1 January (Monday): The battalion starts off the new year with Bravo Company (82)
providing security for the fire support base at ZA 107684 (Map 6537-2). Because the
fire support base is adjacent to a main road, convoys are run daily for resupply. The remaining maneuver elements complete stand-to, conduct
sweeps, and commence the day’s operations. The battalion’s mission is to
conduct a screening operation west of Kontum and Pleiku using the Ya Krong
River as its western boundary. The battalion is spread very thin, and is
supplemented with brigade LRRP teams and a CIDG company. The battalion
radio callsigns are as follows: Alpha Company is 81; Bravo Company is 82;
Charlie Company is 83; Delta Company is 84; and the Recon Platoon is 74. Platoon designations are as follows: 1st Platoon is 59; 2nd Platoon is 60; and 3rd Platoon is 61.
Alpha Company (81) spends the day in a
company patrol base about 12½ kilometers northeast of the fire support
base. Alpha’s 1st and 3rd Platoons take turns
running short patrols or sweeps to the east, while 2nd Platoon
secures the patrol base at ZA 175805 (Map 6537-1), then goes out for ambush in the
Charlie Company (83-) is in its patrol
base at ZA 035565 (Map 6537-2 , about 13 kilometers southwest of the fire support
base. With its 1st Platoon at the Oasis, 3rd Platoon secures the patrol base, while 2nd Platoon conducts a
patrol to the northeast and back. Charlie Company then sends two ambushes
out to the east/southeast in the evening.
Delta Company’s patrol base (84) is
approximately 9 ½ kilometers south of the fire support base at ZA 115575 (Map 6537-2 . Delta’s 2nd Platoon runs a short patrol to the Southwest and
returns, while 1st and 3rd Platoons remain in the
patrol base. 1st Platoon is then tasked for ambush duty
in the evening.
The Recon Platoon is operating in three
teams. One team (74M) is located about 9 ½ kilometers northwest of the
fire support base, while the other two teams (74 and 74B) are 18
kilometers west of the fire support base. By 1800 74M is in its night
location at ZA 057734 (Map 6537-2 , while 74 and 74B are at YA 907708 and 922705 (Map 6537-3). The
only enemy activity reported during the day by the battalion is some
abandoned equipment and a foot bridge found by 74M northwest of the fire
support base. By 1900 the battalion’s listening posts and ambushes have
all been deployed (S-3 DSJ: 1-3).
2 January (Tuesday): By 0750 all units have reported stand-to, recovered their LPs,
taken their pills, and completed their sweeps. Alpha Company (81) begins
moving slowly in a northerly direction as they relocate their patrol base.
By 1300 they reach the new location at ZA 166823 (Map 6537-1), and by 1815 have sent 1st Platoon out on ambush to their northwest.
Charlie Company (83) locates an
acceptable landing zone at ZA 047577 (Map 6537-2) , and by 1028 begins their rotation
into the fire support base, while Bravo Company (82) comes out.
Using one CH-47 “Hook,” the rotation is
completed by 1115 with four lifts. Once on the ground, Bravo Company
moves to the southeast and establishes a night defensive position and
patrol base at ZA 062558 (Map 6537-2.
Delta Company (84) also moves their
patrol base as they head westward to ZA 095579 (Map 6537-2. By 1700 all three of
Delta’s platoons have closed on their new positions.
The Recon Platoon continues to operate in
three teams, moving around in the same general area. The 74 element is
still working with the CIDG and sets up at YA 909726, while 74B
establishes at YA 910725 (Map 6537-3), and 74M reports its night location at ZA 04572 (Map 6537-27.
By 1830 all of the battalion elements
report that they are settled in for the night with LPs and ambushes in
place. At 1930 the CIDG units report they are at ZA 127668 and 106636. (Map 6537-2) Reports of enemy activity consist of a fresh-cut trail and an old VC
encampment, both found by Recon, again northwest of the fire support base
(S-3 DSJ: 1-4)
3 January (Wednesday): All elements report stand-to, sweeps, and pills completed by
0755. Delta Company (-) is the first unit to move. After covering almost
3000 meters, they establish a night defensive position at ZA 128562 (Map 6537-2)and by
1450 have recovered their 2nd and 3rd Platoons. During the course of their movement, Delta Company discovers a cache of
100 pounds of salt and two NVA armed with AK-47s carrying packs at ZA
127568 (Map 6537-2). Both individuals flee to the north.
Operating out of its patrol base, Bravo
Company (-) takes turns sending out its platoons one at a time in
different directions on short sweeps, and by 1600 has all its elements
back in the patrol base.
Alpha Company also conducts sweeps around
its patrol base, one platoon at a time. Like Delta Company, Alpha Company
concludes its sweeps by 1600, and sends its 2nd Platoon out on
ambush. By 1110 the 2nd Platoon of Charlie Company is en route
to the Oasis to relieve the 3rd Platoon of Bravo Company.
The Recon elements are the last units to
begin moving. At 1330, after moving slowly in their area of operation,
the 74 element suddenly receives sniper fire from YA 903720 (Map 6537-3), and at 1345
they report seeing two or three NVA fleeing northwest across the Ya Krong
River. At 1600 the separate Recon elements are extracted and link up
together in grid square YA 90720 (Map 6537-3). The CIDG companies are located to the
southwest and south in ten separate platoon-sized locations, and help plug
the gaps between the battalion’s assets. By 1900 all units have
established their night positions, including LPs and ambushes (S-3 DSJ:
4 January (Thursday): By 0800 everyone has completed their stand-to, sweeps, and
pills, and recover their LPs and ambushes. At 1100 four brigade LRRP
teams (33-36) are inserted near the southwest boundary of the battalion
area of operation along the Ya Krong River. Between 1600 and 1845 all
battalion elements establish their night locations (Alpha at ZA 121789 (Map 6537-3) ,
Bravo at ZA 085553 (Map 6537-2), Delta at ZA 122569 (Map 6537-3, Recon at YA 926720(Map 6538-3) with LPs and
ambushes in place (S-3 DSJ: 1-4).
5 January (Friday): All units report by 0745 that they have completed stand-to,
sweeps, and pills, and have begun the day’s activities. At 1700 Recon
reports that they have found about 30 bunkers with VC equipment and have
detained two suspects. By 1750 all units report they are in their night
locations and have their LPs and ambushes out (Alpha at ZA 119784 (Map 6537-3, Bravo
at ZA 087550(Map 6537-2), Delta at ZA 122569 (Map 6537-3, and Recon at YA 959703)(Map 6538-3) (S-3 DSJ: 1-3).
6 January (Saturday): By 0735 all elements have reported stand-to, sweeps, and
pills completed, and have begun the day’s activities. At 1500 elements of
the Recon Platoon enter a village at ZA 134516 (Map 6537-3, and by 1640 have detained
one VC with a weapon. At 1850 Recon has movement and begins firing
artillery at ZA177503 (Map 6537-2). Nearby CIDG reports seeing five VC running from
the artillery strike area. By 1720 all units have reported their night
locations and have their LPs and ambushes out (Alpha at ZA075728 (Map 6536-1), Bravo at ZA 084542 (Map 6536-1), Delta at ZA 122569 (Map 6537-2), and Recon at ZA 000702 )(Map 6537-2) (S-3 DSJ:1-4).
7 January (Sunday): 0740 and all the stand-to’s, sweeps, and pills are completed. The Recon Platoon (the 74 element) is still working as three teams. 74M
is operating approximately 1700 meters south of the battalion’s fire
support base with the CIDG, while the other two teams (74 and 74B) are
working close together, approximately 900 meters west of the fire support
base. The southern team (74M) discovers a VC camp containing bunkers,
fighting positions, ammunition, clothing, and equipment, while the two
northern teams find nothing. At 1210, 74M receives automatic weapons fire
and observes seven VC fleeing to the west. At 1400, 74 stops for the day
at ZA 025666 (Map 6537-2, 74 M stops at 1622 at ZA 133499, and 74B continues to move
until 1650 where it holds at ZA 076677 (Map 6537-2 .
Alpha Company (81) is still in its patrol
base at ZA 075728 (Map 6536-1), approximately 550 meters northwest of the fire support
base. Keeping its 3rd Platoon (61) in as security, at 0830 it
sends its 1st and 2nd Platoons (59 and 60) out to
the northwest on short patrols. The platoons operate about 200 meters
apart in mutual support. 1st Platoon discovers a hut with punji sticks
and destroys it, while 2nd Platoon finds two huts, a cluster of
30 fighting positions, and a large northwest trail. By 1600 both platoons
have completed their patrol routes and return to their patrol base. 3rd Platoon is sent out on ambush and is in position by 1930 at ZA 067732 (Map 6537-2).
Bravo Company (82) is also in its patrol
base approximately 1400 meters south of the fire support base at ZA
084542 (Map 6536-1. After recovering its 2nd Platoon from night ambush, it
sends its 1st and 3rd Platoons out to the west and
south on patrol. 1st Platoon (59) returns to the patrol base by 1500
after an uneventful patrol. 3rd Platoon is also in by 1520 after an
equally uneventful patrol. While both platoons are out, the company
command group and 2nd Platoon come under small arms fire, and
counter with 60mm mortar fire with unknown results. By 1845 2nd Platoon has two night ambushes out at ZA 079541 (Map 6537-2) and ZA 084539 (Map 6537-2). Delta
Company (84) is in its patrol base at ZA 122569, approximately 950 meters
southeast of the fire support base. At 0845 Delta Company begins moving
all three of its elements in an easterly direction and then swings back to
the northwest, ending up at ZA 116588 (Map 6537-2). During its move the company
locates and evacuates 500 pounds of salt, observes two individuals with
weapons that they fire on, and finds one NVA field pack containing
documents. By 1700 Delta Company is settled in its night defensive
position, begins preparing an LZ for the next day’s rotation, and has two
ambushes out, one at ZA 124578(Map 6537-2) and the other at ZA 12458 (Map 6537-2)4.
Two brigade LRRP teams (2D and 2F) are
inserted into the battalion area of operation at 2045; one at YA 972519
(Map6537-2) and the other at ZA 073384 (Map 6536-1) (S-3 DSJ: 1-4).
8 January (Monday): After an uneventful night, all units complete stand-to, sweeps
and pills by 0710. The first company to SP is Bravo (82) at 0735. Moving
to the west-southwest, they cover around three kilometers by 1055, when
they stop for the day at ZA 063534 (Map 6537-2)and prepare their night position and an
LZ. During the move, Bravo comes across an abandoned enemy camp at ZA
070540 (Map 6537-2) containing 38 positions, two kitchens, and a few articles of
clothing. By 1430 1st and 2nd Platoons are
conducting sweeps around their patrol base until 1800, during which they
find a well-used trail, fresh enemy positions, another older abandoned
camp, and hear a boat on a nearby stream. Upon the return of 1st and 2nd Platoons to the patrol base, 3rd Platoon
departs to set up an ambush near the more recently-abandoned enemy
encampment at ZA 072540.
