"Dear Mom, Dad, and 'Sis'; Today was our 1st day on the gunline. They got us up at 3:30AM in the morning to load 1400 rounds of powder which took about 3 hours. Then we had to refuel. I had the noon to 6 o'clock watch. We fired 89 rounds on 2 separate missions. I pulled the trigger the 1st time to start the war for the Mullinnix...On our first mission they shot back at us. It landed about 300 feet away; we got the hell out of there fast. About a half-hour later there were 2 radars locked onto us, but no missiles were fired. About an hour later we spotted a gunboat, but it turned out to be South Vietnamese.
We have 4 marines on board to operate missiles we loaded on board. They fire them from their shoulder like a bazooka. We'll use them against MiGs as they are heat seeking - going up the exhaust system.
We are supposed to (the gunline) leave 4 June. But more than likely we'll be here at least a month and a half. That's just the 1st line period. We'll probably get about 4 or 5 periods after that. Well, I've got the midnight to 6AM watch. So I'd better go to bed - were standing six on/six off. Love, Frank"
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, at times."