Freak Accident in Blues Hooch
As one of the Blues was sitting in his hooch cleaning a 12 gauge shotgun it accidentally discharged killing their hooch maid instantly. She apparently was standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. A shotgun was sometimes used by the Blues point man on recon missions.
Shortly after 1st Sergeant William Herder wanted me to drive the thirteen-year-old sister (babysan) of the deceased hooch maid to her home in Phuoc Vinh Village and break the news to her family. I got the assignment because I was the jeep driver, and I was authorized to enter the village.
As she stepped into my 1/4-ton jeep, she was extremely upset and hysterical to say the least and when we approached the village she became quite vocal. There were groups of South Vietnamese soldiers walking along the road, and I noticed how stirred up they had become listening to what she was crying out. She kept saying “GI killed my sister” and that made me very nervous because they probably thought I did it. With that my speed increased, and I kept my loaded M-16 at arms reach.
I dropped babysan off in front of her family’s home (pictured below) and
sped back to our company area without an incident. I chose not to stick around and talk to her family, mainly because of the language barrier and of course my safety was in jeopardy.
About a week later 1st Sergeant Herder and I visited the family and told them they would be compensated by our government for their loss…