Barnes’ and Elias’ past in the AirCav? (2)

5 08 2008

a follow-up from here

I was so in love with my idea of Barnes being in the Air Cav that finally I started to believe he’d been shot during the Ia Drang battle. A friend pointed out that it make no sense:

If Barnes was wounded during the battle for Ia Drang, then he was shot in November 1965. He stayed a year in a hospital in Japan, married a Japanese woman and came back to Vietnam. He would be back some time in the beginning of 1967 and have enough time to re-establish his position in the new unit, before Chris met him.


Elias says “it happened in Ia Drang in ’66”. If it was something they both should remember, there was not enough time left, as in 1966 Barnes must have been in a hospital. If Barnes was shot in ’66 it had to be in the beginning so he still would have that 1+ year to recover.

I noticed there was something wrong with all that resoning and it sent me back to resources.


The Script:

RHAH: I know Barnes six months and I’ll tell ya something – that man is MEAN (…)

RHAH: Barnes took a bullet right there.  At Ia Drang Valley… (points to his forehead) And the cocksucker SURVIVED

KING: He done a year in Japan in the hospital, then when he gets out, the first thing he done is re-up. Four years he been in the field…


The book:

After the night ambush, as Barnes shoots the wounded enemy soldier (September 1967) he recalls “a time down in the War Zone C when his entire world had changed (…) He remembered staring into the muzzle [of a gun] and thinking he was going to die before he could really begin his Army career.”

After Sal and Sandy are killed (New Year’s Day ’68 ) Barnes recalls it’s been “more than 3 years since the ambush that left him marked this way.” 

This means he was wounded some time in 1964! This would give him enough time to come back in, let’s say, 1966 and still be a witness of whatever Elias was referring to. 


If War “Zone C” is the same as III Corps (source), Barnes couldn’t be wounded in Ia Drang, as the place was in II Corps area, near Pleiku (source). 

I’m not very good at processing this kind of data, so maybe my brain betrays me again. On the other hand it all could be just a big black plot hole and never was meant to make sense at all.

This “’66” is still bothering me. I couldn’t find anything interesting that happened in Ia Drang in 1966 so far.



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