3/15/12. Chris attended St. Mary s Catholic School and Clarksville High School. As a senior in high school he decided he would join the army.

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1 Benjamin F. & Raiford T. Ammons circa Christopher D. Ammons was born in Norfolk, Virginia on April 18, 1948, the son of Benjamin Troy Ammons and Ester Magna Randolph Ammons of Jackson, TN. The Ammons family has a long history of military service. Benjamin F. Ammons and Raiford T. Ammons served in the 1 st Tennessee Heavy Artillery during the Civil War. Chris father joined the National Guard in 1928 and served in World War II as a Second Lieutenant in 30 th Infantry Division. Benjamin F. & Raiford T. Ammons circa Benjamin T. Ammons remained in the army at the close of the war, taking his family to various locations around the world before settling in the Clarksville, Tennessee areas in Benjamin Troy Ammons retired from the army in 1961 having reached the rank of Colonel. Chris attended St. Mary s Catholic School and Clarksville High School. As a senior in high school he decided he would join the army. He graduated high school May 24 th Chris was sworn into the United States Army June 1 st 1967, one week after his graduation. Chris Ammons, age 19, May 31, 1967 the day before being sworn into the US Army. 1

2 Photograph Chris took of his fellow recruits in their barracks after camouflage training, July Ammons attended basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and infantry training at Fort McClellan, Alabama. He was trained in the use of the M14 rifle, the 81mm mortar, and the.45 pistol. He was told in training that he and the other recruits were guaranteed to go to Vietnam. Official army photo of Ammons, After basic and infantry training Chris received a 30-day leave. He returned home briefly before flying out to San Francisco. From there he flew to Guam and then Vietnam. Chris arrived in Vietnam in November 1968 and took his CIC (Close Infantry Combat) training at Lai Khe in preparation for combat service. Chris (center) and his family the day he graduated basic training. August 4, Map of Vietnam from official US Army Stationary, circa Though he was trained in the use of the 81mm mortar Ammons was to serve as an infantry rifleman during his first tour. PFC Chris Ammons at Lai Khe, March 17, Chris Ammons with his M16, Ammons was assigned as a replacement to the First Infantry Division (the Big Red One ) in Company A, 1 st Battalion, 16 th Infantry. He began his Service with the rank of Private First Class (E-3), receiving promotions to Specialist (SP/4) in March

3 Chris was a prolific photographer and took many photos during his time in Vietnam. All of the images in Soldiers this presentation resting in were taken by tents near Chris during his an armored two tours, personnel carrier, Landing Zone, Huey in flight taken from another helicopter, Soldiers about to leave for patrol, Ammons was issued the M79 grenade launcher during his first tour; a weapon designed to provide instant pressure against an enemy, making him an invaluable member of his squad. PFC Chris Ammons searching canal for Viet Cong Weapons in the Iron Triangle, January 5, Ammons was promoted to Sergeant (E-5) in July of His base camp was at Lai Khe near Saigon, but the activities of his battalion took him near Quan Loi, Bu Dop, Di An, Song Be, the Iron Triangle, and finally Dong Tam in the Mekong Delta PFC Chris Ammons searching canal for Viet Cong Weapons in the Iron Triangle, January 5,

4 On March 13 th 1968 Chris was wounded while on patrol. A Viet Cong soldier infiltrated the sunken road where Ammons and his squad had taken cover. The Viet Cong soldier fired a rocket propelled grenade that exploded behind Chris head. Telegram sent to Chris family informing them of his injury, For this combat injury he was awarded the Purple Heart Ammons receiving his Purple heart, Ammons first tour of duty ended in November 1968, and Chris returned to the United States. He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he issued M14 rifles to trainees. He soon became bored with this assignment and requested to return to Vietnam. In July 1969 he again deployed to South East Asia for a second overseas tour. Chris Ammons (left) near Saigon with members of 3 rd Platoon, Company A, 1 st Battalion, 16 th Infantry of the 1 st Infantry Division, March 7, Upon returning to Vietnam, Chris was assigned to the 194 th Military Police Company (Later designated the 61 st MP, Security Detachment) attached to the 1 st Signal Brigade on Vung Chua Mountain near the coastal city of Qui Nhon. 55 Gallon drums painted with the unit designation 61 st MP Det. Security which was originally designated the 194 th MP company. 4

5 Qui Nhon by day, circa 1970 Qui Nhon by night, circa 1970 View from Vung Chua Mountain View of the Signals Base on Vung Chua Mountain View from Vung Chua Mountain Helicopter lift-off on Vung Chua, circa

6 81mm Mortar crew on Vung Chua, circa Tough South Korean soldiers riding an APC. Ammons knew them as The Tiger Brigade, circa Ammons at the radio on Vung Chua, circa While stationed on Vung Chua Ammons worked the radio switchboard, manned concrete bunkers, assisted in the placement of anti-personnel sensors, and took part in patrols for Viet Cong activity around the Signals Base. Men in Ammons patrol squad on Vung Chua. Members left to right: Hammonds, Riggle, Doughty, Baisdew, 1 st Lt. Zinn, Race, Clark, Chu, and Leech, circa M60 in a Bunker on Vung Chua Mountain Bunker on Vung Chua Mountain 6

7 Soldier with M79 on Vung Chua Mountain Bunker firing tracers on Vung Chua Mountain Bunker on Vung Chua Mountain Going on patrol for enemy activity around the base on Vung Chua took place with great frequency. A patrol squad receiving orders from the sergeant before leaving, circa Men about to depart for patrol, circa Though the installation on the mountain was far more secure than his locations during his first tour, the threat of enemy engagement was always present and while regulations were more relaxed the patrol squads were always ready for engagements. Patrol near Vung Chua Mountain The Civil Rights movement of the period was not confined to the United States, here an African-American soldier can be seen giving the blackpower salute in the background. Chris is the soldier closest to the camera, circa

8 Patrol near Vung Chua Mountain A soldier in tall grass on patrol. The signals base can be seen in the background to the left, circa Life on Vung Chua Mountain was slower than in Chris front-line first tour. Compared to the constant time spent in the jungles during his tour, the second tour on Vung Chua was relatively quiet. Ammons posing in a Vietnamese hat, circa Soldier preparing to return home. He is taking a Montagnard bow as a souvenir, circa Vietnamese civilians were always present around the mountain. Some worked on the base polishing boots or cleaning, others lived in nearby Qui Nhon and interacted with Chris and his fellow soldiers during their frequent visits to the city. One of the many women who helped maintain the base on Vung Chua, circa A Vietnamese man who cut the grass around the base, circa A group of children near the wire outside Qui Nhon. The child on the left sold cokes to US soldiers out of the container he is carrying, circa

9 Vietnamese children from Qui Nhon. As May 1970 approached, Chris second and final tour in Vietnam was coming to a close. When a soldier approached the final days of his time in combat it was called getting short. In his last letter home he wrote, I m all right and just counting the days. Getting short! Chris Ammons on his last patrol in Vietnam, Chris left Vietnam in May 2 nd 1970 and returned to Fort Lewis Washington. He returned to his home in Clarksville, Tennessee. Soldiers leaving Vietnam. Two or three formations would wait to see if their names were called to fly out of Cam Rhan Bay. Taken by Chris as he waited to see if his name would be called, Christopher Ammons December He is holding the camera with which he took many of the photographs during his tours in Vietnam. 9

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