March 1969

from Bill McShane:
First let me say that I was on the patrol with Freyler, when he got the constrictor/ python or what ever. I was given a mission to go out west of Nancy I think, to the foothills, cordon up the platoon and take a squad of infantry out and patrol on foot to see what wee could find. After humping in a few steps, there were nine or so of us and a Chu Hoi, Freyler, on point, opened up. I crawled to his position to find him saying I got it, etc, and then see him get up and run into the bush and grab the snake by the tail. The damn thing had gone under him and the head came out of a hole behind him and bit him in the foot if I remember right. Was it 17 feet long, or shot 17 times or both. Made the Stars and Stripes




Don't remember the month but during the dry season we were breaking down jungle in M48 A17 and as broke down some bamboo a green snake fell down into the drivers hatch with Jordan. He cane out like his pants were on fire and refused to get back inside. Sgt Barrows threatened to leave him there if he didn't get back in. Seems to me somebody else (like me) had to drive for a few days. We also had a huge spider inside one time (like the old Tarzan movie) that gave everybody the creeps. I remember getting my gas mask and 2 cans of DDT and locking myself inside and emptying the cans. Can't remember if I did that for the snake or for the spider. Malan


Just shootin' the shit with some friends one evening at a birthday party last week when the subject of animals in Vietnam came up. They've heard stories of elephants, tigers and gorillas walking by GIs. in the jungle. I told them that I never saw any of those animals, but I heard of something called a "rock ape" that beat some guy up in the perimeter at Alpha-4, but to my mind it must have been one of them urban legends around the Z. I told them I did run into a monkey once while cutting through some bushes in the middle of the base at Quang Tri. I was walking from my hootch at Finance to the cav. The monkey was tiny, about the size of an infant. It climbed up my left leg, stopped at my shoulder, and peered into my face. "Uh, Hi," I said. It looked at me with these beady little intense eyes. Then the monkey jumped off and disappeared back into the bush. Apparently, I wasn't the guy it was looking for. Then I suddenly had a thought ~ I quickly felt my back pocket for my wallet. Whew! It was still there. Pineapple


I did kill a deer with my M79 somewhere in the western part of our AO. Snakes were pretty common animals. How many M48 drivers had vipers drop into their laps when they were busting jungle for us? I remember someone in our platoon spraying a bamboo viper with his CO2 extinguisher at C2 and apparently putting it to sleep. We all have stories about pythons. I've never seen one although I was on a dismounted patrol where someone across me saw one & ran away screaming after he threw his rifle at it. He said the snake's head was as big as his head. Uh, the rest of the patrol instinctively ran with him, not knowing what was wrong.

One dark night, while on ambush, a snake crawled between me and the guy next to me. For some reason, the a.p. was lined up real close. I think it was because we were on some kind of small hill overlooking a foot-trail. He jumped up and screamed. I told him to shut up, the snake was gone. I was about to fall asleep so I was very calm. He spent the night at another part of our perimeter.

The fish I saw in the river scared me. The Cua Viet was filled with weird looking big fish. Who didn't throw grenades in the water to see the fish float up to the surface?

& I've never seen rats the size of the rats I've seen at Alpha 4. They were as big as puppies. I shudder to think of it.

The old guys that were in our platoon told some stories about elephants and tigers, but they sounded too wild for me to believe them. [[Pineapple]


about the animal planet; when I was there our platoon scouts killed a 17 foot 9 inch python, we also heard of rock apes, though I never saw one myself but Tiny told me he saw some in the Bau Long valley. We also heard a report about a guy getting killed by a tiger in the same area, I don't remember if he was 1/61 infantry or 1/11 or even if it is true, some of the other troopers may know. [Whitey]

3rd platoon did kill a large (12-15 ft) snake at Cua Viet. We were setup overlooking a village along the Cua Viet river. We took a dismounted patrol thru a banana grove to checkout the village. I don't remember who was on point, but I was 2nd or 3rd in line when the point man stopped and dropped to one knee as he slowly raised his 16, aiming up into the trees. He fired a burst and I heard a crashing and breaking of limbs. I (in addition to being scared shitless), thought that we had walked up on a sniper who was either asleep or not aware of our approach. Then this damn big snake fell out of the tree. Our Kit Carson scout, Seemore, was with us, so when we got to the vil, he told the indigenous personnel what we did. They had lunch, dinner and probably breakfast on us! Mickey D's Nam style. [Earl Schorpp (40)]

We took out a small (even smaller after the claymore went off) pig on the trail with a claymore ambush once. [Skee]


If I remember correctly there was an article in the Stars and Stripes about a trooper being attacked by a Tiger. Killed a snake in the shower at Red Devil chopped off its head don't know what kind of snake it was but it was one of them snakes that crawl.

Had an FNG tell me he saw a green Elephant when I was down south. We got a good laugh out of that. He was looking through a Starlite and everything is green, Only remember seeing a boar when I was with the 12th. [Jim M]

wish i'd have been there to help kill that snake. couple of people posted the picture of that snake and I think someone posted the one that the stars & stripes used. I'm not sure about snakes as we don't have any here in the islands, and my experience with them in Vietnam was limited to just looking at them. Can you kill them in the body or do you have to bash it's head or cut it off. Would cutting a snake's tail off have any effect? How about if you cut it in half? [Pineapple]

 Jim Mills, You killed a snake in the shower ? Did you normally take a shower in ' Nam  armed with an edged weapon? I guess that would be one way of picking up the soap without using your hands. That's awesome! I would have never thought of that, and probably would have been snake bit had it happened to me. [Pineapple]

gnaw had to go back to the tank and get a machete. I was going to shoot it but I was afraid I might hurt myself. Never thought about picking up soap that way might be a safer then bending over [Jim Mills]

About a few weeks in country when we were on patrol somewhere in the rice paddies we veered out of the convoy. I was a gunner on our track-- Alpha-62, Mission Impossible ,I didn't know what was going on. Our T.C. started firing at something. We killed a 12ft. python. When i became T.C. i saw a two stepper up real close. We passed a hanging bamboo branch with a two stepper attached to it. It was about two inches from my face. Another time at Qua Viet we were throwing sea snakes around that were stunned by a mine that went off from some sampans. That's the only snakes I saw. Outside of Charley-2 a boar the size of a baby elephant was killed. [ Big Al ]