Jerry D. Barnes
Lexington, Neb. Captain, U.S. Army
Received commission through ROTC at the University of Wyoming in 1967, spent two years in Germany and 1969 to '70 in Vietnam with the 444th Transportation Company, 27th Transportation Battalion, 8th Transportation Group.
Memory: “The mission of the 444th Transportation Company was to carry convoy supplies from the port of Qui Nhon to bases in the north ... and to the Central Highlands city of Pleiku. We had to go over two steep mountain passes, and the area in between was called 'Ambush Alley' for good reason.
“The 8th Trans Group came up with the idea of armor plating some of the trucks and equipping them with machine guns. These gun trucks provided convoy security. Some of my convoys had 75 trucks; a gun truck would be inserted every 10 vehicles or so. I had an armor-plated gun jeep with a machine gun and a radio. One of our gun trucks was called 'Little Respect.' Many were named for songs/TV shows of the times.
“Running convoys was a very tense job. It was important to get the supplies through for the soldiers. We hauled everything from ammunition to toilet paper. I only had one major ambush, losing five trucks, but the drivers survived.”
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