Then they Came...

submitted by: Alva Leon Matheson

It was late afternoon Christmas day 1967. I had just come off of three months of nights, where the adrenalin level was much more elevated than day FACing (I was bored silly), and was VRing with binoculars just west of Nape pass, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but about 400 trucks!
Just on the northeast side of the border trucks began to morph from under the trees, rocks, rivers, dust...fleets of trucks where, only moments before, there were none. I had never seen three trucks at the same time on a day mission and here was I, Indiana farm boy, making it to the bigs, in the middle of the Mother Lode. Visions of sugarplums danced in my head.
Sam Weaver and Phil Maywald were in the general area working a rescue and I know they heard me screaming for fighters, begging, pleading, whimpering for ordinance, and though they have never said anything about listening to a grown man cry, I can read the grins and giggles in their fonts.
While the US was honoring the Christmas truce Uncle Ho was massing his logistic tail for an end run as soon as the sun went down. Of course no one had anticipated this fantastic strategic move; no fighters were airborne, none were loaded, none were going to make me the most prolific truck killing FAC in the history of air warfare. After hours of hope my euphoria slowly faded below the horizon with the setting sun. I was bingo fuel, Winchester and RTB.
Then they came.