Monday, May 16, 2005

Starry Night

I don't remember many other names now, but I was numb from fatigue. So were Foong, Selvam and Ho Yeo as we lay on the top of our Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Foong asked why.

I said I didn't know. Ask the stars. A lot of them tonight.

I must have been numb from fatigue, because I didn't feel much else while lying on the top of the APC.

Foong asked again, what happened?

Not sure. APC overturned. Bravo Company. Someone died.

Why must people die like that? Foong asked the stars again.

I thought of many things then. How the accident happened. How unlucky it was for Bravo Company to be switched to point (leading) company instead of Alpha. How dark it was at 8pm when the command for Order of Movement was given. How it had rained the two days before, making the dirt tracks all but muddy slosh pits. How we had always made fun of Bravo's incompetence. How I had spent the previous two days riding my recce bike behind and between the tanks and armoured carriers. How I had been tasked to mark out directions at track junctions. How I had seen the false track leading up a steep embankment. How I had judged that that false track would be obvious to all. How I realised I had made the assumption that it would be Alpha Company on point. How I realised that if another company had been on point, they might not have deemed the false track so obvious. How I realised what might happen when the Order of Movement was given. How I did not actually see the accident. How I realised exactly what had happened when the radio call came in to inform Battalion HQ personnel to collect the deceased's personal effects from Bravo Company.

I thought of it all, but I couldn't tell Foong or the rest why and how. Maybe I was just numb from fatigue. And it was late, and kind of peaceful under the Kanchanaburi sky. It had stopped raining and there sure were a lot of stars that night.

Then we fell asleep, and it must have been a good uninterrupted sleep, because we woke up only when the morning sun shone on our faces and threatened to bake us on the metal deck.

PTE Teo Ho Yeo, CFC Tan, myself, CPL Koh, PTE Sng, SSG Ang, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, 20th Oct 1989


Mr Miyagi said...

CB! It's PTE Sng, the Crescendo basha-mate from hell. Simi si Speed?

Agagooga said...

Which is why my favourite Safety Slogan goes: "Be Safe, Don't Train"

The only sure way to avoid training injuries or fatalities is not to train.

Mr Miyagi said...

Oh yah, fuck! We hijacked the trash bag of canned food meant for orphans. No wonder karma no good.

bionix55 said...

i left 46 SAR in Jan 1988... I was there as CSM from 1978... left for HUKOU Camp in 1982. Posted to RATC( now ATC) after my tour there at the end of 1982.... stayed there till i was recalled to 46 SAR by the then S1 in AUG 1984 to take part in EX MATILDA in SWBTA in Queensland/Australia. We were the first recce coy to train in Australia. During the 90s... i went back there again a few times, but as PL Umpire ! Looking at your blog... i think we are going to the same place this coming OCT period !

Mr Miyagi said...

OMG. OK. Cbt Tm Controller, you know what to do. 'B' Coy no more Coastal Hook, ok? AI stands for Armoured Infantry, not Also Infantry. We don't do boat shit. Hahaha.

bionix55 said...

Dont worry... i am no more in ATEC. No prize for guessing where am i now ... hehehehe

Mr Miyagi said...

Oh no. ATC Sungei Gedong. My favourite place in the whole wide world.

bionix55 said...

By the way... was there for a NS Bn Cbt Tm L/F and training during Apr/May period.

CoW g0eS Mo0 m0o~! said...

Gosh... -oh god... i'm going up crescendo in aug/sept..bleh-

LittleRedDotGuru said...

I think there was another case of an overturned M113 but in area D in 1993 or 1994. I remeber cause i was in OETI, and while doing guard duty, the trailered in this M113, that had blood all over the top and part of the sides. That night, when we do guard duty, we were all majorly spooked.

I had a friend who was a tankee sergent, and he told me he kept his changko stick next to him at all times. This was so that he could wack the driver on the head/helmet if he thought he was screwing up.

Anonymous said...

lol. I am a newbie soldier fresh out of BMT and posted to 46SAR bronco company. those stuff sounds scary, and hope my m113 don't