COMBAT IN REVIEW BULGING BILLFOLD BARS BALLISTIC....BRUISES BOTTOM FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR SEPTEMBER 27, 1968.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
LZ BRONCO — One "Jungle Warrior" of the 11th Bde. is walking around with a hole in his wallet instead of a Purple Heart on his chest.
The hole in SP4 George Ruckman's billfold is a souvenir left by the Viet Cong when they ambushed two trucks carrying a platoon from LZ Liz to the departure point of a combat patrol. Ruckman, the commo chief of E Co., 3rd Bn., 1st Inf., was riding on the back of the seat in the lead truck when they were attacked.
He described the action. "A hand grenade went off between the trucks, injuring some of the men in the second vehicle. As we called for a medic, small arms fire began coming in. I felt a sharp sting in my rear and thought it was a fragment from the grenade because everybody was yelling they'd been hit by frags."
But when he checked for possible injury, he found one big bruise and one hole in his wallet.
The bullet had first hit the radio strapped to the back of SP4 George McMurtry, radio telephone operator for E Co., who was riding in the rear of the truck. It then ricochetted off the side bar of the truck bed, and was stopped by Ruckman's wallet.
"It didn't hit any money," he said, "but it went through my ration card, a picture of my girl, and some other papers I was carrying."
He is still carrying the bullet that did the damage .... in his wallet, of course.
An original copy of this document was donated to the Americal Division Veterans Association (ADVA) by LTC Paul Parham who served as Information Officer for the Americal Division.