A Troop 4/12th Cav

Kondeff 31 December 1997

David Kondeff David George "Pigpen" Kondeff served in Vietnam with the 1st platoon in 1969

From Coops war dairy:

29 July 69
went out withA18, A15, and A12 to guard dozers. Engineers finished their job this morning we should go in tomorrow. Word is that we should move from LZ Nancy to Quang Tri around August 15. Around 02:45 Dave was having some kind of fit and they could not medivac him due to the wind. A11, A12 and my Tank took off for Sharon. We made it in about 30 minutes. Took him to 1/11, they did not have a doctor so A11 and A12 carried him into Quang Tri.

I was with Dave that night. We were heating up our newly acquired LRRP rations in this beautiful bunker at LZ Mohawk in the hills between Sharon and Nancy. The only thing was this bunker was about 5 feet tall. You had to crawl in. It was really clean and nice, but the C4 fumes had no place to really go except up everyone's nostrils. Dave started to have his convulsions. Doc Parker did what he could, but decided that Pigpen needed more help than what he could give him. I was in A12 and we hauled Doc to LZ Sharon in record time. The journey was particularly memorable because it was very bright from the full moon and it was easy to follow Coop and A11. At one point in the boonies, A11 made a sharp turn and uncovered a bright silver pie-tin looking thing. It was a mine! Because the moon was so bright, it was easy for us to avoid it. Jersey was driving, I think, with Papasan and SS on the rear 60's and I was in my usual place sitting on the driver's hatch. Groulx was the TC. I saw that mine many more times in our travels in that area of operations. No one thought of destroying it. We were always on the move.

I really liked Pigpen He was a big guy from San Francisco and he was fond of saying "Ba-ges? BA-GES? We no gotta show you no stinkin' BA-GES!!" He had a wicked looking size large handlebar mustache and a similarly wicked looking switchblade knife that was so large that we you pressed the button to open the blade, it would make your hand shudder. Pigpen & Okie aka Hogpen aka John Olney were on the same tank, A17. [Pineapple]

My name is John E. Olney. I was one of those that came up from the 11th Cav(Blackhorse) in Jan. 69. I was assigned to A17, where I was the gunner until Oct. 69 when I came back to the world. My TC was Sargent Cook, the driver was Chimp(Can't remember his name), the loader was Raymond Gilcrest(The Rat). When I first got to the unit I was just known as "Oklahoma". Later I was given the name Hogpen. The new driver and I had a contest to see who could go the longest with out a bath. After a few weeks Capt. put a end to it and called the driver Pigpen and me Hogpen, He said he knew I would rot before I would give up. Well, just wanted to introduce myself


Old Tankers don't die,
we just smell that way


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