Taken from Hill 200 (A recon position) looking East.  This pic pretty well depicts most of our area of operations during
the time I was there. We spent a lot of time in "Arizona", because it was always full of North Vietnamese Army regulars
and Viet Cong trying to get to An Hoa to overrun it. Thanks to us they never succeeded.
From a picture in Leatherneck Magazine - '69 or '70
Capt. Poolaw and the POW on Operation Durham Peak.
This incident happened while we were up in the Que Son Mountains on Operation Durham peak in August, 1969.
The whole company was strung out on this winding mountain trail, so visibility was obscured by the trees, bushes, and rocks and it was
hard walking.
We had come across 2 Viet Cong - One was a wounded VC in a cave and the other was able to walk.  We took them both as POW's.
The first one, the wounded one,  had the biggest majority of his butt blown away and he was in major pain. He couldn't walk and he was
about dead. He looked really gross, because there were maggots crawling all over where his butt used to be. He kept moaning and groaning.
The decision was made to make a stretcher and carry him down off the mountain.  Even the corpsmen didn't think he'd make it. The
stretcher was made and the troopies took turns carrying him for a while.  It was extremely difficult because of the terrain.  The guys kept
falling, trying to carry the stretcher, gear and negotiate the trail.    It was hot and miserable and we were tired from all the humping and this
VC smelled like he was already dead.
The second POW was having trouble walking on the trail like the rest of us and he kept falling. We stopped for a couple of minutes and the
Captain tried interrogating him, but he wouldn't talk.  I don't know what the POW did next, but the Capt.got pissed  shot him with his .45.  
I didn't see the actual shot, but I heard the radio transmissions on the squad radio.
Frank Williams was the guy that ratted on Capt. Poolaw for killing the POW.  Frank had found the POW.  If you brought back a POW,
you got an In Country 3 day R & R and the Capt. killed the POW.  So Frank wasn't going to get his 3 day R & R. Then he figured that by
ratting on Capt. Poolaw, he would get out of the bush and go to Danang for the trial.  After that, his time in-country would be up and he
could go home.
A lot of us weren't very fond of  Capt. Poolaw because he was a hard man, but, in this particular incident, a lot of us agreed with the
Captain's decision.  He was acquitted.
You have to remember that we were coming down out of the mountains after a 2 week operation and most of us had been without food for a
couple days and were extremely low on water.  We weren't able to get resupplied becuase of the dense forest. Morale was at an all time low
and as far as we were concerned, "the only good VC was a dead VC".  We were kind of hoping he would eliminate the wounded VC, also.
Back in 1988, I saw
Bernie Schwicke (Hotel 2/5, 1 Charlie squad leader for a while) at The Wall.  He told me that after Vietnam, Capt.
Poolaw reverted to enlisted and was a Sgt. Major in the Corps out west somewhere.
Various Pictures of Stuff From
My Hotel Company Days
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2/5 Area of Operations map - '69 - '70
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