The Bombed Out Theater …
Thanks Kathy for locating this picture.
Thank You, Frank for this information.
If you wish to thank or make comments about Donald Koelper, it is not to late. Go to the http://www.thewall-usa.com. Type in his name.
It looks like the other two that were killed were:
Peter Feierabend, U.S. Army and William Reid, U.S. Army.
(Note: In researching this I found there are several accounts all giving different dates of the bombing. Some say April 16th, February 11th and February 18th. I think February 18th is the correct date, as it is the date reflected in the Navy Cross Citation.)
(Note Note: Mary Lou has posted an article which says it was Februrary 16th. See Commnets. )
(Note Note Note: Okay, I looked on a 1964 calendar. Sunday, which all accounts agree was the day of the bombing was on Feb. 16th. Hence the correct date would be Feb. 16, 1964)
Thank you Mary Lou for the following post.
From Mary Lou …
I’m sorry to be such a stickler for detail (it’s the history teacher in me), but the bombing occurred on February 16th, not 18th. Since retelling of the Kinh Do has created so much interest, I am quoting verbatim Neil Sheehan’s UPI article that ran on February 17th, 1964:
“I felt like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down that hole,” said 15-year-old Barbara Bready, describing her feelings at the moment when a Communist bomb shattered an American community theater here Sunday.
Barbara, her red hair swathed in a large white bandage covering the cut she received from a piece of falling debris, was calm and cheerful as she told her story in the living room of her family’s Saigon home today.
“I went to the movie alone, but I met my girl friend, Mary Lou Poudre, there. We were sitting in the back about four rows from the door on the right hand side.It was real near the end of the movie when I heard this sound like a wooden box dropping against concrete. It sounded like it came from the candy counter out back. I had this strange feeling that something’s going to happen,” Barbara said.
“So women started stumbling around screaming and yelling. People started to push their way out of the rows, toward the doors, trampling over each other and falling down. i sort of got up and moved and then sat down again. Then i heard someone yell ‘Sit down!’ ‘Sit down!’. Mary Lou tugged at my skirt, and I threw myself to the floor and covered my head with my hands. I was all doubled up. The next thing I knew debris was flying all over. There was nobody else around. I felt like Alice in Wonderland tumbling down that hole. Then I heard the explosion. It was real, real loud and it was sharp and it was quick. When I got out on the street, I noticed blood tumbling down my blouse. But I didn’t feel a thing. Mary Lou and I walked to the bowling alley (U.S. Armed Forces bowling alley) about a block away. We went there because we thought they could help us and I could get my head bandaged. When we got there, a lot of soldiers rushed up to me and told me to sit down. One guy had a wet towel and he put it on my head. But a lady said don’t do that, and then another man put a bandage on my head from a first aid kit. A soldier gave me a shirt to put on because my blouse was too bloody. I went up to the lady’s room upstairs and changed.”
Barbara said she and her friend went to a U.S. military hospital about a mile away. A Navy corpsman sewed seven stitches into the cut on Barbara’s head to close it and swathed her head in a large white bandage.
Asked if she intends to go to the movies again in Saigon, Barbara, her freckled face breaking out into a smile said, “I don’t know. It depends on whether or not there’s a good picture.”
And that’s Barbara’s and my story in Barbara’s own words.