The next element to SP is the Recon team,
74M at 0755. Moving initially to the north for two-and-a-half kilometers,
the team swings to the west for another two Ks, where, by 1430, they stop
for the day and prepare their night position at ZA 113515 (Map 6537-2). This location
places 74M approximately 18 kilometers south of the FSB. During the
course of their move, they apprehend four possible Montagnard VC prisoners
(who are extracted), and also discover an abandoned enemy encampment. This
one contains five bunkers, 12 foxholes, a 75-foot-long trench, and
assorted pieces of personal equipment.
The third SP of the morning takes place
when Alpha Company (81) departs its night location at 0935. Traveling
southward for approximately four-and-a-half kilometers with its 2nd Platoon screening to the front, the company stops for the day at ZA 068686
(Map 6537-2) and prepares their night position, only three-and-a-half kilometers west
of the FSB. As the rest of the company digs in, 2nd Platoon
runs a sweep around the company patrol base and encounters an individual
whom they fire on, but miss. At approximately 1830, 3rd Platoon departs the patrol base to the east and establishes ambush sites
at ZA 075691, ZA 07168(Map 6537-2) 0, and ZA 076682.(Map 6537-2)
The last movement of the day takes place
when Delta (84) and Charlie (83) Companies switch between fire base
security and patrol duty. Commencing at 1058, the first lift of Delta
Company departs for the FSB. Using a single Chinook helicopter (“Hook”),
it takes four flight rotations to switch the two companies. By 1135,
Delta Company closes into the FSB, and by 1140, Charlie Company closes on
its patrol base in the field at ZA 116588. Shortly after arrival at the
patrol base, Charlie Company sends out its 1st and 3rd Platoons to sweep around the base. By 1630, having found only a few
indications of old enemy activity in the area, 3rd Platoon
returns to the patrol base, while 1st Platoon stays out and
sets up an ambush at ZA 110585. 3rd Platoon then also sends an
ambush out to ZA 117594 (Map 6537-2).
The remainder of the evening and night
are uneventful for the companies; sitreps negative. The battalion
receives its daily “Red Haze” and enemy situation reports from brigade,
and coordinates an aerial recon for the next day, a fire mission with a
near-by ARVN unit, and H&I fires during the night (S-3 DSJ: 1-4).
9 January (Tuesday): Starting at 0533 and working through all the battalion
elements, stand-to, sweeps, and pills are completed by 0846.
Alpha, in its patrol base at ZA 068686 (Map 6537-2),
sends its 1st and 2nd Platoons out on patrols
starting at approximately 0835, while the 3rd Platoon and
Headquarters element stay behind to secure the patrol base. Shortly after
departure, 2nd Platoon discovers a rice cache at ZA 066676 (Map 6537-2),
estimated at one-and-a-half tons. By noon the estimate rises to three
tons. At 1543, while en route back to the patrol base, 2nd Platoon discovers a second rice cache at ZA 064688 (Map 6537-2), this one estimated to
be three-to-four times bigger than the one found earlier. By 1700 both
platoons have returned to the patrol base. At 1930, Alpha Company sends
out two ambushes, one at ZA 077683 (Map 6537-2) and the other at ZA 06468 (Map 6537-2)8.
Like Alpha Company, Bravo Company also
stays in its patrol base. Both the 1st and 2nd Platoons SP by 0900, leaving 3rd Platoon and the headquarters
element at the patrol base. 1st Platoon is the first to report enemy
activity when they discover a day-old trail and a village at ZA 064524
that is not on their maps. 2nd Platoon then finds another
trail running west-to-east at ZA 038531 (Map 6537-2). Finding nothing else, both
patrols are terminated and return to the patrol base by 1600. 3rd Platoon sends out an ambush team to ZA 060535 (Map 6537-2) at 1730.
Charlie Company’s first element to depart
on patrol is its 1st Platoon at 0843. 3rd Platoon
SPs around 0915, while 2nd Platoon secures the patrol base. Finding no signs of enemy activity, both patrols return to the patrol base
by 1600. Charlie Company sends out three ambushes at 1945; 1st Platoon at ZA 11061(Map 6537-2), 2nd Platoon at ZA 11662(Map 6537-2), and 3rd Platoon at ZA 126616 (Map 6537-2).
The Recon Platoon is broken down into
four elements. 74B conducts a short sweep around the FSB, and then sets
up an ambush at ZA 094548 (Map 6537-2). 74M goes out on patrol and discovers 19
bunkers and four fighting positions at ZA 103547 (Map 6537-2). 74S and 74D both SP,
but find nothing to report.
Other activities for the day include Red
Haze reports, a status report on 2/8 Infantry locations, a MEDCAP visit to
a local village by a squad from Delta Company, the arrival of the daily
convoy, a visit by the 2nd Brigade commander, a warning order
from brigade to have one company prepared to go OPCON to Task Force
Powerhorse (173rd) for a three-to-four day mission, several
spot reports from brigade, and coordination for an upcoming LRRP mission. All-in-all, a busy but uneventful day.
10 January (Wednesday): Delta Company (84) begins the day’s stand-to at 0550, and by
0725, the remainder of battalion has followed suit and has completed their
stand-to, sweeps, and pills. The first element “out the gate” is Charlie
Company (83) at 0745. By 1520 they have traveled four klicks to the
southwest and have selected a night location and patrol base at ZA
095558 (Map 6537-2). Alerted the previous day of a pending OPCON mission to the 173rd,
Bravo Company (82) begins their first airlift from ZA 063534(Map 6537-2) at 0821. By
0912, after using a total of 11 aircraft, the last lift is completed and
Bravo Company is gone for a three-day mission outside the battalion’s area
The Recon elements (74) begin their
activities at 0825. Working as three separate squads and with the CIDG,
they find little evidence of enemy activity. 74K, patrolling northeast of
the FSB, discovers a cache of rice at ZA 170708 (Map 6537-2) estimated to be
approximately four tons. 74M, working south of the FSB with the CIDG in
two teams, reports observing four individuals at ZA 153572 who are
believed to be VC. Other than establishing a series of ambush sites for
the night by 1700, the Recon elements have nothing else to report.
Alpha Company (81) also begins their
day’s activities at 0825. Working out of a company patrol base at ZA
068686 (Map 6537-2), the company sends out its 1st and 3rd Platoons on patrol, while 2nd Platoon provides patrol base
security. 1st Platoon’s patrol area is to the west, while 3rd Platoon’s area is to the northwest. Both platoons cover approximately
five kilometers by the time they return to their patrol base at 1600;
neither has anything to report.
Other activities in the battalion area
include receiving the daily Red Haze report; the successful movement of
the battalion convoy; the successful insertion of a brigade LRRP team (2D)
into grid ZA 0254 (Map 6537-2); the report of an NVA battalion working in grid ZA 2067 (Map 6537-2),
approximately nine klicks east of the FSB in 2/8 Infantry’s sector; and
the night locations for all elements of 2/8, a neighboring infantry
battalion. It’s been another quiet day along the Cambodian border.
11 January (Thursday): Because the fire support base presents a fixed target to the
enemy, stand-to must always be completed before sunrise to insure the
safety of the occupants; thus Delta Company (84), the fire base security
force, would normally be the first battalion element to report completion
to the TOC. But on this morning, Charlie Company (83), in its patrol base
at ZA 095558 (Map 6537-2), starts the day at 0600. Charlie is quickly followed at 0620
by Delta and Alpha (81) Companies. Bravo Company (82) is still OPCON to
the 173rd. By 0755, all elements report that they have
recovered their ambush patrols, completed their morning sweeps, and taken
their pills. The daily convoy also departs CP 40 en route to the FSB.
The Recon elements (74M) SP first at
0735. As in previous days, the platoons are broken down into squad-sized
patrols to work with CIDG elements. The only other Recon element active
this day is 74K. At 1400 74K reports recovering one-and-a-half tons of
rice from a four-ton cache. The S-3 directs them to destroy the
remainder. 74M’s activities consist of moving to Alpha Company’s
location, spending some time with them, then moving on to a night location
where the CIDG sets out ambushes at ZA 147523 and ZA 142528 (Map 6537-2).
Working out of its patrol base at ZA
068686 (Map 6537-2), with 1st Platoon (59) still out, Alpha Company (81) SPs
both its 2nd (60) and 3rd Platoons (61) at 0812,
leaving the command group alone for over an hour. It isn’t until 0925
that the 1st Platoon closes on the command group and the patrol
base. Shortly after their departure, 2nd and 3rd Platoons discover a large rice cache at ZA 064681 (Map 6537-2). By1038 they have
filled 520 sand bags with rice and are waiting for extraction of the
rice. By 1143 2nd Platoon is continuing their patrol, leaving
3rd Platoon at the cache site. 3rd Platoon finally
completes the rice extraction effort by 1350, and by 1530 both platoons
are back in their patrol base. Shortly after 1700, 1st Platoon
SPs, and an hour later they are in their night location/ambush site at ZA
063666 (Map 6537-2) watching the rice cache site area.
Charlie Company (83), operating out of
its patrol base at ZA 09555 (Map 6537-2)8, at 0816 sends out two very short sweeps: 1st Platoon (59) to the south and 2nd Platoon (60) to the west,
both for about 300 meters. Shortly after their departure, a member of the
1st Platoon accidently shoots and kills PFC Gerald Pina of 2nd Platoon. After sorting out the situation, both platoons return to the
patrol base by 1045. A few minutes later the 3rd Platoon (61)
SPs for a day-long patrol. Covering about two-and-a half klicks to the
southwest and finding nothing, they turn around and return to the patrol
base by 1630. Just before dark, 2nd Platoon moves out to the
southwest and by 1850 establish an ambush site at ZA 091561.
