I was in Vietnam in the middle of the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive in the Spring of 1972, and enemy regiments were all around us. Many of our artillery firebases were under siege and several had fallen to the waves of North Vietnamese soldiers sweeping across the region. One of those fire bases nearby was holding out, but the commander's assessment was that it was in serious danger of being overrun.
Among his many problems was the fact that his classified material might have to be destroyed in a big hurry. I had a sizable stash of an incendiary substance called thermite that came in large slabs and in the form of grenades—ideal for that commander's needs—and I was ordered to take it into that besieged firebase.