174th Assault
Helicopter Company


Mortar Hit on the 409th TC Tent on 24 June 1967

The tent housing many of the 409th Transportation Corps (TC) Detachment (our mechanics) took a direct hit from a VC mortar with a contact fuse during a mortar attack that hit the 174th Company area at Duc Pho during the pre-dawn hours on 24 June 1967. Two mechanics were killed immediately and 35 total were injured. Jim McDaniel was sleeping three tents away and took the first two of these three photos of the tent the next morning. The entire unit was still living in tents and more permanent facilities (the bunkered hootches to come later) had not yet been built. SP4 Larry Guentzel and SP4 Thomas Dickinson died instantly in their sleep. SP4 Gary Markle was severely injured with brain damage from shrapnal and survived as a paraplegic for over 29 years with only partial use of one arm. He could not use his legs or other arm. The doctors could not remove the shrapnal from his brain, and in the mid-1990's pieces of that shrapnel finally shifted enough to also take his sight. In 1996 he suffered severe burns when he was unable to control the hot water in a bath. He died of complications from those burns on 28 Sep 96. Markle's wife considers his death a direct result of his wounds in Vietnam and is attempting to get his name added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She has not been successful. One Shark pilot in the tent next to this one took some shrapnel in his back. Source: Fred Thompson June 1992, Jim McDaniel August 1996, Ted Saunders September 1996, and 14th CAB unit history for 1971 (Sloniker) July 1992. (Photos 1 and 2 by Jim McDaniel, photo 3 by Andrew Karsada, Duc Pho, June 1967)