Delta Company (84) sends out two squads
from the fire support base. The first to depart is from the 2nd Platoon (60) at 0915. Moving to the northeast, the patrol covers four klicks and, by mid-afternoon, has linked up with the 74M element, then
turning around, they return to a night location and ambush site by 1800
just outside the fire support base perimeter at ZA 100697 (Map 6537-2). The other
squad, which uses the callsign “62,” departs at 1030. Traveling north,
they also cover approximately four klicks before turning around. By 1600
they close on the fire support base. Neither patrol reports any enemy
Other activities during this period
include the daily Red Haze report; the running of the daily convoy;
activity reports from two LRRP teams (2A and 2D) working in the battalion
AO; neighboring battalion night locations; and the normal hourly battalion
situation reports, all negative (Dilkes and Arnold KIA records, S3 DSJ:
12 January (Friday): Simultaneously reporting stand-to completed a few minutes
before 0600, both Delta Company and the Recon Platoon begin the day
early. They are followed quickly by the remainder of the battalion, and
by 0755, all sweeps and pills are completed. All the ambush patrols are
recovered by 0815.
As on most mornings, the squad-sized
Recon elements are the first to move. This morning is no different, when
74M reports an SP at 0735. 74K is close behind with a departure from
their night location at 0755. An hour later 74K reports movement and
weapons firing. At 1000, following up on their contact, 74K advises the
TOC that the CIDG with them had walked into a Montagnard encampment. This
evidently had been a surprise encounter, causing the occupants to break
and run in all directions. The CIDG opened fire, killing a female. No
weapons were found, but the CIDG proclaimed them all to be MVC. The
remainder of the day for 74 K and M is uneventful. Just after 1400, 74W
is inserted approximately five kilometers to the southeast of the FSB at
ZA 051726 (Map 6537-2). After moving another two-and-a-half klicks, they select a
night location at ZA 057764 (Map 6537-2).
After spending three days in the same
patrol base, Alpha Company (81) SPs just after 0800 and begins a
southeastern move that takes them four-and-a half kilometers in three
hours, where they end up at ZA 072641 (Map 6537-2). En route they discover three large
holes that had been dug the night before. 1st Platoon (59) is
sent on a short sweep around the area, while the rest of the company holds
fast. A few minutes later one individual falls and injures his knee and
has to be evacuated by the battalion C&C helicopter. By 1045 Alpha
Company reaches their location for a new patrol base and stops movement
for the day. After digging in by mid-afternoon, both 2nd (60)
and 3rd (61) Platoons are sent out on short sweeps around the
new patrol base. Both platoons are back in position by 1900. While the
two sweeps are being conducted, the battalion TOC orders Alpha Company to
send its 1st Platoon to the aid of a LRRP team (2D) that is in
contact with a small NVA force. By 1815 the 1st Platoon is
successfully inserted into ZA 053562 (Map 6537-2)and has linked up with the LRRP
team. Accompanying gun ships take fire from the southeast, resulting in
one crew member being wounded. 1st Platoon continues moving
with the LRRP team until 1900, when they stop for the night at ZA 050563(Map 6537-2).
Charlie Company (83), still south of the
fire support base in its patrol base at ZA 095558 (Map 6537-2), SPs its 3rd Platoon (61) at 0930. Moving in a northeast direction, 3rd Platoon covers approximately two kilometers by noon, before turning around
and returning to the patrol base. Shortly after 1500 3rd Platoon closes with the company. At around 1800 1st and 2nd Platoons each send out a squad for night ambush. The 1st Platoon squad is located west of the patrol base at ZA 089559 (Map 6537-2), while the 2nd Platoon squad is located to the east at ZA 099558 (Map 6537-2). Charlie Company has an
uneventful day and has nothing to report.
After recovering both of its patrols from
the night before, Delta Company (84) sends out two more. Departing at
1025, a squad from 3rd Platoon (61) moves slowly to the
southeast. By 1800 they have found nothing and select a night
location/ambush site at ZA 139677 (Map 6537-2). The other squad, which is from the 2nd Platoon (60), departs the fire support base at 1145. They move in a
southwesterly direction and, like the 3rd Platoon squad, find
nothing. Selecting a night location at ZA 097678 (Map 6537-2), they also stop movement
The two Brigade LRRP teams (2 Alpha and 2
Delta) in the battalion AO begin their day by turning on their radios and
checking in with the TOC. Both teams are located southwest of the fire
support base; 2 Alpha at ZA 036389 (Map 6536-1) , and 2 Delta at ZA 037567 (Map 6537-2). Both had
had a quiet night. By 1030 2 Delta is moving and by 1500 is looking for
an extraction landing zone. At 1625 they report that they have been
sighted and taken under automatic weapons fire by four or five enemy
soldiers on higher ground. By 1655 2 Delta is able to break contact and
is requesting assistance. By 1815 the 1st Platoon of Alpha
Company has linked up with them, and both elements are en route to ZA
050563 (Map 6537-2) where they will spend the night.
Additional activities include: a request
from Brigade to provide a report on small unit operations, movement to
contact, night operations, and battalion level infrastructure;
coordination for deployment of the 84 element on the 14th;
seven Red Haze reports; the safe closure of the daily convoy; neighboring
unit night locations; a message from the Brigade G-3 that Bravo Company
(82) will be released from its OPCON status with the 173rd tomorrow, providing they can be transported by truck as there are no
aircraft available; and that there would be no convoy tomorrow as there
are no tanks available to escort it (S3 DSJ: 1-4).
13 January (Saturday): Charlie Company (83) is the first to report stand-to
completed at 0539. They are followed in quick succession by Delta and
Alpha Companies. Shortly after 0700, all sweeps and pills have been
reported as completed, and by 0830 all ambush patrols are recovered.
Charlie Company is also the first to SP. Having packed up their equipment and destroyed their patrol base, the
company begins a move just after 0800 that takes them exactly two
kilometers west of where they had spent the last several days. En route
the company discovers an abandoned enemy position that consists of 12
bunkers with overhead cover and 20 foxholes at ZA 078556 (Map 6537-2). Stopping at
approximately 1130, Charlie Company establishes a new patrol base at ZA
075558 (Map 6537-2), approximately 10 ½ klicks southwest of the fire base. Shortly
after 1300 the company begins patrolling in their new area. The 2nd Platoon (60) is the first out and begins a northwestern sweep that takes
them two klicks out before they turn around and return to the patrol base
by 1745. On the way back, they drop off a squad for a night ambush at ZA
072562(Map 6537-2) . The 1st Platoon (59) follows shortly after 1400 and
takes a more westward track for about one-and-a-half kilometers before
returning to the patrol base. They also drop off an ambush squad at ZA
074559 (Map 6537-2). Both ambush positions are located to provide observation of the
abandoned enemy position found earlier in the day.
Still operating out of its patrol base at
ZA 072641 (Map 6537-2), approximately five kilometers southwest of the fire support
base, Alpha Company (81), while keeping 2nd Platoon (60) in,
sends its 3rd Platoon (61) out at 0845. Traveling almost due
west, they cover two kilometers before they loop around to the north. After finding nothing, they return to the patrol base by 1500. Alpha’s 1st Platoon (59) is still separated from the company and is working with the
LRRP team 2 Delta in the vicinity of ZA 0555 (Map 6537-2). Moving eastward, they cover
about three kilometers in a zigzag pattern, and by 1700 close on Charlie
Company’s position at ZA 075558 where they become OPCON because of the
enemy situation in the southern end of the battalion AO.
Delta Company recovers its ambush squad
from 2nd Platoon back to the fire support base by 0745 and SPs
another from its 3rd Platoon (callsign 61) at approximately
0845. The 3rd Platoon squad travels to the northwest for about
three-and-a-half klicks, and after finding nothing, it loops around to the
south and returns to its platoon, closing shortly after 1645. The other
squad, using “62" as a callsign, SPs at 0935 and travels almost due east
for three-and-a-half kilometers. Shortly after noon, they loop around to
the north and close back on the fire support base just after 1500. They
also find nothing.
The Recon Platoon is still split into
three squads working in three different areas, each with its own CIDG
counterpart. 74M is located approximately 15 kilometers to the southeast
of the fire support base at ZA 144507 (Map 6537-2), while the other two squads are on
the opposite end of the battalion AO north of the fire base; 74W is at ZA
057746 (Map 6537-2), and 74K is at ZA 155734 (Map 6537-2). None of the Recon elements reports an SP
this morning, but by quarter till nine, 74M has traveled several
kilometers to the northwest. At 0930 74M makes contact with a VC squad at ZA 10752 4(Map 6537-2) . They report no casualties, but do recover one American field
pack and some Montagnard equipment. Pursuing the fleeing VC, 74M turns to
the southwest and makes contact just a little over two hours later at ZA
096518 (Map 6537-2), this time with an estimated VC company. After a brief engagement,
74M and their CIDG withdraw to the northwest, bringing with them numerous
captured enemy packs, one rocket launcher, one carbine, one assault rifle,
and one light machine gun. The CIDG reports one friendly WIA and two
enemy KIAs, and call artillery to the north of their location in an effort
to block the fleeing VC.
Just before 1230, the battalion commander
(callsign “6") arrives over 74M’s area in the battalion C&C aircraft to
act as a communications relay between the TOC and 74M. The Battalion
Commander instructs the TOC to contact the Brigade S-3 and find out if
aircraft are available to lift Alpha Company (82) into 74M’s area. 6 also
advises the TOC that the commander of the 2/8th Infantry in the
neighboring AO to the south has offered two platoons from his Alpha
Company (who are close-by) to assist 74M and act as a blocking force in
grid ZA 1151, as soon as 6 is in a position to control them. Between 1315
and 1340, 6 relays to the TOC that he has two slightly-wounded friendlies,
along with five enemy packs, one assault rifle, and an RPD B40 launcher
on-board his aircraft. He also reports that 74M has found more enemy
packs; and that the Dagger 81elements (Alpha, 2/8th Infantry) have become
OPCON to the battalion, and that he has directed them to sweep the area,
vicinity of grid ZA 1151. By 1415 Bravo-Juliet 604 (the brigade flight
coordinator) arrives at the TOC and is working with the S-3 on airlifting
Delta Company on the 14th, and Bravo Company to ZA 085540 (Map 6537-2). Dagger 81 reports he is at ZA 118514 (Map 6537-2). After searching for another two
hours and finding nothing, Dagger 81 is released from its OPCON status,
and the airlift of Bravo Company is cancelled.
After evacuating their two wounded and
some captured enemy equipment on the battalion’s C&C aircraft, 74M
continues sweeping to the northwest and north, but finds nothing else. At
1745 74M reports they have established a night position at ZA 092532 (Map 6537-2) and
have two ambush squads out, one at ZA 091528 (Map 6537-2) and the other at ZA 093536 (Map 6537-2). All is quiet until quarter after eleven when 74M suddenly reports that
they are receiving small-arms fire from all around their perimeter, and
that they have sustained one WIA. Air support (a “Spooky”) is requested,
but shortly thereafter is cancelled when the CIDG finally figure out only
one enemy soldier had fired on them and that all of their own men had
returned fire in response.
