SAIGON --- "I saw this pickup coming down the street at a fast clip right in the middle of the barrage. I thought they were 'nut' so I pulled them over and made the five sailors in the truck lay in a ditch beside the road. I got down beside them. We weren't hurt."
this is how Air Force policeman A3C Michael V. Motherway, 20, of Tucson, Ariz., described his actions during a 20-minute Viet Cong mortar barrage on the Tan Son Nhut air base. The barrage started about 12:30 a.m., April 13.
Deeds of courage and humanity were common here as the base experienced its first assault.
A2C Richard W. Lindbeck, 21, another policeman on duty during the attack told how he took refuge in a large steel crate, but he pickied the wrong place.
"I was on duty at the radio center," explained the youth from Iron County, Mich. "When the first rounds came in I dived into an open Conex (a steel crate about eight feet long on each side.)"
"I no sooner got into it before a round went into the box above me and exploded. The noise and shock were teriffic. Some shrapnel penetrated the conex.
The enemy penetrate the base, often change into khaki so they would be dressed like Republic of Vietnam soldiers."
Ednicott challenged the men as they approached his station. All of them failed to stop on the challange. "He was perfectly within his right to open fire, but did not," the senior air police offical said.
Instead, Endicott cooly approached the men, disarmed them and then identified them through Tan Son Nhut gate passes they carried.
"Endicott had an option. He chose the right way," said Endicott's supervisor, TSgt. Bobby J. Eisenberg, 33, of Mariatta, Ga.
Air police support during the emergency was "prompt, responsible and orderly," according to Lt. Col. Roger G. Benton, 48, of Longview, Wash., Commander of the 377th Air Police Squadron. The unit provides internal security for the air base.
He said no attempt was made by the Viet Cong to infiltrate the base and no sabotage was reported.