[In May, 1969] Specialist Sam P. fragged the orderly room. Two sergeants who just walked in were caught in the blast. Sgt Jackson was killed and Sgt. Michaelson wounded. 1SG Short wounded bad, the Duck (nickname) wounded, and Sam P. suffered light wounds and a broken leg. Lt. Trainer, the XO, later reads article of murder charges to Sam P. The outcome is unknown.
I remember the dude that fragged the Orderly Room, His name was Phronerbarger
and he came to A Troop on the same day in Dec 1968 as Paul Schiano and I did.
He didn't like being out in the bush so he kept trying to get hurt. Finally
one day he jumps off a tank and breaks his ankle. They send him to the rear
to heal up. We are out on a mission and when we come back into LZ Nancy the
1st Sgt sees Phronerbarger out at the gook hootches in front of the main gate
to Base camp. Top tells Phronerbarger that the party is over for him and we
were going to pull out the next morning on another mission and Top tells Phronerbarger
that he WILL be going back out with us. Well the dude didn't like Top's idea
and the next morning he goes down with a loaded M16 and a grenade with the pin
pulled and decides to convince Top that he wasn't going back out. Top tells
him what he didn't want to hear and Phronerbarger sets the grenade on Top's
desk and jumps out the front door. We all heard the explosion and figured we
were getting rocketed as we often did, that's another story, so we all jumped
in the bunkers next to the hootches. After a little while we found out what
happened and the last I saw of that dude they were locking him in one of those
big reefers we had behind the Mess tent until the MP's could come to get him.
Paul Schiano became the Company clerk that day because he knew how to type.
Funny thing about that is that when I got back to the states I was sent to Ft.
Benning and the clerk at the reception station was he clerk for A Troop before
the guys that got killed. He knew most of the A Troop guys so he got me a nice
instructor's job for my last 5 months in the Army.
There are at least two other brothers that died in Vietnam, Lenny Coles from
outside Rochester, NY, and John Jackson from Kansas. Lenny was a friend of mine
from Commo school. He was infused into A trp as a tank driver and we needed
a radio mechanic/operator. He transferred to commo and then became a clerk in
the orderly room. Both men were murdered by a weasel named Phronenbarger (not
sure how that is spelled) when he went into the orderly room and dropped a hand
grenade. I had just walked out of the orderly room and passed him on the way
up the hill to the commo hooch. I never did find out what happened to him.
A couple of years ago, I finally found Lenny's family in NY State. I went up there for a wonderful memorial service for him. His family really did not know what had happened.
I would love to know if anyone knows what happened to the slimeball that murdered the two men and injured several others, including the 1st Sgt.
But in reference to Lenny and John Jackson.: When the incident happened, Lenny was hurt pretty badly, as were Michael Harrison, Top and a guy from Charlotte that ran to the Orderly Room from across the street at the barber shop. Jackson did not seem to be hurt as badly, so I guess that he lived longer.
I was on a few patrols with this clown and I am the proud recipient of one of his finer days. I was wounded in the crotch from on of his grenade exploits. Then he fragged the orderly-room. I was in the motor pool working on the tank with Garry Norberg. Gary left for a while and I decided to look for him. I was headed up to the company area when I heard an explosion. I thought we were getting hit. When I got to the orderly room their were bodies everywhere. The Duck, nickname, was laying out side the door, Jackson and Michaelson were laying on the right side of the orderly room. Then the 1SG came crawling out, yelling kill the f-----r. A chopper flew into the compound and we loaded everyone up. The MP's showed up in a jeep and threw P. into it and drove away. I know P. ended up with some wounds and a broken right (?) leg. I saw him a one of the field hospitals. There is a lot more to tell, but I will save that for the reunion. Glenn Bowers
I was in the 11th ACR when the orderly room incident happened but heard about
it when I called Sgt Platt from down south. After returning I was stationed
at Ft. Meade. Harrison showed up and I got him a job as company clerk with the
troop I was then with. Harrison was the company clerk that was in the fragging
in Nam and apparently was the clerk who jumped on the guy with the grenade and
the M-16 he was about to shoot. Harrison was pretty messed up in the legs for
a while but I am happy to report that he probably has done alright given the
circumstances. Are you sure the name Michaelson isn't really Harrison?
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