In addition to all of this, other
activities for the day include: the receipt of the daily Red Haze reports,
the successful running of the daily convoy, a visit to the fire support
base by the Brigade Commander, a request for assistance from the unit to
the north (“Vivid Camel”), coordination for engineer support for Delta
Company, the sighting of smoke at ZA 064768 (Map 6537-2) (just north of 74W), the
issuance of patrol orders for the next 24 hours, and the installation of
three ambushes southeast of the fire base by “Baron Toot” (S3 DSJ: 1-5)
14 January (Sunday): The day begins early for Delta Company (84) as they wake up and
prepare to be airlifted out shortly after breakfast. Stand-to, pills, and
sweeps are completed by 0615 for them, and for the rest of the battalion
by 0725. By 0735 all the ambush patrols are also recovered.
The first company to move is Alpha (81). In just over an hour after stand-to (0620), they have the patrol base torn
down, all their equipment packed, and are on the move. Two- and-a-half
hours later (1015) they are in the fire support base to take over the fire
base security mission, still short their 1st Platoon. By later afternoon,
Alpha is situated around the perimeter, and by 1915 has two ambush patrols
out; a 2nd Platoon squad to the north at ZA 103700 (Map 6537-2)and a 3rd Platoon squad to the east at ZA 126691 (Map 6537-2). During the course of the day
Sergeant Tedesko and Private First Class Robert F. Molloy are wounded.
While Alpha is in-bound, Delta Company
packs up all their equipment, cleans up the perimeter, and by 0833 has
their 1st Platoon loaded onto five helicopters and are lifting
off for a landing zone at ZA 094833 (Map 6537-1) . Five lifts and an hour and 20
minutes later, all of Delta Company is on the ground at the new landing
zone. During the insertion at the landing zone, one of the aircraft
crashes and is so badly damaged that it has to be destroyed. A CIDG unit
that had prepared the landing zone somehow gets the machine guns, while
Delta Company collects the other sensitive items off the aircraft for
recovery. The engineers with Delta prepare the aircraft for complete
destruction and at 1330, blow it in place. Shortly after 1530, with the
aircraft equipment recovery completed, Delta Company begins a southward
move that takes them approximately 1,300 meters. By 1730 they establish a
night location and patrol base at ZA 100820 (Map 6537-1). Just before 1800, Delta
reports hearing a series of rifle shots off to the northeast, thought to
be signals between two or more groups of NVA. By 1930 they have one
ambush squad set out further to the south at ZA 096807 (Map 6537-1).
The Recon Platoon squads are still split
up, one south and two north of the fire support base. Of the two northern
squads, 74K is the first to move at 0753. After 12 hours, they have
covered approximately 1,600 meters in a westerly move and select a night
location at ZA 118730 (Map 6537-1). 74W begins their move shortly after 74K. First
they travel about 1,000 meters to the southwest, then turn around and
cover more than 2,000 meters back north of their starting point. By 1645
they have settled down for the night at ZA 058748 Map 6537-2). Like 74K, 74M also
travels just a short distance (1,100 meters) and by 1530 is stopped for
the night at ZA 088520 Map 6537-2). 74 M sends out two ambush squads; one to the
northwest at ZA 085525Map 6537-2) and one to the east at ZA 090520Map 6537-2).
In an effort to bolster the battalion’s
firepower in the southern third of the battalion AO, the S-3 elects to
have Bravo Company join Charlie Company and the 74M element in the south;
two rifle companies and a reinforced reconnaissance element on a
five-to-six kilometer front. At 1120, the 1st Platoon of Bravo
lands at ZA 072588 Map 6537-2)and secures the landing zone for the rest of the
company. Flying out of 3-Tango, the remainder of the company completes
its insertion by 1300. At 1325, Bravo Company reports that 21 men are
sick from possible food poisoning and requests the battalion surgeon. Shortly after 1330 Bravo SPs and begins a short zigzag movement to the
north. An hour-and-a-half later, the company selects a night location and
patrol base at ZA 070595 Map 6537-2). After digging in and cutting a landing zone,
the surgeon arrives, checks out a total of 23 men and determines that the
source of the food poisoning is the chili from supper the night before. All are found to be fit for duty. The 2nd Platoon is tasked to
send out an ambush squad and has it in position at ZA 080595 Map 6537-2)by 1915. Bravo Company is exactly three kilometers north of Charlie Company. During the course of the day, Bravo Company sustains three wounded:
Specialists Fourth Class E. Carroll and Melvin D. Perttunen, and Private
First Class Pertussen.
Charlie Company, still using Alpha’s 1st Platoon, spends the day in its patrol base at ZA 075558 Map 6537-2). Sending out
three patrols, they carefully screen the terrain to their west. 2nd Platoon covers between four and five thousand meters round-trip to the
northwest and discovers a hut containing between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds of
rice. 3rd Platoon covers about the same distance to the
southwest and is fired on by a FAC with a smoke rocket. No injuries are
sustained. The 1st Platoon, Alpha fills the gap in the middle
(to the west) between the other two platoons with an ambush squad at ZA
068567 Map 6537-2). With the exception of the ambush, everyone is back in the patrol
base by 1645. Charlie Company is two-and-a-half klicks northwest of 74M.
Private First Class Brickley is wounded during the day.
Other activities in the battalion area
include: selecting the location of the next fire support base: ZA 107625 (Map 6537-2);
the insertion of two LRRP teams (H4A and Cowboy 22) into grid YA 9765 (Map 6537-3) for
a four day mission; two visits by the Brigade Commander to the fire
support base; the return of two WIAs to Baron Toot; the safe run of the
daily convoy; the coordination for a civil affairs team in the battalion
area on the 15th; the placement of three CIDG (Baron Toot)
ambush sites southeast of the fire support base; and the receipt of the
daily Red Haze reports.
In a separate incident, one of the
battalion’s 2 ½ ton cargo trucks carrying a 12-soldier civic action team
from the battalion is traveling on Highway 19 near Camp Enari when it
strikes a mine. The truck is destroyed, Private First Class Frederick H.
Hemphill of HHC is killed, and eight others are wounded. The report is
received through the medical channels from the battalion surgeon, Dr. Picnering (S3 DSJ: 1-5).
21 January (Sunday): The battalion establishes a fire support base northwest of Pleiku at ZA 030624 (Map 6537-2)and initiates company-sized patrols in an effort to
interdict NVA infiltration into the area (Dilkes:194).
23 January (Tuesday): The 4th Platoon of Delta Company, while conducting
a sweep, encounters an NVA encampment and becomes decisively engaged,
sustaining three wounded-in-action (Firman:3).
25 January (Thursday): Delta Company moves to Dak To by convoy, links up with the
173rd, and becomes their reaction force (Firman:3).
28 January (Sunday): Delta Company makes contact with an unknown-sized NVA force. Fighting continues until dusk, when the NVA breaks contact. Delta Company
suffers three WIA’s, enemy losses are unknown (Dilkes:194).
Specialist Fourth Class Steve Frye, a
reporter for the Ivy Leaves, publishes a story about the large rice
cache discoveries made by Alpha Company on the 9th of January. The article indicates that the discovery totaled almost 12 tons. One
cache is found in a hut and the other in a rock crevice along a stream
In the same edition of the Ivy Leaves is a second story about an ambush team from 3rd Platoon, Alpha
Company. On an unspecified date, the team is en route to their ambush
location when they encounter several NVA. Firing quickly, the team calls
in artillery. A search of the battle site later reveals two enemy KIA,
weapons, and packs. There are no friendly losses.
29 January (Monday): At first light Delta Company sweeps the battlefield and finds
that the NVA had abandoned about 50 bunkers due to artillery (Dilkes:
194). In a separate action, Private First Class Charles A. Dellinger of
Alpha Company is killed in a friendly fire incident (Arnold KIA records).
31 January (Wednesday): Lieutenant Colonel George J. Schneider assumes command of
the battalion, while Lieutenant Colonel Harold B. Birch transfers to
division headquarters where he becomes the Division Personnel Officer
1 February (Thursday): Delta Company is in the fire support base; Alpha and Bravo
Companies are on patrol around the fire support base near Kontum; and
Charlie Company is on patrol near Dak To (Dilkes:195).
2 February (Friday): While on company patrol, two squads from Charlie Company
encounter an unknown-sized NVA element at ZB003249 (Map 6537-1) and kill two. Using
artillery fire, the company breaks contact and returns to its patrol base
with two friendly WIAs. Delta Company conducts a combat assault into a
hot landing zone in Kontum to help deal with an NVA assault on the city
(Dilkes:195, Firman:4, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-1).
3 February (Saturday): At 1800 the Charlie Company patrol base at YB004217 (Map 6538-2)receives
29 rounds of 122mm rocket fire. One bunker takes a direct hit that
results in 11 friendly casualties. They include KIAs Specialist Fourth
Class Leon Hammer, Specialist Fourth Class Joseph Santos, Private First
Class Russell Bryant Jr., and Private First Class David Rickels; and seven
WIAs (Arnold KIA records, Dilkes:195, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-2).
4 February (Sunday): Charlie Company is airlifted back to the battalion fire support
base near Kontum, while Delta Company returns to Dak To (Dilkes:197,
6 February (Tuesday): Bravo Company discovers three NVA bodies at YB926203 (Map 6538-3) that had
been killed either by air or artillery fire (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-3).
7 February (Wednesday): At AR813944 (Map 6637-4) Alpha Company makes contact with an estimated NVA
platoon, resulting in 40 NVA KIA and six captured. Friendly losses
include two casualties; Sergeant Ronald Johnson is killed and Specialist
Fourth Class Ernie Banasau is wounded by enemy fire. A dustoff aircraft
en route to Alpha Company is shot down at AR813936(Map 6637-4) (Arnold KIA records,
Dilkes, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-3).
8 February (Thursday): Alpha Company sends out a rescue party to the downed dustoff
and recovers one KIA and three WIAs. The remainder of the company stays
at their patrol base at AR813942 (Map 6637-4)where they engage and kill one NVA. A
subsequent perimeter sweep locates seven more NVA bodies. The battalion
fire support base at YB911121 receives an extensive B-40 rocket and 82mm
mortar attack. Friendly losses include KIAs Private First Class John
Barbury and Private First Class James Neal of Alpha Company, and
Specialist Fourth Class Bill Harrington of Delta Company. Two of the
seven WIAs include Specialists Fourth Class Leonard B. Chambers and Thomas
W. Halm, both of Alpha Company (Dilkes:198, Arnold KIA records, 4ID ORLL
10 February (Saturday): During the early morning hours Alpha Company repels several
probes against its perimeter at AR817946 (Map 6637-4). Sweeps locate nine NVA KIA and
one WIA POW. Late in the afternoon, just north of Kontum City at
AR825949 (Map 6637-4), Charlie Company makes contact with an estimated company-sized
NVA force on Hill 721. Twice they try to maneuver against the enemy, but
are forced to withdraw due to intense fire. They sustain four WIAs. Alpha
Company is then airlifted in to assist Charlie Company, and links up with
them at their night location. (Dilkes:198, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-4).
