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snoopy The Ace LZ Snoopy snoopy The Ace
And The Red Baron

by Gary Jacobson
Vietnam Ace

LZ Snoopy, Americal Division, May ‘69

Snoopy’s the name!
Fighting North Vietnamese Red Baron’s my game!
Perched on a helicopter landing zone high atop a hill
I protect locals from Viet Cong looking for blood to spill.

Like the war eagle
This fierce fighting war beagle
Fresh from patrolling the valley below rested
Where artillerymen, engineers and infantry nested.

We watched for Charlie, down in the valley milling,
Slithering in dead of night harassing
With impunity killing
Along highway One lurking...

These Vietcong punks
In the dead of night set up roadblocks,
Those black pajama’d pillagers,
Collect ripped-off taxes from villagers.

From LZ Snoopy above the valley so high
American boys over this valley fly
Feeling a duty this region of Nam to pacify
While at home all the world debated,
Wondered, protested,
Who in this cruel war had blundered.

Theirs was not to reason why.
Theirs was not to make reply.
Theirs just to make sure Snoopy’s choppers
Wielded a protecting eye in the sky.

They were benevolent birds of Quang Ngai,
These beagles with an attitude flying on high
Hovering, fighting over this valley of death
Breathing over the village freedoms brave breath.

Snoopy's American patriots
Searched for Viet Cong tyrants,
These VC guerrilla deviants, evil miscreants
Caught marauding by flares airborne light.

VC sappers destroyed bridges with dynamite
Booby trapped roads with death’s cruel bite,
Laid evil ambush by dark of fragrant night,
To kill American saviors clearing the blight.
Still, Americans from Snoopy came every day,
Dutifully swept the highway to clear mines away.

Every half-hour on the LZ's long night nocturnal
Looming over the outpost in a war seeming eternal
In sweet and sour foggy dews shrouded
Each bunker in snoopy to the command post signalled
With green light that all was cleared.

But there was one morning arising calmly serene,
Combat bunkers one by one signaled the "all green."
But sneaky Vietcong sappers disturbing tranquil scene,
Had moved unseen into bunkers on the perimeter,
Causing quite a raucous furor.

They signaled harsh comrades to launch an attack,
For to give these Yankee devils some flack.
VC sappers stormed the top of the hill,
Setting satchel charges to explode at will,
Lobbing hand grenades to maim and kill.
Their comrades laid a deadly cover of mortar fire
Making Snoopy's LZ a funeral pyre.
LZ explodes

Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on,
You’ll live if you make it to the crack of dawn.

Shooting savagely with automatic weapons,
Charlie shortly the LZ overruns.
Wearing shorts, their bodies greasing,
Wearing wire-cutters on nylon lace dangling,
Sappers slithered thru the wire easing,
Mounted grave attack on Snoopy unceasing.

Sappers bearing baskets of Chi-com hand grenades,
Deadly rocket-propelled grenades,
Attaching satchel charges to inflict damage great
Exploding howitzers, bunkers, men they hate.
Inflicting heavy casualties in a matter of minutes,
Confusion in Snoopy's compound accelerates
As the whole world in conflagration obliterates,
LZ Snoopy ignites.

Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on,
You’ll live if you make it to the crack of dawn.

Enemy troops move freely through the LZ
Destroying everything American they see.
Dealing maliciously hate’s finite fate
To Americans with death's breath berate.

Defenders see hordes of dark figures leap,
Through concertina wire gracefully seep,
Into gunpits in the heart of Snoopy's command,
Strangling, knifing, wrestling hand-to-hand.
Shooting despicable foes at close range dead
In the heart and in the head
Claymore mines all the time exploding,
Machine-gun’s rapidly, incessantly firing.

Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on,
You’ll live if you make it to the crack of dawn.

Sappers toss hand grenades at artillerymen
Inside their bunker pinned.
Fierce fighting broke out all over the hill
A satchel charge exploding shrill
Trapped Americans inside their bunker still.

American heroes
Fought gallantly against slippery foes,
Braving exploding grenades thrown in anger at them,
Automatic rifle fire meant just for them,
Resuing wounded men to safety beside them.

Snoopy's scorched air fills with burning men screaming,
Witness the awful death throes agonizing,
Oh the sound of the slowly perishing,
Painfully trapped in the blazing hell war does sow,
In Hell's blackened inferno.

Hang on Snoopy, Snoopy hang on,
You’ll live if you make it to the crack of dawn.

Confusion reigning rancorous
Rocked Snoopy's LZ infected with VC cankerous.
Wounded cries on fetid air roiled delirious,
Shouts filtering throughout dreary morning,
Both sides in close-quarters for life fighting.

Till finally an artillery illumination round,
Gasping with a faint popping sound,
Pierced unforgiving night
With illuminating light.

Helicopter gunships laid down suppressing fire,
That defenders did heartily inspire
Dropping burning flares transforming
Making darkness into artificial day lighting.
Claymore mines exploding,
Machine-gun’s firing...

Hang on Sloopy, hang on,
You’ll live if you make it to the crack of dawn.

Nearby artillery batteries
Battered ridgelines around Snoopy's
Laying down withering fire
Against VC sappers set in might to conspire,
To help fellow artillerymen,
Stem Charlie’s tide of angry men
Hatred and rage broiling inside them
Doing the bidding of father Ho Chi Minh.

Headquarter defenders feared the worst
Rigged thermite grenades to in one fiery burst
Destroy themselves, radio, code books, cryptography gear,
And their artillery computer.
If the battle seemed lost,
Their position tempest tossed.

Finally when dawn dropped,
The firing completely,

Snoopy had hung on,
Lasted till crack of dawn.
The enemy sapper unit disappeared,
Almost as quickly as they appeared.

Snoopy, littered with smoky destruction
Slowly began again to function.
Clearing unexploded Chi-com hand grenades
Vietcong old maids,
These duds in China made,
The string in the handle breaking,
Fuses never igniting
That a golden egg laid...

Papers from dead enemy soldiers revealed
How the assault had painstakingly congealed.
The NVA for weeks had meticulously planned,
Men from the north intensely, precisely trained.

VC sappers made one mistake quite fatal.
A communications center bunker to the LZ quite vital
With satchel charges sappers meant to destroy,
To signal the start of the attack
That was the start of their battle’s crack.

Sapper plans went all amuck
When the wrong bunker they blew up.
Allowing Snoopy reinforcements to direct,
Communications to connect,
Air support to select,
Call in other artillery fire with deadly effect.

Snoopy's defenders whooped and hollered victorious.
To teach the sappers a lesson was glorious.
To clean up they ignominiously dumped
Bodies of NVA sappers into the bed of a truck,
Charlies who too far had pushed their luck.

GI's drove down to the VC-dominated village
From whence Charlie had instigated carnal pillage.
In the center of the settlement so shamed,
The sappers bodies unceremoniously dumped,
To warn VC and NVA,
LZ Snoopy was still alive and kicking today.

So much for the gory spoils of warring.
LZ Snoopy would continue Vietnam innocent protecting.
Snoopy had fought the Red Baron and came out swinging,
The battle for survival painstakingly winning.

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