SP 4 Richard Morrell Photos
E Company 1966-7
The Morrell family today and a special Memorial Day 2005 card from daughter Jennifer.
1. Richard and Catherine. They were married just prior to his leaving for Vietnam.
2. Daughters Jennifer and Laura. Jennifer turned 25 on Memorial Day 2005 and is married with a baby daughter Riley. Laura is 20 and in college.
3. I'll let Richard's words speak: "I received this card from my daughter, whom I haven't seen in three years and thought I would show you the closest thing to a thank you for my time spent in Vietnam (38 years ago) that I ever received. She must have been looking at your site and others as I sent her the information concerning the pictures posted and about my friend, Eddie Stancil whom I reconnected with though your site. For that, I thank you. The reference she made about my not having to go, refers to me being a sole surviving son and I chose to go."
1. CPL Richard
Morrell. Fort Riley Kansas, 7/66
2. Water color by "Hansen", painted in Co. E mess hall wall by Morrell, 1967
3. Chinook W/pontoon bridge section
4. AVLB at work, Portsea
5. Jim Hurley, AKA "Baby Huey"
6. Our noisy neighbors at Bear Cat
Below are some of Richard's slide photos recently scanned using a better scanner.
1. Morrell water skiing on the Mekong River, 1966.
2. Jim Hurley, AKA "Baby Huey."
3. O'Brian on the left - Morrell on the right
4. Hurley's bridge erection boat
2. Tout is down on the pontoon, the other is not known.
4.Green in the jeep.
1.Jim Hurley standing up - Morrell is smallest of the two.
2. Building the approach for the bridge
3. (L to R) Hester, Morrell, O'Brian.
1. Card game, (L to R) James Mills, Morrell, ?, Man w/o shirt,?.
2. LT on left is unknown. SGT Reinhart on the right. (Update 4/5/11 from Captain Mandelbaum; the LT is Bruce Peterson -
I remember the bridge mission well. Earlier, a troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment had been ambushed on that road and we were brought along to get them over the river to chase the bad guys. We erected the Class 60 M4T6 floating bridge parallel to the existing LA NGA river bridge (not capable of carrying tanks) along Route 20 in LONG KHANH Province as part of the 11 ACR’s OPERATION EMPORIA and EMPORIA II. The bridge opened for traffic on August 3, 1967 and was removed approximately two weeks later. The first vehicle over the bridge went up on the curb and almost took the bridge under until LT Peterson and his guys got it back in the center.
It was one of the few times we went out as a company. I sweated off 5 pounds that day. There we were, a five mile long convoy without any protection, not even a shotgun in every vehicle, on a road where tanks had been destroyed in an ambush. We had prearranged artillery support, including naval guns for specific points along the road, but how the hell could we have fought an infantry attack? Someone was watching over us.
3. This was the first tank retriever to cross our bridge and the crew was probably sweating bullets about then
4. Huey's at Bear Cat.
1. Whaley on right, Hartless on the left
2. Bridge site.
3. Hester in the white shorts. Shell with M16
4. Bridge site.
1. Morrell on right, Tout on left.
2. Bridge site.
3. Hester and Mills are in trench, Tout and Rios at upper left.
1. Convoy through Saigon.
2. Bridge site.
3. Bridge site.
Observation and transport chopper probably used by Battalion staff. Soldier unknown
As of today, 6/26/05, Richard Morrell is not sure of the location of the pontoon bridge show above and sent me the following information that may help others remember the location.
"Our anchor system was a very simple one. A heavy cable stretched across the river, with lighter cables attached to each pontoon. Which tells me that what ever river it was, it was not a tidal river as it only ran in one direction. The tidal rivers in the Delta would run with the tides, both ways. I remember one day that I heard a lot of yelling at the bridge. Of course I ran down to see what was going on and a couple hundreds yards up river was a huge log coming down river at a good rate. As it rolled over and over the butt end would come up out of the water 7 or 8 feet. I heard guys yelling that it was going to take the bridge out. I watched and thought the same but as it reached the bridge and the swell butt came out of the water, it just lifted the pontoons up and rolled under them. A surprise to everyone watching. It didn't hurt a thing and continued down river. Had they got the thing to roll in the other direction, they more than likely would have been successful in removing our bridge. As a logger, I can tell you that, that log was over a hundred feet in Length and 6 to 7 feet in diameter at the butt and very crooked as hard wood is. Someone (VC?) spent a great deal of time and energy getting that thing in the water. I would have loved to see the looks on their faces as it slip under the bridge without doing any damage."