11 February (Sunday): At first light an air strike is called in on the NVA position on
Hill 721, and is quickly followed with an assault by both companies. Friendly losses after the two day operation are three KIAs (Private First
Class Arthur Hines, Private First Class Michael Nemeth, and Private First
Class Irving Pierce, all of Charlie Company) and 25 WIAs, three of whom
are First Lieutenant Jose A. Garcia and Specialist Fourth Class John P.
Riley, of Alpha Company and First Lieutenant Thomas Seals of Charlie
Company. By mid-afternoon both companies are airlifted to Dak To. The
remainder of the battalion (Bravo and Delta Companies) is operating around
a firebase known as “Dogbone,” (Map 6538-3) about 20 kilometers west of Dak To. Both
Bravo and Delta conduct a combat assault into a hot landing zone, where
they are pinned down for over two hours by mortar, sniper, and automatic
weapons fire. Contact is finally broken after using air strikes and
extensive artillery fire (Dilkes:198-199, Firman:5, Seals, 4ID ORLL
12 February (Monday): Bravo Company makes contact with an NVA force at YB975269 (Map 6637-4) consisting of mutually-supporting machine gun bunkers that have to be
taken one at a time. The company suffers one KIA (Private First Class
Victor M. Stribling, an attached medic) and 21 WIAs. After using an air
strike and artillery, a sweep reveals nine NVA KIA (Dilkes:199, 4ID ORLL
13 February (Tuesday): Charlie Company discovers five NVA bodies at ZB003261 (Map 6538-2) . They
estimate that the NVA had died three days before (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-5).
16 February (Friday): Delta Company discovers nine NVA bodies at ZB009260 (Map 6538-2) that had
been killed by an airstrike on the night of the 15th (4ID ORLL
19 February (Monday): Delta Company discovers eight NVA KIA buried at ZB032262 (Map 6538-2).
First Lieutenant Joseph Silva of Headquarters and Headquarters Company is
killed/dies (Dilkes KIA records). ( RW Roster indicates he served in Echo Company)
20 February (Tuesday): Specialist Fourth Class Ronald D. Robaska is wounded.
21 February (Wednesday): Alpha Company makes contact with an unknown-sized enemy force
at YB925208 (Map 6637-4). The results are one friendly KIA (Specialist Fourth Class
Dale Anderson, two friendly WIAs, and five enemy KIAs (Dilkes:199, 4ID
22 February (Thursday): Delta Company discovers five NVA bodies at YB925208 (Map 6637-4) (4ID ORLL
23 February (Friday): Delta Company, while on patrol, makes contact with four NVA at
AR813944 (Map 6637-4), killing two and wounding one (Dilkes:199, Firman: 5, 4ID ORLL
28 February (Wednesday): Alpha Company, while conducting a combat assault at YB817247 (Map 6538-3),
is fired on by several NVA. Return fire results in three NVA KIA (4ID
The battalion, minus Bravo Company, moving by truck relocates its
operations from the Dak To area back down to the Ban Me Thuot region. En
route it spends one night at Camp Enari for showers and clean clothes. Bravo Company, conducting a patrol at YB822299 (Map 6538-3), discovers a cache of 28
rounds of 82mm mortar ammunition and one NVA body about three days old
(Dilkes:199-200, Hubbard:14, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-8).
2 March (Saturday): At YB826299 (Map 6538-3)Bravo Company exchanges fire with an NVA force,
killing three. Friendly losses from the engagement include: Staff
Sergeant Ronald J. Stilley, Specialist Fourth Class Tony Oliver, and
Private First Class Dana Roesner killed, and First Lieutenant Stanley J.
Clark wounded. Alpha Company, in a different location, receives a mixture
of 20 60mm and 82mm mortar fire, and a ground attack. Sweeps afterward
recover nine NVA KIA, one light machine gun, one SKS rifle, one RPG
launcher, and two hand grenades (Arnold KIA records, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-9).
4 March (Monday): Early in the morning, the battalion fire support base at
AQ875018 (Map 6636-3) receives a mortar attack. Friendly losses include KIA Specialist
Fourth Class Darryl Gallaugher of HHC and eight WIAs. At AQ889380
(Map 6634-4) battalion elements observe 15 foxholes, a radio antenna and movement. Artillery is fired on the area, resulting in a large secondary explosion,
possibly a fuel storage area (Arnold KIA records, Dilkes:200, 4ID ORLL
6 March (Wednesday): Battalion elements observe three NVA at AQ813315 (Map 6634-4) . Taking
them under fire, one is killed (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-10).
8 March (Friday): Private First Class Jerry Ervin of Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery
is killed in a mortar attack (Arnold KIA records).
10 March (Sunday): Charlie Company kills one NVA in an ambush at AQ863253 (Map 6634-4) and
recovers one AK47 rifle (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-12).
18 March (Monday): Captain Lyle D. Gessford becomes the Battalion S-2.
19 March (Tuesday): Alpha and Delta Companies, located at ZV237156 (Map 6534-1), receive between
30 and 50 rounds of 82mm mortar fire from the north. As all the rounds
land outside the unit’s perimeter, there are no casualties or damage (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-15).
20 March (Wednesday): At 1120 Alpha Company makes contact with an estimated
battalion-sized enemy force of the 33rd NVA Regiment at
ZV227186(Map 6634-4). By nightfall, with the aid of Charlie and Delta Companies,
artillery, and air strikes, the battalion forces the NVA unit to withdraw,
leaving behind 40 KIAs and two POWs. Enemy equipment recovered includes
four RPD machine guns, three AK47 rifles, four B40 rocket launchers, one
60mm mortar tube, ten pounds of explosives, one pair of field glasses, and
three M79 grenade launchers. Friendly losses include KIAs Private First
Class Alan Baretti, Private First Class George Barrett, Private First
Class Marion Saltz, Specialist Fourth Class Alan Roberts, and Sergeant
Gary Reed, all of Alpha Company; and 23 WIAs, one of whom is Specialist
Fourth Class Ronald Robaska. Delta Company loses Specialist Fourth Class Rufus Henderson (Arnold: KIA records, Dilkes:200-201, 4ID ORLL
22 March (Friday): Charlie Company discovers two enemy bodies in graves at ZV230192
(Map 6534-1) (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-16).
23 March (Saturday): Charlie and Delta Companies discover three fresh NVA graves at
ZV228208 (Map 6534-1). Later in the day, both companies discover an NVA
bunker/hospital complex at ZV225205 (Map 6534-1) with documents and a large amount of
supplies (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-17).
25 March (Monday): At AQ793173 (Map 6634-4)a battalion MEDCAP team observes three NVA, takes
them under fire, and captures one AK47 and one pack with documents (4ID
2 April (Tuesday): In the afternoon, a stay-behind force of four men from Charlie
Company surprises four NVA at AQ775183 (Map 6634-4)policing up Charlie Company’s
recently-used patrol base. Using artillery, they are able to kill one NVA.
3 April (Wednesday): Staff Sergeant David Thomas of Charlie Company is killed by
enemy small arms fire (Dilkes KIA records).
8 April (Monday): The battalion FSB at AQ83528 7 (Map 6634-4) receives 15 rounds of 82mm mortar
fire resulting in one WIA (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-22).
12 April (Friday): An Echo Company Recon Platoon patrol makes contact with an
estimated eight-to-10 enemy personnel at AQ758189 (Map 6634-4), resulting in the death
of Sergeant Wallace Dietz (Dilkes and Arnold KIA records; 4ID ORLL
13 April (Saturday): A patrol from Echo Company’s Recon Platoon makes contact with
four or five individuals at AQ807197 (Map 6634-4), killing one, and wounding and
capturing another. Interrogation reveals both are VC (Dilkes:201, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-23).
14 April (Sunday): Charlie Company discovers three NVA bodies at ZV2419 (Map 6534-1). The
bodies are estimated to be one or two weeks old (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-23).
21 April (Sunday): Specialist Fifth Class James Doyle, an Ivy Leaves reporter, publishes a story about a battalion battle that took place on
the 20th of March. The article indicates that the enemy forces
are from the 3rd Battalion, 33rd NVA Regiment and
that the battle lasted four hours. Policing the battle field afterwards,
28 packs, a mortar, four light machine guns, and several automatic weapons
are recovered. There is no mention of friendly losses in the report, even
though there were several.
22 April (Monday): The battalion displaces by C-130 from Ban Me Thuot for
operations west of Polei Kleng. Intelligence reports that the 66th and 320th NVA Regiments are preparing for an offensive
26 April (Friday): Charlie Company and the battalion command group occupy LZ Brillo
Pad at YA 952885 (Map 6537-4) (Dilkes:202).
27 April (Saturday): Charlie Company encounters and kills one NVA at YA839911 (Map 6537-4)(4ID
29 April (Monday): One member of Delta Company is wounded at YA996825 (Map 6537-4)in an
exchange of fire with two NVA (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-27).
30 April (Tuesday): Bravo Company reports one member separated from the unit and
MIA at YA996825 (Map 6537-4). A search fails to locate the individual (4ID ORLL
1 May (Wednesday): The battalion’s artillery support and Delta Company of the
1/14 Infantry join the battalion on LZ Brillo Pad at YA 952885 (Map 6537-4); Alpha and
Delta Companies occupy LZ Alamo; and Bravo Company and Charlie Company of
the 1/14 Infantry occupy LZ Bunker Hill. The battalion task force is now
in place to block the NVA movement to the east, and to conduct
company-sized patrols to the west and southwest. (Dilkes: 202). At YA
898819 (Map 6537-4)a fire team from Bravo Company exchanges fire with one NVA, who
flees the area. Bravo Company later finds one US MIA at YA 973838 (Map 6537-1) (MacArthur
3 May (Friday): At YA 942892 (Map 6537-4)a Recon Platoon patrol, consisting of two US and
two CSF from Polei Kleng, receive small arms fire and grenades from two
NVA. One CSF is captured by the NVA and released, as the patrol withdraws
and becomes separated. The two US and one CSF are wounded in the action (MacArthur
4 May (Saturday): At YA 940891(Map 6537-4) a four-man observation post from Alpha Company
receives small arms fire from five NVA at close range, resulting in three
KIAs (Specialist Fourth Class Bernard Mazursky, Specialist Fourth Class
Douglas Smith, and Private First Class Thomas McCormick) and one WIA (PFC
Kim Grice). A platoon reaction force from Alpha Company sweeps the
contact area with negative results. The Alpha Company Morning Report (DA
Form-1) reflects 136 enlisted and 5 officers assigned, and five and 128
present for duty (Arnold KIA records, Hubbard:3-4, MacArthur ARR-1).
