As told by Wayne Walker
Flying high into Vietnam in a Continental 707, wondering vaguely why no fighter
escort, wondering how anyplace can be so brilliantly green, noticing at first that you can
see no sign of war.
Descending to 5,000 feet, and seeing a pillar of smoke rising as high as the plane, then,
having seen the one pillar, seeing that there is a dozen of them, thinking "oh-oh". At
maybe 3,000 feet seeing the rice paddies and the little villages all tightly packed in a
Then the fish ponds became apparent, hundreds upon thousands of perfectly round
fish ponds, some all alone, others in lines and sprays, some blue, many brown, a few
The Buck Sergeant sitting next to me was returning for a second tour and did not seem
pleased by that, taciturn and silent he was. As we descended he began to wake and swear
softly to himself. I said, hey Sarge, "how come they got so many fish ponds all over the
place"? He said "what the hell you jabbering about now"?
He leans over me, takes a quick look, sits back and says, "bomb craters", he did not
even bother to add "DF Cherry".
Then I could see it properly, that the "fish ponds" in their streaks and sprays
encroached upon the neatly contoured paddy dikes and the villages.