One Day Trip Turned into Three

563rd Transportation Company

By Thomas Sexton Pleiku
My name is Thomas R. Sexton. I volunteered for the draft when I was 19 years old and did my basic at Fort Campbell, KY and  OJT at Ft. Benning, GA with the 493rd Trans Co.  My first impression of nam was What in the HELL have I gotten my self into?!

I served with the 1st Log command, 8th Group, 124th Battalion, 563rd Company, 2nd Platoon stationed in Pleiku, Vietnam from June 1968 to June 1969. I was there with the 563rd Company.  the 124th battalion,  a deuce 1/2 outfit the 54th I believe, and a maintenance outfit were also stationed there with us.

We supported the 4th Infantry division, and the air force. We moved supplies from Qui Nhon  to Ainke to Pleiku north to Kontum, Dac To, and to Ben Het. We carried anything from fuel, artillery rounds, napalm, and food. If a soldier needed it we took it.

I was in a couple of ambushes. One that sticks out in my mind is when me and a friend, John Brumbacker, from New Jersey, volunteered to take the gun truck, on a one day trip which turned into three. He drove and I was the machine gunner. We left out of Pleiku, on our way to Ben Het we came upon an Arvin 3/4 Ton Truck broke down on the side of the road just south of Kontum.

There were three S. Vietnamese soldiers and we stopped to pull security for our convoy. Out of the treeline came North Vietnamese mortar rounds. They were walking them to our position. Moments before the last one landed we moved our truck about 100 yards. That last mortar round hit the exact spot our truck had been sitting.

From there we continued on to Ben Het to unload the trucks, while we were unloading we came under mortar attack again. Me, John Brubacker, and a Vietnamese boy who was in the compound hid in under a half culvert with a layer of sandbags over us. They were so close you could hear their mortars drop in the tube. One guy got hit but I don't know the outcome . We were supposed to pick up 175 artillery barrels to be re-bored but were unable to because we jumped on the side of a tractor trailer that was going by and got out of there.

 While we were gone, the guy who normally drove the guntruck drove my truck and ran over a mine. Luckily he wasn't injured and luckily we all made it back to our base camp.

After coming home, I married Lois Ann Tilson in July of 1969, we had our daughter, Crystal, in June 1971. I worked for 10 years in a local steel mill. After that I worked in a radioactive decontamination facility and presently work as a welder. I am still married to Lois Ann ( the namesake of my truck in nam) and we reside in Mossy Grove, TN. We have 2 beautiful grand daughters ages 7 and 11.

I would like to make contact with some of the guys that I served with in vietnam. If anyone would like to contact me they can email me at .


The 5 ton tractor is one that had hit a mine.

the four guys are Standing: Me, Walter Spriggs, James Littler. Sitting: Dale Tallant. I am the one with my shirt unbuttoned.


convoy going north from Pleiku on Route 19

The Group picture is a Beer Party at our company area, I took the picture so I'm not in it.