Story courtesy of John Freiberger

Seeing the picture of a bullet-holed truck brings to mind one more real event known as how Jimmie H. Ray got to gun for the 48th.

The story begins when the main body boarded the Geiger and sailed for Vietnam. Jimmie Ray stayed behind to close out property accounts at Fort Benning. Having done that he flew to Tan Son Nhut and worked as part of the advanced party in Saigon.

After putting the 48th safely in at Phan Rang, Jimmie often drove to Dong Ba Thin where he picked up mail and other commodities. One particular trip changed the lot to which this man was destined. A single sniper bushwhacked his 3/4-ton truck on a section of Highway #1 rightly cultivated for an ambush. Alone and defenseless, Jimmie could only push the accelerator harder to escape injury.

Anger tempered a plan for his revenge. No more would he chase parts. "Never again," Jimmie Ray hollered, "will Charlie shoot at me when I'm unarmed!"  Everyone in earshot heard the decree as he asked for a change of duty.  Jimmie volunteered for a gunner's seat to settle the score.

His request was not denied and Jimmie Ray soon occupied his own spot in the gunner's well of a Blue Star helicopter. It was, however, his crew chief who acknowledged the rest of the plan. Jimmie had devised a harness allowing him to dismount his machinegun in flight before jumping out on a skid to eliminate any communist nuisance below. It was Jimmie Ray's way of saying: "I'm back Charlie to do you harm for shooting at me in the first place."

Now Jimmie Ray always looked a little short in height. But, it is Jimmie H. Ray RA14745753 Specialist Five, E5 who stood tall returning to the world with his Air Medal and Oak Leaf Clusters. While awards are not the only way to measure achievement, there's proof that some of Jimmie's all wool and a yard wide being exist in all of you by the many meritorious efforts performed in the 48th AHC from '65 onward.

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