Randy "Bear" Miller on Dussault

Warboats.org

[Home]

Mobile Support Team - THREE

Randy "Bear" Miller and his Recollection of LtJg Dussault


1964-1971 - Vietnam Era - Boat Support Units

 

August 2, 2006 

Kathleen and Robert,

I was on the Warboats, MST-3 web site and read with interest your story on LtJG Dussault and was fascinated by the pictures that you posted. In reading his citation for his Bronze Star, I remembered the night of Apr 11, 1968 very well. I was on the LCPL while he was on the Mighty Mo.

Here's what I remember of that day. The Lt was part of a group that was there to replace us. This was our first mission out on the river with them, to show them the ropes. We hardly ever planned any Seal insertions in the middle of the day but this was one of those times.
The Seals weren't happy and us 'old timers' weren't happy either. The new guys didn't know any difference. We had never been set up on by the VC before because we felt we had too much fire power for them to mess with us, so we were not concerned. After the insertion, we patrolled around until darkness fell and we assumed our patrol station and started our nightly routine of making laps not more than 3-5 clicks away from the Seals. We had the LCPL following the Mo and we were towing the two whalers.

Some time in the late evening the Mo started firing their 50's. When I looked up river at the Mo I could see the tracers firing towards the shore line. Usually this meant they were firing at a sampan as they weren't allowed on the river after 6:00 pm til 6:00 am. When I looked
over to the shore line a B-40 round went off in the water in front of me. I was wounded in the neck from shrapnel. I laid down twin M-60 fire, while the Mo's 3-50's, the LCPL's 50, and
our belt fed M-79 was laying down fire towards the shore. At this time we were taking small arms fire.

What we found out later was one B-40 round hit the side of the Mo without going off, but there was an indentation left in the hull, one round hit the 106 recoilless, one round went off in the water in front of the LCPL, one went off on the starboard side in front of me, and one went off to the rear of the LCPL.

Now this is what I remember of the round hitting the 106 located on the top of the canopy deck, see the pictures that are posted. Apparently the LTJG was topside sleeping in a sleeping bag near the 106. When the B-40 round hit the 106, it tore off the sighting rifle attached to it, and left a white powder all over the place. The 106 was facing the opposite shore. The LTJG swung the 106 around to the shore line where the firing was coming from. He reached under and around and hit the center button on the elevation wheel which fires the weapon. When he did that the recoil blast nearly knocked him off the top of the canopy.
He held onto the ropes that were used to tie the canopy down to keep from going into the water. When he fired that round the firing from the shore line stopped. It was a beehive round that contained 2000 fleshettes (darts).

Bill Moreo was on the boat with him that night and may add more to the story. I vaguely remember him and always up until now thought he was an Ensign, I remember nice thoughts about him and we had a good laugh about his test under fire. Don't believe he ever sleep on top again. We used to have stretchers that we hung underneath the Mo's canopy to sleep, but no one ever slept topside. He was very lucky man that night for if that round had exploded, well ..................

I went home about a week or so after that night and I got out in July 1968, so I never saw him again. I've told the story a hundred times about Apr 11th and the officer who nearly went into the drink after firing that 106 round. I'm sorry about his later wounds but glad that
he received the Bronze Star for his actions. I would have served under him from the my impression of him.

Hope this added a little to the memories of your friend.

Randy Miller      BSU-1, Jan 65-July 68

 

[ Home ]  [ Top ]   [ Back ]