Lieutenant Jack Benedick’s RTO

2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

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It’s September 1967 and Frank Modde is taking a photo of Bob’s scar.  The surgeons had to go into his belly to remove the bullet that slammed into his back during the June 19 battle that left approximately 50 Americans
and 250 Viet Cong dead.  Bob’s scar looked like a zipper. I remember that we used to tease Bob by telling him he was a very lucky guy; not many guys had a 2nd zipper! Bob is a lucky man indeed – today, he’s living in
Florida with his lovely wife and children.

Introduction I will always remember Bob French as being both, one of the luckiest troopers in our unit, as well as one of the most unluckiest.  It was Monday, June 19, 1967, we were out on a battalion size search and destroy mission going from one stinkin’ rice paddy after the next.  For several hours after gettin’ off the boats, it seemed like another long boring hike when all of the sudden all hell broke loose. Our unit had walked into an ambush and the Viet Cong really let us have it. 50 Caliber machine guns, small automatic weapons and recoiless rifle fire had us  pinned down – guys were being picked off left and right. Bob, just a few feet from me, was hit in the lower back by a sniper off to our left.  He was in major pain, but our medic, Bill Geier, came rushing up to tend to the wound and give Bob morphine.  As soon as we could, we loaded Bob on a medevac chopper ……but as the pilot lifted off, he was hit and the chopper sat right back down throwing the rear rotor hard to the right, thus throwing Bob back out onto the ground. Later in the afternoon as the battle began to subside, Bob was finally lifted out of there with many other wounded buddies. Everyone believed Bob would survive and would be sent home – but no, several months later after he recovered, he returned to Charlie Company to resume our patrols searching for the enemy.                                                         Bill Reynolds – November 3, 2000

Here’s Bob’s family – from top left:
nephew Larry, sister-in-law Sybil,
brother Larry, son-in-law Jim Clark,
daughter Michelle French Clark,
daughter Charlene French Bunch,
son-in-law Kevin Bunch.
Bottom left: Dennis Gallagher,
sister Virginia French Gallagher,
Bob & Kaye with grandaughter
Amber (Charlene’s daughter).
Photo taken May 9, 2010
Mother’s Day
Checkin’ Map Coordinates – Bob French and Lt. Jack Benedick.
Taking a break between patrols – Curtis Irvin and Bob French.
Sergeant Dan Kerr delighted to show
off a Viet Cong Tunnel.
Standing tall and ready for combat!  Here’s Richard Northcott – another “hip” Southern California lad!   Rick
looks like a Southern Cal
“Trojan” Trooper, eh!
2nd Platoon’s bravest Non Commissioned Officer! Sergeant George “Smitty” Smith.
Catching a breather and seemingly enjoying themselves – Mike Cramer & Larry Walter.
Sgt. Gil Rodriguez from
Southern California
enjoying lovely Camp
Bearcat – February, 1967.
2nd Platoon goin’ on patrol out of Dong Tam Left:  Bill Reynolds, Donald Jackson (looking down) & Larry Walter – 3 Southern Cal lads.
Here’s Charles Wall cuttin’ some tin. I can’t remember the purpose.