3rd Platoon, C Company, 4th/47th Battalion, 2nd Brigade

Terry McBride – AKA: Von Zip – 3rd Platoon’s lean mean fightin’ machine on patrol with his fine M60 Machine Gun.

Introduction Terry McBride was drafted on the same day as so many of us – May 17, 1966. The first time I saw Terry was at the U.S. Army Induction Center and right away I could see that he was kind of a menacing sort of a guy, being as big as he was.  I know the Regular Army soldiers didn’t like him much and they gave him a hard time.  He was a big guy, and the first thing you thought was, stay out of his way.  But, as time went on, we became to realize Terry had a good heart and was really a gentle person. I think he knew shortly after arriving in Basic Training that he was going to carry an M-60 Machine Gun. After riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, the M-60 was the only weapon that was like his bike – big and menacing.  When he started carrying it, it looked like a M-16 instead of a M-60 on Terry.  I remember after arriving in Viet Nam, everyone wanted to stay close to Terry because he showed no fear as he definitely had a gung-ho attitude about him. Every fire fight we were in, most of us wanted to be near Terry.

Man, he loved that M-60 and he would fire it until that barrel was practically white hot.  Next to him, we thought we might make it through those battles – it seemed as though Terry never had a doubt about makin’ it. Terry was always loaded down with ammo and his ammo bearers could hardly walk; he always made sure he had a lots of ammo.  We were very lucky to have had such a friend to look over us as Terry did. He was always a leader in my book. After coming home, he came and visited me and my wife a few times at my house and then one day he seemed to have vanished out of our lives.  I hadn’t heard from him in many years until one day I got a card from him and it was a photo of Terry on his big bad Harley, and him saying Merry Christmas from “Von Zip”. He still looked the same except a little older, and I’m sure, much wiser.  We all miss him and have always talked about him over the years – every word, was with the greatest of respect.  I don’t think I ever told Terry – Welcome Home Brother!   Your friend, Tom Conroy – January 15, 2003

L to R: John Bradfield, Tom Conroy & Steve Hopper with Terry. Charlie Company Reunion March 2014 in Washington D.C.

Our good buddy Terry McBride has gone
to The Father’s Big House to join
Charlie Company’s fallen brothers. His
funeral was held in Soledad and these
ole troopers were there.

Top Row L to R:  Bill Reed, Tom Conroy,
Bill Reynolds, Jim Stephens, Gene Harvey,
& Larry Lilley. Bottom Row L to R: Steve Hopper, Stan Cockerell, Jace Johnston, & Charlie Nelson.
3rd Platoon M60 Machine Gunner, Alan MacGowen and Johnny
Vista on a break during a patrol near Dong Tam.
Assistant M60 Machine Gunner Bill Riley loaded down with plenty of ammo. . .
Porky Johnson carryin’ machine gun ammo on another stinkin’ hot patrol near Camp Bearcat.
There’s John Bradfield watching Alan MacGowen show off his bitchen M60.
John Bradfield and Johnny Jasper on patrol for VC and blending into the jungles around Dong Tam down in the Mekong Delta.
Tim Johnson and a giant ant hill.  Tim gave the
ultimate sacrifice during our battle with a large Viet Cong force near Ap Bac Village on June 19, 1967.
Here’s an article from the book, “Mobile Riverine Force” by Major General William B. Fulton.  Terry is also mentioned on Page 100.
Talk about a giant fish story! Look what Terry caught in 1998.  In his dreams, the fish is stuffed!
Here are a few photos from Jace Johnston’s
trip to visit Terry McBride – photos taken
at McBride’s home. Anchorage, Alaska
July 20, 2009