5 May (Sunday): Alpha Company’s Morning Report (DA Form-1) indicates 132
enlisted and five officers are assigned. The break-down is as follows:
one Captain, two First Lieutenants, two Second Lieutenants, one E-8, one
E-7, nine E-6s, 19 E-5s, 60 E-4s, 40 E-3s, and one E-2. Of this count,
five and 124 are present for duty. Absent are five TDY, one on leave and
one AWOL. One Sergeant is assigned later in the day. The Adjutant,
Captain George H. Wilkins III, authenticates the report.
6 May (Monday): LZ Brillo Pad (Map 6537-4) receives a ground probe by what is believed to be
an NVA platoon. Two bunkers are destroyed with B-40 rockets and satchel
charges. Private First Class Phillip Smith of Delta Company is wounded
7 May (Tuesday): At YA952882 (Map 6537-4) Alpha and Delta Companies receive small arms fire
from a small enemy force. The companies react, seizing the high ground,
killing one NVA. Bravo Company sustains three WIAs in
a separate firefight (Hubbard:3-4, MacArthur AAR-2).
8 May (Wednesday): At YA947884 (Map 6537-4)Delta Company engages an unknown-sized enemy
force, killing one NVA and sustaining one friendly WIA (Private First
Class Ganoe, 2nd Platoon). Later that night 1st Platoon, Delta Company ambushes and kills three NVA (Hubbard:5, MacArthur
9 May (Thursday): At approximately 2100 Delta Company,120 man unit, which is dug
in on a hilltop know as the “Alamo,”(Map 6537-4) is attacked by an unknown-sized enemy
force. 60mm enemy mortar fire wounds one man, while Delta Company kills
11 NVA. The Recon Platoon, located at YA937853 (Map 6537-4), makes contact with a
squad-sized NVA unit, killing four. In a follow-up engagement, Recon
kills one more NVA. Captain Donald P. Kinnan becomes the Battalion S-2,
replacing Captain Gessford. Specialist Fourth Class Richard Noble of
Charlie Company is killed by enemy small arms fire (Arnold KIA records,
Hubbard, MacArthur AAR-3).
10 May (Friday): The 2nd squad of 2nd Platoon, Delta
Company, makes contact with an NVA squad while on patrol around the Alamo.
There are no friendly casualties.
11 May (Saturday): At YA952882 (Map 6537-4)a Delta Company ambush patrol from 2nd Platoon encounters a five man NVA patrol. In an exchange of small arms
fire and artillery, they kill one NVA (Hubbard:11, MacArthur AAR-3).
13 May (Monday): A Delta Company patrol from 2nd Platoon is ambushed. One NVA is killed, and Specialists Fourth Class George Vance and Billy
Stewart are wounded and evacuated. In a separate action Sergeant Richard Lockingbill and Specialist Fourth Class Charles F. Garner of Charlie
Company are wounded in an exchange of small arms fire with the enemy at
YA963855 (Hubbard:12, MacArthur AAR-4).
14 May (Tuesday): A Delta Company patrol finds three NVA who had been killed by
artillery at YA952882 (Map 6537-4). A Delta Company OP observes one NVA and calls for
artillery. The enemy soldier moves toward the OP where he is engaged with
a Claymore mine and killed. A patrol is dispatched to check the area and
receives small arms fire, wounding two US personnel. Specialist Fourth
Class James Ames of Echo Company is killed by enemy small arms fire
(Arnold and Dilkes KIA records, MacArthur AAR-4).
15 May (Wednesday): At YA952862 (Map 6537-4)(about 500 meters northwest of Hill 1124) a Recon
Platoon patrol engages an unknown-sized NVA force, resulting in three NVA
KIA and two US WIA (MacArthur AAR-4).
16 May (Thursday): At approximately 0200, an outpost of 11 LRRPs on Hill 1124
(adjacent to and about 800 meters northwest of LZ Brillo Pad) (Map 6537-4)is attacked
by a company-sized enemy force using small arms and flame throwers. Artillery and mortar fire are poured onto Hill 1124 in support of the LRRP
teams. At dawn a platoon from Charlie Company is sent out to assist the
LRRP team in evacuating Hill 1124. During the withdrawal, Sergeant Anund
C. Roark is killed while providing covering fire for his squad. For his
actions he is posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Specialist Fourth Class Albert Romine of Charlie Company and Specialist
Fourth Class John Rotonnelli of HHC also lose their lives in this action. Staff Sergeant David Hendel of Echo Company is killed on LZ Brillo Pad
when a bunker he is in is hit by a 122mm rocket. In a separate action
Specialist Fourth Class Allen Bly of Bravo Company is wounded (Arnold KIA
records, Dilkes:205-207, MacArthur AAR-5).
17 May (Friday): Charlie Company, located on LZ Brillo Pad, AKA FSB #18 at
YA963855 (Map 6537-4), is hit with mortar and 75mm recoilless rifle fire. Specialist
Fourth Class Donald Hiemstra of Delta Company, Specialist Fourth Class
Ronald Hutcheson and Specialist Fourth Class Richard Cremer of HHC, and
Specialist Fourth Class Clifford Leet of Echo Company are all wounded. A
Recon Platoon OP located at YA961859 (Map 6537-4)kills one NVA (Hubbard:14; GO #2297,
18 May (Saturday): Specialist Fourth Class Michael Flaharty is wounded (GO
19 May (Sunday): Specialist Fourth Class Wayne Shumway, an HHC medic attached to
Alpha Company, is wounded in a mortar attack while attempting to dig out
some men from a collapsed bunker (GO #2297).
20 May (Monday): A Recon Platoon patrol located at YA955859 (Map 6537-4)receives enemy small
arms fire and sustains one WIA. The patrol withdraws from its position
back to LZ Brillo Pad (Map 6537-4). A patrol from Alpha Company in a different
location discovers one NVA body estimated to 10-to-12 days old (MacArthur
21 May (Tuesday): Private First Class William Jones of Charlie Company is killed
in a friendly fire incident (Arnold and Dilkes KIA records).
22 May (Wednesday): An Alpha Company platoon is engaged by a reinforced NVA
platoon as it departs LZ Brillo Pad (Map 6537-4)on a patrol to the northwest. The
platoon sustains six WIA, while 10 NVA are killed. Delta Company is hit
by three rounds of friendly artillery fire. One man is wounded (Private
First Class Watkins) and one killed (Private First Class Steven Miner of 1st Platoon) (Hubbard:14, MacArthur AAR-6/7).
25 May (Saturday): A four-man patrol from Charlie Company engages four NVA at
YA957857 (Map 6537-4), killing two (MacArthur AAR-7/8).
26 May (Sunday): In a 19-hour period, LZ Brillo Pad (YA963855) (Map 6537-4)receives in excess
of 250 rounds of 120mm, 82mm, and 60mm mortar, and 75mm recoilless rifle
fire, killing one (Sergeant Clyde Himes of Echo Company) and wounding 24
US. At YA964854 (Map 6537-4)an Alpha Company platoon receives 10 rounds of 60mm
mortar fire resulting in two WIAs. At a third location a Bravo Company
platoon on patrol comes across an NVA grave estimated to be four days old
(Arnold and Dilkes KIA records, MacArthur AAR-8).
28 May (Tuesday): Private First Class Javone J. Beach of Charlie Company is
29 May (Wednesday): LZ Brillo Pad (YA963855) (Map 6537-4)receives a total of 30 120mm mortar
and 75mm recoilless rifle rounds, killing three US and wounding two. The KIAs are Specialist Fourth Class Ananias Boyd and Privates First Class Milton Flowers and Van Norris of Echo Company. All are killed in the
mortar attack (Arnold and Dilkes KIA records, MacArthur AAR-8).
1 June (Saturday): LZ/FSB Brillo Pad (YA963855) (Map 6537-4)receives in excess of 100 rounds
of 82mm mortar and 75mm recoilless rifle fire, resulting in three KIAs. Sergeant Gary Darrah, Corporal Joseph King Jr., and Private First Class
Robert Graham of Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery are all killed in the
mortar attack (Arnold KIA records, MacArthur AAR-10).
2 June (Sunday): At YA955860 (Map 6537-4)a Charlie Company platoon discovers three NVA bodies
and four rifles. Delta Company kills one NVA at YA938854 (MacArthur
4 June (Tuesday): A four-man patrol from Delta Company engages two NVA at
YA938863 (Map 6537-4) and sustains one WIA (MacArthur AAR-11).
5 June (Wednesday): At YA956859 (Map 6537-4)a Charlie Company patrol finds one NVA body with
documents. Then at YA953859 (Map 6537-4)they discover a second NVA body that had been
killed by artillery (MacArthur AAR-11).
6 June (Thursday): Private First Class Steven J. Miner of Delta Company is killed
in a friendly fire incident when four 155mm artillery rounds impact near
LZ Alamo, YA951881. One other US is WIA (Arnold KIA records, MacArthur
7 June (Friday): Alpha Company departs from LZ Alamo (Map 6537-4)to begin a three-day sweep
eastward into a valley to check the results of an arc light strike. During the sweep they make contact with the NVA twice, resulting in four
enemy KIAs (Dilkes:212).
8 June (Saturday): An ambush patrol from Delta Company kills one NVA at YA 948865(Map 6537-4) (MacArthur AAR-12).
9 June (Sunday): Alpha Company is located in a patrol base at YA 988896 (Map 6537-1). Three
patrols are dispatched to the east, west, and north. All patrols make
sporadic contact, and withdraw back to the company perimeter. Specialist
Fourth Class Larry Gifford is killed in action, while Sergeant Joseph T.
Langley, Specialists Fourth Class Richard Alvarado and Lonnie Jones, and
Private First Class Samuel L. Cilone are all wounded. (Dilkes KIA records;
Morning Report; Arnold KIA records, MacArthur AAR-12). Alpha Company’s
morning report entry reflects four officers and 138 enlisted assigned,
with four and 131 present for duty.
