bunker. It must have hit home after the second explosion because the dai uy (captain) jumped out of the plane and was jerked backwards and ended up on his butt. I started laughing and so did Fasick his phone jack designed to pull free had in fact pulled free but had caught on the seat belt harness jerking his head back and had his chin strap been secured he more then likely would have suffered the same thing that quarterbacks do when facemask guards are grabbed. We never made it to the bunker, laughing as hard as we were I guess it did not matter at that time. I can't remember what happened to the second aircraft except it did not land so I would guess it went to Saigon for the night.
Delta's teams and rangers found enormous amounts of munitions on this operation, along the way they had managed to secure a young NVA. He appeared to be around fifteen but was older, and for some reason he was kept on site longer then most of the POWs. He had been interrogated for a couple of days and after that much time they normally got moved to higher channels. One night he was allowed to view a movie in the movie tent and was hand cuffed to a chair. Sometime during the movie shooting erupted along the perimeter, a gunship fired it's 2.75's directly above the tent. Let me tell you it was nothing but assholes and elbows getting out of that GP medium. Someone must have come to his senses and in a group several men went back to find the POW, the generators had been shut down and the tent was dark, so with hi-beams and pistols drawn they peered into the tent, there was the POW sitting on his hand-cuffed chair with the biggest shit eating grin I ever saw on any POW Delta had ever caught. To this day I still believe that that rocket display was a set up, any secrets fellows?

Al Montez

SUBJECT: Recollections of a Mission

You have brought back a memory or two. I thought I was going to starve to death on a couple of missions. Some of those LRRP rations (chili con carne) were not very palatable when cold and the old bags of fish and rice could sure get ripe after a day or two. Edgar Morales, Tom Schultz and I got compromised on Tom's first mission (Ashau valley, I think). We were calling in some great airstrikes on a HUGE base camp when we got caught. The chase was on and we were on the run for a couple of days. We had to run so hard, we got a bit disoriented. Then, when we finally got re-oriented, with the help of the FAC, there was no LZ available. Then the weather set in for a couple of days. They couldn't get us out until the weather broke. So, we spent several days longer in the hole than the planned mission. A very exciting event occurred when we watched the searchers come down a hillside we were hiding on. This time they were line abreast which told me they knew we were still there and they basically knew where we were. That was not a comforting feeling. To this day, I don't know how they didn't see us. Food and radio batteries became a premium. I think I was able to subsist for a couple days on some jungle chocolate bars I took in. I have to tell ya, our shit was pretty weak there for awhile. BTW, the FAC did a great job of getting some Navy A-4s in under the clouds and getting some bombs in the right places so we could break contact. The FAC later told me he put the Navy A-4 guys in for the silver star for doing that. A silver star sounded good to me, but I was ready to give them my first born son. After that, the weather got so bad we were on our own. However, the FACs stayed overhead with us 24/7 until they finally got us out. We didn't know they were above a cloud cover and couldn't do anything for us, but it sure was reassuring to hear them up there. They told us to go to ground and hide until the weather broke. That's hard to do when the bad guys have already found you a couple of times and you end up doing the run for your life thing. The FACs were a great inspiration. If I haven't told you FAC guys this before, then it's overdue: I love you man!

Al Greenup