James Vincent Di Bernardo 1st Lt, USMC – The Account of His Capture

A 16 hour battle was raging as I, the officer in charge of the Armed Forces
Radio and TV station [in Hue], and my men tried to stave off the North
Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. Finally after an encounter with several Viet
Cong, others appeared and set fire to the house. I was shot in the arm by
enemy small arms fire but shot my way out and ran to a rice paddy. About
50 North Vietnamese pursued me and with additional wounds from grenade
shrapnel I soon became a guest of the North Vietnamese. I was slapped
around a bit by one North Vietnamese and another took my glasses and
smashed them on the ground. Later the soldiers poured hot iodine on my
wounds bound my arms and fed me rice and some bones either cat or rat.
Then began the long 55 day trek through the jungles of South Vietnam.
Carrying 40 pound sacks of rice on our backs through the rain and with torn
feet the hardships of the trail were so much that we found that the
Communists did not harass us unnecessarily. There was no way to escape
on the march though as a guard was constantly in attendance, besides with
no glasses I could not see ten feet.

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