"Sunny" Sundberg, P.O. Box 1383,
Clatskanie, OR 97016-1383, 1-503-728-2628, welcomes correspondence. Email can be sent to
him care of firstname.lastname@example.org
September 2, 1967 on Hill 90
By Sunny Sundberg
I was one of the machine gunners attached to "Riley's Raiders" (2nd Platoon, F
Co., 2/7). "Cowboy" was the other gunner and he was good. Arlen Jones was a
gunner and I was his assistant gunner until I got the gunner's job. For a short time I was
Captain Whipple's radio operator. I ended up a squad leader.
The time I got it was interesting and a story I have often told. Second Platoon, or at
least a squad of the 2nd, had just come back to our compound on Hill 90. I had gone along
with one of my gun teams. As I came out of our mess tent, I saw this Vietnamese farmer. He
was using his hoe like an aiming stake for mortars. It hit me that we were to be mortared.
I went to the First Sergeant (Martin) and told him and then our captain at the time
(Simpson). The captain sent out a squad patrol to check the farmer and village. Also along
was a Vietnamese soldier. They came back saying they could not find the farmer and all was
A Okay, except for a lot of villagers on the move. That meant to me that we were to be
"hit". Then I got my two guns set up with 800 rounds apiece.
I ran around the whole compound warning of an attack. Once I notified the whole company
along with attachments, I was beat. Then is when I "F-ed up". I went and lay
down on my rack. I should have been in the concrete bunker with my 50 caliber machine gun.
It was on top of the hill. As I lay there thinking of home (another mistake), I heard
AK-47 rifle fire. Reaching over my rack to get my rifle, flack jacket and helmet, I heard
the mortars go off. I saw this bright light, but heard no sound. Then I heard some one
screaming. I then realized that I was the one screaming! I could not see because of
shrapnel in my forehead, and could not move my legs or one arm. I did not know if I still
had legs or and arm. Sergant Masten came and dragged me outside to a foxhole. Corpsman
"Doc" Jones got to me. He was having to call for more Ace bandages because he
was running out. I had 17 holes in me. He gave me a shot of morphine, and I was
"high" - no pain. The Gunny and Captain came by, and the Captain said he should
have listened to me. I had thought up 'til then that he did. But it seems like I was the
"fool" who forgot to listen to my own advice. The Gunny gave me a smoke. I was
smoking the cigarette when I saw smoke rings coming out of my left side. I told
"Doc" Jones and he slapped the cigarette out of my hand.
He asked if it hurt to breathe, and I said, "Yes, it hurts a bit and it's hard to
He said, "You've got a punctured lung".
Then he gave me a second shot of morphine....
...Later, in 1969-70 in the Nam, I was in a mobile Combined Action (C.A.P.)
...Keep in contact...
...We are all brothers who went through "hell" together. Thanks for a job well
done under very bad conditions.
- A. "Sunny" Sundberg, P.O. Box
1383, Clatskanie, Oregon 97016
As a Follow-up to Sunny's letter,
Skip Dickey writes the following:
My name is Skip Dickey I was in H&S Co. 106's Platoon. I was attached
to Fox Company during August and September, 1967. We had a 106 recoiless rifle mounted on
an amtrac. On the evening of September 1st, 1967 Fox came under a rocket / mortar attack.
We were on Hill 90. I remember Marines
getting blown out of tents & the whole hill taking a beating. The next morning I was
on a patrol that was sent up the river to the north of Fox's position to find the rocket /
We went up the river and found the positions and the patrol stayed. We 106's [there were
two amtracs] rode shotgun on one amtrac and there was a fireteam on the other. We were
coming back to the Fox Company area on Hill 90 when we reached a bend in the river and
were ambushed. My very good friend Jim Keener, an amtracer, was KIA, I was wounded [almost
lost a leg]. It ended my career in the USMC.
Now I can't believe I've found others who were in the same place at the
same time. I don't know if you remember anything about what I've written, above. If you
do, please give me an email. It is
great to find "brothers" who were there.
Thanks for letting me spout off.
Follow-up - Sunny sent the following newspaper clipping from his hometown.