Mad Minutes and Vietnam Months

A Soldier’s Memoir

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About the Book

This thoughtful memoir recounts one man’s transformation from a glory-seeking, gung-ho Kansas teenager to a weary, twice-wounded grunt who had volunteered for a second tour of duty. Enlisting in the Army in June 1964 at age 17, Micheal Clodfelter was assigned to an artillery battalion of the 101st Airborne Division and arrived at Cam Ranh Bay on July 29, 1965; on August 9, 1966, after having requested a transfer to the infantry, he was assigned to Charlie Company, 2/502nd Airborne, serving in Phu Yen and Kontum provinces. A second injury resulted in his medical evacuation from Vietnam on January 8, 1967.
Describing the intensity of “mad minutes” (the general discharge of all weapons along a defense perimeter to discourage a potential enemy attack) amid the monotony, exhaustion and horror of war, Clodfelter writes of entering “a territory from which none of us ever really returned.”

About the Author(s)

Micheal Clodfelter is an active member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and the author of several books on military history. A researcher and consultant for the Dupuy Institute of Military History, he lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

Micheal Clodfelter
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 253
Bibliographic Info: 3 maps, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [1988]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6725-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8756-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

Maps

Vietnam Odyssey: 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (29 July 1965–31 December 1966)      3

Tuy Hoa Area      5

Movement of 2/502nd Infantry (1 January–30 June 1967)      7

Prologue      9

Part I. Redleg

1. The General Leroy Eltinge      16

2. Cam Ranh Bay      21

3. An Khe      26

4. Operation Gibraltar      30

5. Quinhon      37

6. Phan Rang      45

7. Tuy Hoa      55

8. Phan Thiet and Nhon Co      67

9. Toumorong      72

10. Return to Tuy Hoa      82

Part II. Grunt

11. First Mission      90

12. Vung Ro Bay      107

13. Operation Seward 111

14. Firefight 118

15. Night March 142

16. Snipers 152

17. An Old Man’s Ears 163

18. Raiders 180

19. Hard Core Test 196

20. Operation Geronimo 206

21. Kontum 222

22. Punji Stake 233

23. New Year’s Truce 243

Epilogue      249

Military History of Micheal Clodfelter      263

Index      265

Book Reviews & Awards

“Clodfelter’s work is a sound presentation of a grunt’s life in Nam. His war experiences force there eager to face the reality of war, to consider the meaning of it, and to realize the impact of war on America”—New Pages.