My Detachment – Bill Murphy

How to “cover” or describe the Rocket Attack

  • For me
  • For ___?

Issues – movement of or into space.

  • Movement of time

I. Original assignment by Lucas – sketch out

  1. Hootch
  2. Bunker (room for front and back
  3. Foreground and Background.
  4. C E N T E R; focus
  1. Go back and reposition and size. What to highlight.

The Hootch

The Bunker (emphasis; the opening is centered left and right, up and down).

The Jeep

Inside hootch, visible on right calendar “Feb” (My space.)

Inside hootch, left, guitar on bunk, used primarily to play Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park” by Mexican bunkmate from Houston.

Front door, spring latch, thin screen, like Mrs. Piper’s, Alton Bay, Lake Winnepasaukee, NH,

Boots on ground

Bunker (oversized).  Light cup on ground.

Left margin, flagpole (flagless)

Jeep, partial i.e., on the move.  Stars and Stripes in road, LEFT BEHIND.

Upper right corner (deuce and a half truck, parked to rear of hootch, unloading or unloaded)

To left of hootch, starting from side:

Sandals on ground

(crossed out) pith (I could never say or draw pith) helmets.

Conical hat

Flagpole displaying NVA flag, pile of dress uniforms ready for parading

Far left – radio antennae

    Movement from the Hootch to the Jeep goes thru the bunker.

Check “narrative” facts for accuracy.


              Davis Station – named for Spec 4 James T. “Tom” Davis, ASA Radio Research Grp from Tennessee.

              December 22, 1961 Tom Davis killed in VCV ambush 12 miles northeast of Saigon; the             First – Uniformed – Enlisted – Combat Death (at least one of the early one’s. (cf Fitzgibbons from my hometown the FIRST – UNIFORMED – ENLISTED – DEATH (i.e., non combat – killed by a fellow serviceman, stateside called a homicide.

            December 6, 1972 rocket attack on Tan Son Nhut airbase.

            53 days later

           January 28, 1973 Paris Peace Accords

         February 1973 enlisted men, including Spec 5 Murphy assigned to cleanout hootches for prospective new residents. (At least different than Kurt Vonnegut’s detail.)

          February 26, 1973 Spec 5 William Murphy onto a Jeep, from Davis Station, to Camp Alpha, to DEROS back to Oakland for Separation from service.

    March 30, 1973 all US troops out of Viet Nam.

North Vietnamese Army delegates move into quarters at Davis Station; soon complain about conditions!! See recommended video re NVA at Davis Station – audio not recommended, however.

April 29, 1975 NVA overrun Saigon and the Republic of Viet Nam. The first broadcast of the fall of Saigon was made from equipment at Davis Station.

After I left, no American servicemen deaths.**

  • Taken from the triple entendre title of Pulitzer Prize winner author Tracy Kidder My Detachment (Random House, New York, 2006), a memoir of his Viet Nam service in   with the Radio Research Group (ASA) in June 1968.
  • “detachment”  1. A small body of special purpose troops.
  •                         2. Separation from a larger mass usually without violence or damage.
  •                         3. Indifference to worldly concerns,

**  From Paris Accords until final pullout March 28, 1973 ten US servicemen killed.