On Jan. 9, 1968, the Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon, marking the end of the American series of unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

It was early January, 1968, and this C-130 flight that was originating at the DaNang Air Base,
was heading up north with stops at Phu Bai and on further north to Dong Ha. The TET Offensive
was raging across the length and breadth of the northern areas known as I Corps. There was
an expression coined and repeated by most of the troops, “BEANS AND BULLETS IN--BODIES
OUT”. I remember my shock and concern that first day upon arriving in DaNang, when I had
seen many silver bright caskets waiting for shipment out. I was told later that the color of the
tags that flipped and jerked in the breeze, meant something or other. It was a foreboding and
a sobering event for everyone. Someone attempted an ill-timed joke about the caskets and a
crisp, “knock it off you ass-hole” sounded loud and clear so that everyone, regardless of rank
or rate could hear the remark and keep a civil tongue in their heads. JW

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