10 June (Monday): A 10 man patrol from Delta Company’s 2nd Platoon,
returning to its night location, is ambushed at YA 948869 (Map 6537-4), resulting in
one enemy KIA and Sergeant Robert Sams and one other being wounded. Alpha
Company closes on LZ Brillo Pad (Dilkes: 212, Hubbard:22, MacArthur
12 June (Wednesday): At YA919892(Map 6537-4) Bravo Company receives three rounds of 4.2"
mortar fire, wounding three US (MacArthur AAR-13).
13 June (Thursday): A four man patrol from Delta Company’s 2nd Platoon
with seven NVA. Using artillery, the
patrol breaks contact and wounds at least one NVA (Hubbard: 26).
14 June (Friday): Private First Class Samuel L. Cilone of Alpha Company is wounded
and evacuated (DA Form-1).
17 June (Monday): Specialist Fourth Class Moses Madrid of Alpha Company is wounded
and evacuated (DA Form-1).
18 June (Tuesday): Alpha and Delta Companies move to Plei Djereng (Dilkes:213).
19 June (Wednesday): The remainder of the battalion joins Alpha and Delta
Companies at Plei Djereng (Dilkes:213).
26 June (Wednesday): Alpha Company conducts an air assault into VC Valley and sets
up a patrol base (Dilkes:213).
28 June (Friday): Delta Company also conducts an air assault into VC Valley and
joins Alpha Company (Dilkes:213).
30 June (Sunday): Bravo Company moves the fire support base into VC Valley in
support of Alpha and Delta Companies (Dilkes: 213).
1 July (Monday): Alpha Company makes contact with an unknown-sized NVA force,
killing three. The company sustains one WIA. Later in the day the
company makes contact again at BR168399 (Map 6636-1) when they receive small arms fire
and one B-40 rocket. Two US are wounded in this encounter (Dilkes:213, MacArthur AAR-16).
2 July (Tuesday): The entire battalion returns to Camp Enari (Map 6636-4) for a five day
6 July (Saturday): A patrol from Alpha Company makes contact with five NVA at
BR162334 (Map 6636-1), killing one. There are no US casualties (MacArthur AAR-16).
7 July (Sunday): Alpha Company’s Morning Report (DA Form-1) reflects four
officers and 159 enlisted assigned, with four and 143 present for duty.
8 July (Monday): The battalion relocates to the Oasi s(Map 6536-1) near Duc Co and continues
its ground operations until 21 July (Dilkes:213).
20 July (Saturday): An Alpha Company LP at YA798233 (Map 6536-1) has movement. Throwing a hand grenade in the direction of the movement,
one US is wounded when the grenade hits a tree and bounces back into their
position (MacArthur AAR-17).
21 July (Sunday): The battalion displaces by convoy to Ban Me Thuot and conducts
operations out of LZ Allen and LZ Sally. Privates First Class Edward
Kelly, Francis Kehoe, Donnie Morrison, Douglas Ross, Leroy St Cyr, and
Albert Yokley of Alpha Company are all wounded/injured and medically
23 July (Tuesday): Alpha Company’s Morning Report (DA Form-1) reflects three
officers and 160 enlisted assigned, with three and 153 present for duty.
24 July (Wednesday): Alpha Company’s Morning Report (DA Form-1) reflects three
officers and 163 enlisted assigned, with three and 149 present for duty.
26 July (Friday): Alpha Company’s Morning Report (DA Form-1) reflects three
officers and 160 enlisted assigned, with three and 153 present for duty.
29 July (Monday): A short-range patrol from Charlie Company discovers two bunker
complexes and a large ammo cache. While observing a trail near one of the
bunker complexes, several NVA approach the group and are taken under fire,
killing two of them. Using artillery and gunships to cover their
withdrawal, the team is recovered back to the company patrol base. In a
separate incident, the Recon Platoon discovers two dead NVA at AQ770183 (Map 6636-3)
(Dilkes:213-214, MacArthur AAR-18).
30 July (Tuesday): Charlie Company returns to the large ammo cache found the day
before and recovers as much ammunition as they can carry, and then returns
to their patrol base (Dilkes:214).
1 August (Thursday): The battalion chain-of-command is as follows: Battalion
Commander: Lieutenant Colonel Joseph T. Palastra Jr.; Executive Officer:
Major Ralph M Chesney; S-2: Captain Donald F. Kimran; S-3: Major Douglas
R. Emery; S-4: Captain Lawrence Cousins; S-5: First Lieutenant. James
King; Headquarters & Headquarters Company: First Lieutenant Douglas Burke
II; Alpha Company: First Lieutenant Robert Peters; Bravo Company: Captain
Emmert Burton; Charlie Company: First Lieutenant William Besel; Delta
Company: Captain Lyle D. Gessford; and Echo Company: First Lieutenant
Sherrill Clements. The battalion relocates to LZ Allen (OR-LL 11-68).
7 August (Wednesday): First Lieutenant Walter Sutton replaces First Lieutenant
Douglas Burke II as the Headquarters & Headquarters Company Commander. A
Recon Platoon patrol makes contact with NVA, killing two. There are no
friendly casualties (Dilkes:215).
9 August (Friday): The battalion departs LZ Allen by air and moves south of Ban Me
Thout (Map 6634-3) to establish a series of blocking positions against a suspected NVA
regiment. Delta Company moves its operations into the Mewal Rubber
Plantation area (Dilkes: 215, OR-LL 11-68).
11 August (Sunday): Captain Richard Walker replaces First Lieutenant Robert Peters
as the Alpha Company Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
13 August (Tuesday): The battalion relocates to LZ Sally in the vicinity of AQ
772327(Map 6634-3) and establishes a fire support base. Delta Company stays in the
fire support base, while the other three companies deploy to the west,
north, and northeast, conducting reconnaissance patrols. Establishing
patrol bases, each company sends out short-range patrols. First
Lieutenant Carl McGlocklin replaces First Lieutenant Sherrill Clements as
the Echo Company Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
14 August (Wednesday): First Lieutenant Richard Carpenter replaces First Lieutenant
James King as the Battalion S-5, and Captain Ernest Oliver replaces First
Lieutenant Walter Sutton as the Headquarters & Headquarters Company
Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
16 August (Friday): Delta Company, located just north of Ban Me Thuot, locates a
1500 pound rice cache, and kills two NVA guarding it (Dilkes:215).
17 August (Saturday): Delta Company, using tracker dogs, makes contact with a small
enemy force of five NVA. Sweeping the area of contact, they discover a
bunker complex with huts; some of the huts contain rice. In a separate
action, a four man patrol from Alpha Company observes over 200 enemy
soldiers in the vicinity of AQ 803387(Map 6634-3) moving in a southeast direction
carrying eight mortar tubes (Dilkes:215, OR-LL 11-68)).
18 August (Sunday): Working together, both Alpha and Bravo Companies sweep the area
in which the 200 man enemy force was observed the day before. They find
two NVA bodies, two AK-47 rifles, numerous blood trails, and drag marks (Dilkes:
19 August (Monday): Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry
becomes OPCON to the battalion. At approximately 1630 Alpha Company makes
contact with a large enemy force and brings in air support to help control
the situation. Private First Class Angelo Giacobbe is killed by friendly
fire as a result of the air strike. Alpha Company wounded that day are
Sergeants Ray Roberts and Rodriquez, Specialists Fourth Class Bill Gaston
and Johnson, and Privates First Class Reams, Dave Richards, and Bruce Dolbow (Arnold KIA records, Dilkes:215, Dominick Giacobbe, Turner, OR-LL
20 August (Tuesday): Bravo Company also makes contact with the same group of NVA. With the assistance of the South Vietnamese Air Force, the engagement is
broken off. Sergeant David Botts, Private First Class Louis Gau, Private
First Class Michael Goins, and Private First Class Albert Smith of Bravo
Company are killed by enemy small arms fire. In a separate action, an
element of the battalion discovers a rice cache estimated to weigh three
tons (Dilkes KIA records, OR-LL 11-68).
25 August (Sunday): The battalion relocates from LZ Sally to LZ George in the
vicinity of AQ 837216 (Map 6634-4). The battalion (-), a part of Task Force Spoiler,
is relocated to the Duc Lap area, 35 miles south of Ban Me Thuot, where it
is a part of a three-day engagement with NVA forces (Dilkes: 216). Private First Class Bruce E. Dolbow of Alpha Company dies of wounds
received on the 19th (Arnold KIA records).
27 August (Tuesday): First Lieutenant John A. Pitney replaces First Lieutenant
McGlocklin as the Echo Company Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
28 August (Wednesday): Captain Bruce A. Harris replaces Captain Lyle D. Gessford as
the Delta Company commander, and Captain Gessford takes over as the
Battalion S-1 (OR-LL 11-68).
31 August (Saturday): First Lieutenant Anthony Vincenzes replaces First Lieutenant
Pitney as the Echo Company Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
2 September (Monday): Staff Sergeant Lawrence Rose of Echo Company is killed in a
mortar attack (Dilkes and Arnold KIA records).
4 September (Wednesday): Private First Class Robert Cobb and Specialist Fourth Class Randell Loy of Echo Company are killed by enemy small arms fire (Dilkes
and Arnold KIA records).
16 September (Tuesday): Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry
is released from its OPCON status to the battalion (OR-LL 11-68).
17 September (Wednesday): Charlie Company is sent OPCON to the 1st Squadron,
10th Cavalry in the vicinity of ZU 256055 (Map 6534-2) (Could be ZV 256-055) at LZ Rosa,(LZ Namerosa?) and the
battalion receives Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry in an OPCON status (OR-LL 11-68). Private First Class Lloyd H.
Smith of HHC is killed/dies (Arnold KIA records).
19 September (Friday): The battalion relocates from LZ George to LZ Schuyler in the
vicinity of AQ821183 (Map 6634-4) north of the hamlet of Quang Nhjeu. Bravo Company is
left in LZ George to monitor Mewal; Alpha is sent out east of the new fire
support base, while Delta is sent to the west. Captain Floyd Brownfield
replaces First Lieutenant Vincenzes as the Echo Company Commander (OR-LL
25 September (Wednesday): Captain William McDonaugh replaces Captain Kimran as the
Battalion S-2 (OR-LL 11-68).
27 September (Friday): Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry is
released from its OPCON status, while Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry (Mech) is attached to the battalion.
Bravo Company 1/12 departs its patrol base for a new area of operations
near Duc Lap, located southwest of Ban Me Thuot, approximately 2000 meters
east of the Cambodian border, where it rejoins the battalion (Dilkes:218,
Leninger:24, OR-ll 11-68).
