The Americans, said McKenzie, were quartered in a concrete bunker, "which shook like Jello under the heavy artillery fire." He added: "But, there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it. We were only there as advisors." After the first 60,000 round barrage, the former art student remembered he ran out of the shelter to check the generators, "but I stopped short, frozen . . . Some Chinese soldier had lost his arm and it was resting on top of my generators. Not far away was a leg and," he continued, "then I saw three wounded soldiers . . . They died 20 minutes later."
Relieved September 9, McKenzie left for Formosa by plane under a hail of artillery fire. Remembering his buddies, he declared "I'm naturally glad to get out of there, but I'm concerned about the guys I left."
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This year's Black History Month theme is "African Americans and the Civil War". . . I guess when you're a soldier under fire, the name of the war doesn't make a difference. My brother Wilton (we called him "Wimp") pulled two tours of duty in Vietnam, along with my brothers Lafon and Ben. At the time of the attack I knew something "big" had happened concerning Wimp but I was too young to really understand what it meant. They are all deceased now, but we were very proud of the role they played in serving our country, and of the page Wimp contributed to Black History.