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I was flown to Guam I think that day or next. On the bus to the airport one of the men was taking photographs as we went by Bridge Ramp. I had a good look at what was left of the 78. He promised he would send me a picture but I never got one. He was assisting us as the bus was full of wounded on stretchers. I remember being loaded in a C-130 hanging in the stretcher. I'm not certain as it was a blur but I remember I was in Guam the first part of March. While I was there one of the copies of the Navy Times had a picture of the mess at Bridge Ramp taken from the road. I sent a copy home and have that picture but it's the old newsprint and not the best. I left Guam in July for the USS Reclaimer.
I was wondering if you had any pictures of better quality and if I could get some. I do have a few pictures of the time I was on the 78. Unfortunately I did not get a 35mm until later when I was on the USS Reclaimer, but I have some stills I put together from November until February 27th. The RT's loading, the boat, myself on one of our beer loads, etc.
I found the web site for the Wall and looked up the names of the men I knew on the 78. I remember the Navy Times had 5 names and I had added a 6th, Lyle Zacher. I couldn't remember the 7th name but thought I had found it a couple years ago, a Bartholomew. But I guess it was Earnest Jack Buckelew. I found all 7 names on the 31W section of The Wall that were on the 78. I knew there were about 20 Navy personnel killed that night in Quang Nam Province from a web site I found 2 years ago. I didn't find out the connection with the LCU-1500 until tonight but I saw that boat at the ramp that night earlier.
Thanks for the web site with the information. It answers some questions I have had all these years."
S/S Bruce G Hoffman EN3 YFU-78
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