The investigation continued at 1300. Aerial photographs from bomb and gun cameras were lain out on a table.
“Sergeant Jones. Would you review the pictures and describe them?” He asked.
“Yes sir,” I replied.
The pictures reinforced my statements. The lead HumVee was burning with bodies around it, further back a tanker and its duce was burning. I also noticed mid-convoy was the deuce and a half I had gotten out of and Betty was hanging half out of it. I turned away from the pictures for a minute to regain control and then described what I saw in them. I was surprised when they asked no questions.
“We will take a fifteen minute break and then listen to the audio from air group,” the General said.
When I returned, they had the audio equipment set up.
“Start the audio please, from the request of air cap,” the general said.
CONTROL: Bravo Charlie 14 we have detoured from the mapped route request air cap if available (Captain Walsh).
Bravo Charlie 14: CONTROL roger that request.
CONTROL: Bravo Charlie 14, We have been ambushed. I need air support NOW coordinates 29295 W 44077 N – we are taking heavy causalities. (gun fire and explosions in background) (I had assumed command at this point).
Bravo Charlie 14: CONTROL, F18 support in route eta ten minutes, hang in there, Falcon 5 will contact you direct.
CONTROL: Bravo Charlie 14 Roger that.
Bravo Charlie 14: Falcon 5 eta 5 minutes.
Falcon 5: Bravo Charlie 14 Roger that.
Bravo Charlie 14: CONTROL, Close-in support is 10 minutes out.
CONTROL: Bravo Charlie 14 roger that.
Bravo Charlie 14: Falcon 5 we have visual, are all your men by the convoy?
Falcon 5: Bravo Charlie 14 roger that, we are taking fire from the ravine 200 meters south of the convoy.
Bravo Charlie 14: Falcon 5 missiles away. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 bombs away.
Bravo Charlie 14: Pig pen 10 we are 6 ETA.
Pig pen 10: Bravo Charlie 14 roger that.
Bravo Charlie 14: Pig pen 10 Ravine still the target area?
Pig pen 10: Bravo Charlie roger that
Bravo Charlie, keep your head down (The A10 Gatling guns were firing before the mike closed).
Bravo Charlie 14: CONTROL Medivac 10 ETA call sign Mercy 5.
Control: Bravo Charlie 14 roger that.
Mercy5: Bravo Charlie 14 we are doing landing zone sweep now.
Bravo Charlie 14: Mercy 5 roger.
Mercy 5: Bravo Charlie 14 you are cleared to land.
Pig pen 10: Bravo Charlie 14 as soon as the medics lift off we are going to move north to intersect with main road; do you have time to patrol between the points?
Bravo Charlie 14: Pigpen10 roger that.
Pig pen 10: Control, fly cap for Bravo Charlie 14. After you do the patrol aerial tanker is at marker foxtrot if you need them.
CONTROL: Pig pen10 roger that.
CONTROL: MERCY5 we are airborne we have 7 no wounded.
Mercy 5: Control (long pause) roger.
Pig pen 10: Bravo Charlie 14 we are moving.
Bravo Charlie 14: Looks clear we will be high but with you, will notify you before we leave you.
Pig pen10: Charlie bravo 14 roger.
Bravo Charlie 14: pigpen 10 you are ½ mile from intersection, we are being reassigned.
Pig pen10: Bravo Charlie 14 Many thanks we owe you guys big time.
End of tape
“Sergeant Jones, Do you have anything to add to investigation?” he asked.
“No sir. The aerial photographs, aircraft combat audio and testimony presented reflects the actions and events as they took place in the field,” I replied.
“This concludes this phase of the investigation. This board of inquiry will compile and review all testimony and make the necessary recommendations to the DOD,” he said.
“Sergeant Jones, you are dismissed; your request for 3 weeks leave has been approved, your flight back to the states leaves 0600 Friday,” he said.
Just two more nights in this hell hole sand box. Four years in the Middle East is enough, along with 6 years in the rice paddies of Asia. I had had enough and wanted out.
Edit by Alfmeister