On January 14, Ken Delfino of Keystone talked about his combat experiences during the Tet Offensive with the US Navy's River Patrol Force in South Viet Nam. As he says, "this small segment of my life is dedicated to my brothers-in-arms with whom I patrolled the Long Tau, Soi Rap, Co Chien, My Tho and Ham Luong Rivers for 22 months."
Delfino's memoir is linked below, describing the violent onslaught of the Tet Offensive in the treacherous waters of the Mekong Delta:“WHUMP!…. ah, it’ll stop I thought…. KABAAAAM!!!!!!…the building shook…crap was flying all over the place and that, along with the close sounds of automatic weapons immediately woke me!”
Robert J. Moir, Delfino's executive officer, has written about their experiences: "During the Vietnam War, small U.S. Navy units patrolled Mekong Delta rivers in fiberglass boats armed with machine guns, four men to a boat. By day they stopped Vietnamese junks, sampans and water taxis, checked people's identification, and searched for weapons and contraband. At night, during curfew, they drifted silently with the current, watching and listening for enemy movement. They were often targets for Viet Cong gunners. Boats were hit and men were wounded and killed." more, YouTube
Listen to SDPB's Lori Walsh on the Dakota Midday program interview Ken Delfino on January 9, 2107. Advance the progress bar to #18:00 (that is, 18 minutes into the show). It lasts until #32:40.
to the Black Hills Veterans Writing Group which has helped veterans write up their military experiences since 2005. On the second Saturday of each month, a war veteran or academic tells his or her story at 900 am (first half hour is social period), until 1130. Come toEllsworth Air Force Base's South Dakota Air and Space Museum. You and family are invited. It's free.
On March 11, Alan B. Walker spoke about his combat experiences as a Marine on Foxtrot Ridge in Vietnam, two miles from the Khe Sanh Combat Base, described in his memoir Every Warrior Has His Own Song. He was born and brought up on the Winnebago Indian Reservation in Winnebago, Nebraska. His father was an Omaha Indian. His mother was a great granddaughter of "one of the original seventy-five braves who volunteered to scout for the U.S. Army in 1863."