The story about this 60mm Mortar ending up in the side of a South Vietnamese soldier as shown below is:
The mortar had come down hitting the hatch of the APC the guy was riding in and then glanced off the side of his helmet. There were two scratch marks on the mortar just behind the fuse area. So yes he was a very lucky guy. The doctor was a Navy Capt. Dinsmore and I gave him the original mortar after I inerted it.
I did the job with Shorty Lyons. It was Shorty's first week in country and he begged to go on a job with me. I was Chief of the team in Da Nang and he was TAD from Pearl. So I let him come along. The doctor wanted to operate from behind sand bags with a knife on the end of a broom handle. (you can see the sand bags in the second picture below titled "Ready for Surgery") I asked him, "How fast can you duck when the case starts to swell."
I explained a little about how the fuse might work if we increase or released pressure on it. He understood that if we kept the pressure on the fuse constant it would be safe. While I was going over this with the Capt. Shorty got a gown and gloves on to help in the operation room. He held the mortar steady while the doctor cut around it. He gave it to me and I took it out into a field and unscrewed the fuse from the mortar.
I think Shorty got a bronze star for it later as the newspaper guys all took pictures of him and the Capt. while I was out in the safe area unscrewing the fuse from the mortar. When I got back all the news people had left. grin!