30 September (Monday): Bravo Company establishes a patrol base along Highway 14, a
couple miles southwest of Duc Lap (Leninger:26).
1 October (Tuesday): Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry (Mech) is released from its OPCON status to the battalion, while
Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery is placed in DS to the 1/10 Cavalry (OR-LL
5 October (Saturday): Major Ralph T. Correll replaces Major Ralph M. Chesney as the
Battalion Executive Officer (OR-LL 11-68).
9 October (Wednesday): A short-range patrol from Bravo Company makes contact with an
unknown-sized NVA force. After killing two of the NVA, the patrol uses
artillery fire to break contact with the enemy, and returns to their
company patrol base. A follow-up platoon sweep finds only blood trails
10 October (Thursday): Captain Floyd Brownfield replaces Captain Cousins as the
Battalion S-4, and First Lieutenant Charles Hawkins replaces Captain
Brownfield as the Echo Company Commander (OR-LL 11-68).
14 October (Monday): Specialist Fourth Class Clifford A. Kuebler of Delta Company is
killed/dies (Arnold KIA records).
15 October (Tuesday): Alpha and Delta Companies, in conjunction with Vietnamese
National Police, conduct a cordon-and-search operation of a South
Vietnamese village in an effort to capture VC thought to be there. The
search results in one VC KIA and four VC WIA. There are no friendly
21 October (Monday): An observation post reports seeing eight NVA within 500 meters
of Fire Support Base Pack Rat at YU 818738 (Map 6533-4) (OR-LL 11-68.
22 October (Tuesday): The battalion returns to LZ George at AQ 83721177 (Map 6533-4). Bravo
Battery, 4/42 Artillery comes back to the battalion, while Bravo Company,
2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry (Mech) is re-attached
25 October (Friday): Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry
(Mech) is released from its OPCON status with the battalion (OR-ll 11-68).
26 October (Saturday): A cordon-and-search of the village of Mewal flushes out a
15-to-20 man enemy force, resulting in one enemy KIA, the capture of five
VC, and the recovery of several rifles (OR-LL 11-68).
27 October (Sunday): Charlie Company is released from its OPCON status to the 1/10th
Cavalry and comes back to the battalion, while the battalion picks up
Alpha Battery 4/42 Artillery and Bravo Battery 5/16 Artillery in DS (OR-LL
10 November (Sunday): The battalion returns to LZ George near Ban Me Thuot from
operations in the Duc Lap area (OR-LL 02-69).
11 November (Monday): PFC Ernest L. Mora of Charlie Company is killed in a friendly
fire incident (Arnold KIA records).
12 November (Tuesday): The 23rd ARVN Ranger Battalion is attached to the
Red Warriors in an OPCON Status (OR-LL 02-69).
14 November (Thursday): The 23rd ARVN Ranger Battalion is released from the
battalion (OR-LL 02-69).
16 November (Saturday): The battalion, along with Bravo Battery 4/42 Artillery, is
alerted to prepare to move its operations to a new location. In support
of the pending operation, a two-day stand-down and refitting is ordered,
and the battalion with attachments is airlifted to an airstrip north of
Ban Me Thuot where it spends the night (Dilkes: 219; Leninger: 58; OR-LL
17 November (Sunday): Early in the morning, the battalion begins moving by convoy to
Camp Enari. By 1230, the convoy reaches its destination, a small airstrip
on the northeast corner of Camp Enari (Dilkes:219-220, Leninger:60).
18 November (Monday): Major Benjamin P. Owen replaces Major Correll as the Battalion
Executive Officer, and Captain Harold D. Baughnan replaces First
Lieutenant Besel as the Charlie Company Commander (OR-LL 02-69).
19 November (Tuesday): After a two day stand-down, the battalion moves by convoy to
Pleiku Airfield where it is transported by C-130 aircraft to Polei Kleng
and eventually to LZ Mary Lou (Map 6537-1) near Kontum City. Upon arrival at the 2nd Brigade Trains, the companies move out to begin screening operations
northwest of the city. Bravo Company establishes a defensive position and
patrol base on a hilltop approximately three miles northwest of Kontum
20 November (Wednesday): The battalion establishes a fire support base at LZ Swinger,
YA 837935 (Map 6537-4), in support of five CIDG companies who are destroying the enemy
road network in the Plei Trap Valley. Alpha and Delta Companies are left
at Polei Kleng (LZ Mary Lou) to secure Bravo Battery, 5/16 Artillery,
while the Recon and 4.2 mortar platoons establish a patrol base northeast
of Polei Kleng. Alpha and Bravo Companies of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry are attached to the Red Warriors in an
OPCON status (OR-LL 02-69).
21 November (Thursday): Bravo Company observes an Arc Light strike 3000 meters to the
east of their position (Dilkes:220, Leninger:62).
22 November (Friday): Bravo Company observes approximately twenty 122mm rockets being
fired from a nearby hilltop toward Kontum City. Counter battery fire is
placed on the enemy’s suspected position with
unknown results (Leninger: 62). Sergeant Clarence E. Goss of HHC is
killed/dies (Arnold KIA records).
23 November (Saturday): At first light Bravo Company departs its defensive position
for a sweep through the suspected rocket launching point. By
mid-afternoon, the company reaches the launch point and finds nothing
other than spent rocket canisters (Dilkes:220, Leninger:63).
25 November (Monday): First Lieutenant Joseph C. Kuhns replaces First Lieutenant
Carpenter as the Battalion S-5 (OR-LL 02-69).
26 November (Tuesday): Bravo and Charlie Companies are airlifted into the Plei Trap
Valley to continue clearing and destruction operations begun by the ARVN
Forces (OR-LL 02-69).
27 November (Wednesday): At approximately 1000 Bravo Company is airlifted to Hill 1570
south of Dak To where the battalion has established a fire support base. As a helicopter is emptied, it is re-filled with personnel from Alpha
Company (Dilkes:220, Leninger:63).
28 November (Thursday): First Lieutenant Michael C. Laberteaux replaces Captain Oliver
as the Headquarters & Headquarters Company Commander (OR-LL 02-69).
1 December (Sunday): Major General Donn R. Pepke assumes command of the 4th Infantry Division from Major General Charles P. Stone (Leninger:74).
2 December (Monday): The battalion with its attachments begins moving back to Polei
Kleng in preparation for a multi-battalion raid to be conducted southeast
of Kontum. Alpha and Bravo Companies of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry are released from their OPCON status with the battalion after
failing to find a VC leadership meeting intelligence reported as taking
place in the area of operation (OR-LL 02-69).
3 December (Tuesday): By the afternoon, the battalion has completed its move back
into LZ Mary Lou (Map 6537-1) where they spend the night (OR-LL 02-69).
4 December (Wednesday): The battalion, minus Alpha Company, conducts a combat air
assault into LZ Red at YA 032-931 (Map 6537-1). Alpha Company CAs into LZ White at YA
920740 (Map 6537-3). Charlie and Delta Companies conduct a sweep of the entire area of
operations, but find nothing (OR-LL 02-69 - AAR Operation Macarther 2 Dec1967 thru 31 Jan 1969).
5 December (Thursday): A platoon from Bravo Company is air inserted into an LZ near
the Cambodian Border. From there it sweeps approximately 2000 meters
westward into Cambodia to check a small portion of the Ho Chi Minh Trail
known as the Plei Trap Road, south of Ben Het. The patrol is aborted when
two soldiers are wounded by friendly mines (Leninger:65-67).
6 December (Friday): The battalion returns to Polei Kleng (LZ Mary Lou) (Map 6537-1)with plans
to completely sweep the valleys to the west in the Polei Kleng area in an
effort to detect NVA movement into the area surrounding LZs Brillo Pad,
Bunker Hill, and Alamo. The battalion Command Post, secured by Delta
Company, moves to LZ Anne at ZA 064904 (Map 6537-1) . Charlie and Alpha Companies
remain in the Polei Kleng area, with Alpha Company establishing a patrol
base to the north, while Charlie Company establishes one to the
southeast. Both companies conduct short range patrols, but find nothing
that might support the idea that the enemy is maneuvering to begin attacks
by fire on Polei Kleng and Kontum City (OR-LL 02-69).
7 December (Saturday): Captain Phillip Patrick replaces Captain Burton as the Bravo
Company Commander, but the ceremony does not take place until the
Christmas break, due to operational requirements (OR-LL 02-69).
8 December (Sunday): 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 4th Engineer Battalion is placed in DS status to the battalion (OR-LL 02-69).
11 December (Wednesday): Charlie Company returns to LZ Red and conducts a sweep of
the area of operation (OR-LL 02-69).
12 December (Thursday): Charlie Company completes their departure from LZ White YA926731 (Map 6537-3) (OR-ll
15 December (Sunday): Bravo and Charlie Companies are attached to 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry (MECH) in an OPCON status to
participate in a series of cordon-and-search operations (OR-LL 02-69).
18 December (Wednesday): Bravo and Charlie Companies return to the battalion (OR-LL
20 December (Friday): Alpha and Charlie Companies initiate a joint sweep operation
with two CIDG companies from Polei Kleng. The entire valley west and
southwest of Polei Kleng is searched, with no enemy contact (OR-LL 02-69).
23 December (Monday): At 0235 the Recon Platoon, located at ZA 029933 (Map 6537-1), receives
eight-to-ten rounds of 60 mm mortar fire. Two individuals are WIA. Counter-battery fire is returned by battalion with unknown results. Later
in the day, upon completion of the joint operations with the CIDG, the
battalion moves by ground vehicles to LZ Highlander Heights (Leninger:74;
24 December (Tuesday): Bravo Company is airlifted from its area of operations and is
taken to LZ Blackhawk (Map 6637-2), east of Pleiku along Highway 19, where it joins the
rest of the battalion who had arrived that morning by ground vehicle from
LZ Highlander Heights for a short stand-down for Christmas and a change of
command. After the change of command ceremony, Alpha, Charlie, and Delta
Companies, the jump CP, and part of Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery deploy
north of LZ Black Hawk (Map 6637-2in preparation to support an ARVN sweep north of VC
Valley (Dilkes:221, Leninger:75, OR-LL 02-69).
26 December (Wednesday): Captain Phillip Patrick assumes command of Bravo Company,
replacing Captain Emmitt Burton who has completed his six months in the
field. Shortly after the change of command, Bravo Company departs the LZ
for an extended period of patrolling that takes them east and north for
several days. The only result of the patrol is the discovery of a small
rice cache (Dilkes:222, Leninger:74-78).
This diary is still being compiled.
Please Contact Del Willenbecher on how to send copies of any reports, documents, orders, manuscripts, letters, recollections, or pictures.