It is not usually (if ever) a recipient of the Medal of Honor can also be a broadcast poet. However retired Inexperienced Beret John Duffy turned his trial-by-fire into an epic poem of the Vietnam Battle.
It was a brutal battle; no quarter requested, none given.
You killed the enemy or the enemy killed you.
CBS Information nationwide safety correspondent David Martin requested Duffy, “A lot of troopers have written memoirs about their time in fight. You selected to write down poetry. Why?”
“I needed to color the image of the motion and a panorama of the fight there,” he replied.
It is known as “The Battle for ‘Charlie,'” the title of a hearth base blocking the North Vietnamese invasion route into the central highlands firstly of their 1972 Easter offensive. Duffy was the lone American advisor to a battalion of South Vietnamese paratroopers despatched to carry Fireplace Base Charlie.
Be courageous my comrades.
What else can we do?
There isn’t any escape.
Kill or die is our destiny.
“It appears like getting into you knew this was a battle to the demise,” stated Martin.
“We got orders to battle to the demise,” Duffy replied.
In his poem, Duffy imagines the orders the North Vietnamese commander gave his troops:
“The massive American with the radio on his again,
I need him killed, he’s controlling the plane.
He’s attacking our anti-aircraft and artillery weapons.
He strikes usually. Goal him! He have to be destroyed!”
Martin stated, “That antenna was like a ‘kill me’ signal.”
“Plus, I used to be 6’2″, and the Vietnamese are sometimes about 5’6″,” Duffy stated.
The air strikes he known as in had been the one factor protecting badly-outnumbered South Vietnamese troops from being overrun.
The battle raged backwards and forwards.
The dying and wounded moaning softly,
Despair and harm are frequent:
Is that this glory?
Martin stated, “That is a very good query: Is that this glory?”
“Is that this glory? No, it was a fight,” stated Duffy.
“All through this poem, you do not appear to have any hatred of the enemy?”
“No, no. They had been combating for what they believed in. We had been combating for what we believed in. And that is the essence of warfare.”
Calling in all the things from B-52 bombers to helicopter gunships, Duffy and his troops held out for so long as they might.
Nobody might’ve anticipated extra from them.
Nothing extra could be achieved, besides to save lots of them.
“I am staying with you, you want cowl,
We’re a crew, we’ve got fought collectively
And if want be we are going to die collectively.
Which may be the price of saving our troopers.”
Dying’s second is close to,
I can really feel its flame.
Quickly will probably be right here,
It appears unusual no extra.
Martin stated, “Unusual no extra. So, mainly you had accepted the truth that you had been going to die?”
“It was getting slightly dicey!” Duffy replied.
“It looks like, getting into, your place was not survivable.”
“I feel in all probability so, however I used to be by no means fearful in the entire battle.”
In a recording, Duffy (name signal: Dusty Cyanide) talks to the plane coming to his rescue.
“My state of affairs is I obtained 37 personnel. Each time we have broke out attempting to depart right here, we obtained fired upon.”
One pilot informs him he’s low on gasoline and has to depart. “No sweat, man,” Duffy replies. “You probably did a very good job. Subsequent time I see you I owe you an enormous bottle of scotch.”
Of the 471 males dedicated,
I got here out after two weeks of intense battle
with 36 surviving,
most of them had been wounded.
Duffy began writing the poem per week later, and has been including to it ever since.
Nobody gained on “Charlie”;
Both sides managed to lose.
Then, he sums up his personal profession, beginning as a 17-year-old personal and ending as a serious with 4 fight excursions.
I assume I did effectively:
Not having gone to Hell.
Nicely sufficient to earn the nation’s highest honor – and stay to write down poetry about it.
For more information:
Story produced by Mary Walsh. Editor: Ed Givnish.
Extra on the Battle in Vietnam: