David Schunck

As Interviewed by Charlotte Grim, March 9th, 2019

David Schunck

I am Charlotte Grim, and this is my grandfather: David Schunck.

I was in the area of South Vietnam known as I Core. The best friend that I made there didnít come home. The same day that I was wounded we took a lot of casualties, but I don't know how many casualties. I was only injured once. I suffered injuries to my right hand and to the right side of my head. I was lying on my belly, behind a rock, which was about a foot high, using the rock for cover, and I was talking on the radio when a shell of some kind exploded in front of me, and a large fragment of that slammed into my hand and into my head, picking me up and throwing me backwards. That took care of things for me. From there I was evacuated for treatment, first by helicopter to an Army surgical facility, which could not treat my head wounds, and so I was evacuated again from there within an hour to a Navy hospital ship off the coast of Vietnam, and I spent the next 8-10 days on that ship.

I was an Artillery Forward Observer, my job was to bring artillery fire where it was needed, and since we were in combat, fighting with a North Vietnamese Army unit, we needed artillery support. My job was to call for the artillery and adjust it and bring it in.

C-rations, which had been used since World War II, Iím not sure if the ones we were eating had been from World War II, they were a little newer than that, but they were the same. They were basically canned goods, soups, stews, and some vegetables. The coldest Iíve ever been in my life was one night that I spent on a rice patty dyke, the temperature in the 40s and a strong wind blowing, and it rained, so we were soaking wet.

For part of the time we were positioned next to a major river. And one day, with nothing important to do, a couple of guys decided to go swimming with this group of men who were going swimming. But not all of them knew how to swim, so some of them were staying in shallow water, and this one sergeant we had, couldn't really swim, and he stepped off into deep water, and the river was carrying him down stream, and he hollered for help. I swam over to him and having been trained, I explained to him what he needed to do, and I used the tired-swimmers carry to swim him back to shore, and he felt like I saved his life. Iím sure he would have gotten out of it on his own.