Our Marine Infantry Case featuring David Hinds 1966-1968, Vietnam, is a case filled with the personal artifacts that David Hinds has so generously allowed us to put on display , everything in here is a part of his experience in Vietnam and his life afterward. It all starts in 1966, when Dave was sent to Boot Camp in San Diego, California, for 8 weeks followed by 4 weeks Infantry Training & mine detecting and removal & 4 weeks weapons training, Including the M-20 Bazooka, Flame Thrower and the M-60.
Here he is in his own words,
I arrived in Vietnam 1st of Oct. near DMZ (Demilitarized zone) Dong Ho, Vietnam. Search and Destroy Mission of Villages.
Went to Okinawa mid-December to get more men, our squad was sent to the mountains for cold winter training, when they returned to base from the cold weather training in the mountains, they got in some Submarine Training.
1967, Our Squad was dispatched , into the DMZ (demilitarized zone, a no no) to provide security for a downed helicopter to be retrieved, we were there approx. 20 min,when the North Vietnamese started shelling us with rockets. I Received shrapnel in my right and left Hips from exploding rockets behind us, and was transported to a Medical Ship that traveled the Vietnam coast, back to combat duty 2 weeks later.
Continued several operations near the DMZ zone. First of June, I was walking thru a rice patty and a guy 20 yards away stepped on a booby trapped bomb. Again I received shrapnel in Left arm & leg.
Treated in the field, 1 week later as I was point man of our squad with an M-60 machine gun, a Vietcong sniper grazed my right arm. (Their snipers aren’t as accurate as ours).
As per regulations, 3 injuries and you survived you had to be shipped away from combat and out of country. I was shipped to Okinawa to recover and finish out my tour of Vietnam, 13 months in all.
Post Card slide show ( courtesy of Davids Hinds collection)
Thinking I had it made till my 2 yr. enlistment ended . Driving home mid-December to Ohio I was pulled over in Charleston WV. And was advised the bridge to Ohio, had collapsed
(was someone watching over me?).
1968, January I got orders to go to Guantanamo Bay Cuba , Marines provided security for Naval Air Bases. You may remember the movie “A Few Good Men” that Tom Cruise Jack Nicholson movie was about Guantanamo Bay.
I was there till 1 week before of my Discharge, April 23, 1968.
Worked as a press operator at Ohio Bell for several years, then as an auto Mechanic and two years at Brinks Armored Car.
1974, took a job in The Zanesville Ohio Fire Dept. for the next 23 years, I became a Fire Instructor,a Building Inspector, a Training Officer at local hospitals & rest homes, an Advanced MT Medical Officer, a Hazard Material Tech, an Ohio State Arson Investigator and Deputy Sheriff for 11 years.
My wife states I must have had 9 lives as I survived 3 incidents in Vietnam,1 as an armed guard for brinks.
And when a wall collapsed, requiring back surgery at a major fire and again 10 years later, when I fell down an elevator shaft amputating my ring finger.
I feel lucky & I still have a couple lives left and will be 70 years young next year.
In 2013 I was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for my 40 years of volunteering to help Vets, Jaycees Boys Club and Civil Organizations.
2013, I Moved to Paradise (Naples Fl.)
Dave Hinds has since become a member and intricate part of our Museum, he is a Docent on Friday mornings and is always there when we need help, which just proves there is no such thing as an Ex Marine only Retired Marines.
Oh and Dave ” Thank You for your Service”