Strength & Honor

Go to content

David Wallace

Selected Excerpts

Take Another Little Piece of My Heart
David Wallace (US Navy Swift Boat OinC)

". . . I remember sitting on the fantail for what seemed like hours, talking to that little girl and to God. I alternated between asking Him to spare her life and demanding that He cause hideous torture to be inflicted on the animals who had done this to an innocent child. This was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. The little trooper was somehow hanging on and staying alive - I could feel her breath or hear her sigh or feel her twitch and I knew, I just knew that this kid was going to make it. By now I was sobbing like a baby, screaming at the crew to go faster, and alternating between comforting the little girl and my conversation with God.

The kid was hanging on. The crew was throwing ammo boxes, full and empty, over the side so we could go faster. The snipe (Engineman) pumped the forward fuel tank into the Bassac River to lighten us up, and the crew asked if we should start tossing the bedding, radios, guns, and food.

As if in cooperation to make us go as fast as possible, the Bassac River assumed a calmness that, under other circumstances would have been eerie. The surface of the river was like glass and we were fairly flying across it. Even though not normally capable of it, the 32 boat was on plane, riding on the very top of the water with barely screws, skegs, and rudders touching the surface. The engines were shrieking at full speed, but there was an eerie silence shrouding me as if I was in a special zone.

Our little passenger was hanging on. I know it, I know it . . . "

Photo above public domain
Photo below courtesy of David Wallace
All rights reserved

Back to content | Back to main menu