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THE YEAR 1968
“To close with the enemy by means of fire
and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him,
or to repel his assault by fire, close combat and counterattack.”
1 January (Monday): The battalion starts off the new year with Bravo Company (82) providing security for the fire support base at ZA 107684. 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, then goes out for ambush in the evening.
Charlie Company (83-) is in its patrol base at ZA 035565, 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. 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, while 74 and 74B are at YA 907708 and 922705. 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, and by 1815 have sent 1st Platoon out on ambush to their northwest.
Charlie Company (83) locates an acceptable landing zone at ZA 047577, 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.
Delta Company (84) also moves their patrol base as they head westward to ZA 095579. 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, and 74M reports its night location at ZA 045727.
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. 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 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. 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, 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 9072. 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: 1-4).
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, Bravo at ZA 085553, Delta at ZA 122569, Recon at YA 926720) 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, Bravo at ZA 087550, Delta at ZA 122569, and Recon at YA 959703) (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, and by 1640 have detained one VC with a weapon. At 1850 Recon has movement and begins firing artillery at ZA177503. 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 075728, Bravo at ZA 084542, Delta at ZA 122569, and Recon at ZA 000702) (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, 74 M stops at 1622 at ZA 133499, and 74B continues to move until 1650 where it holds at ZA 076677.
Alpha Company (81) is still in its patrol base at ZA 075728, 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.
Bravo Company (82) is also in its patrol base approximately 1400 meters south of the fire support base at ZA 084542. 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 and ZA 084539. 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. 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 and the other at ZA 124584.
Two brigade LRRP teams (2D and 2F) are inserted into the battalion area of operation at 2045; one at YA 972519 and the other at ZA 073384 (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 and prepare their night position and an LZ. During the move, Bravo comes across an abandoned enemy camp at ZA 070540 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. 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 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 071680, and ZA 076682.
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.
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, 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, 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, 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 and the other at ZA 064688.
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. 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 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 110617, 2nd Platoon at ZA 116625, and 3rd Platoon at ZA 126616.
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. 74M goes out on patrol and discovers 19 bunkers and four fighting positions at ZA 103547. 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. Alerted the previous day of a pending OPCON mission to the 173rd, Bravo Company (82) begins their first airlift from ZA 063534 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 of operation.
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 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, 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; the report of an NVA battalion working in grid ZA 2067, 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, 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.
Working out of its patrol base at ZA 068686, 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. 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 watching the rice cache site area.
Charlie Company (83), operating out of its patrol base at ZA 095558, 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. 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 activity.
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: 1-4).
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. After moving another two-and-a-half klicks, they select a night location at ZA 057746.
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. 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 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.
Charlie Company (83), still south of the fire support base in its patrol base at ZA 095558, 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, while the 2nd Platoon squad is located to the east at ZA 099558. 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. 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, they also stop movement by 1800.
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, and 2 Delta at ZA 037567. 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 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. Stopping at approximately 1130, Charlie Company establishes a new patrol base at ZA 075558, 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. 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. 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, 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. 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, while the other two squads are on the opposite end of the battalion AO north of the fire base; 74W is at ZA 057746, and 74K is at ZA 155734. 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 107524. 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, 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. Dagger 81 reports he is at ZA 118514. 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 and have two ambush squads out, one at ZA 091528 and the other at ZA 093536. 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 (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 and a 3rd Platoon squad to the east at ZA 126691. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. Like 74K, 74M also travels just a short distance (1,100 meters) and by 1530 is stopped for the night at ZA 088520. 74 M sends out two ambush squads; one to the northwest at ZA 085525 and one to the east at ZA 090520.
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 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. 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 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. 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. 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; the insertion of two LRRP teams (H4A and Cowboy 22) into grid YA 9765 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 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 bank.
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 (G-1) (Dilkes:195).
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 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 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, Firman:4).
6 February (Tuesday): Bravo Company discovers three NVA bodies at YB926203 that had been killed either by air or artillery fire (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-3).
7 February (Wednesday): At AR813944 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 (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 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 30/04/68-4).
10 February (Saturday): During the early morning hours Alpha Company repels several probes against its perimeter at AR817946. Sweeps locate nine NVA KIA and one WIA POW. Late in the afternoon, just north of Kontum City at AR825949, 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,” 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 30/04/68-4).
12 February (Monday): Bravo Company makes contact with an NVA force at YB975269 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 30/04/68-4).
13 February (Tuesday): Charlie Company discovers five NVA bodies at ZB003261. 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 that had been killed by an airstrike on the night of the 15th (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-5).
19 February (Monday): Delta Company discovers eight NVA KIA buried at ZB032262. First Lieutenant Joseph Silva of Headquarters and Headquarters Company is killed/dies (Dilkes KIA records).
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. The results are one friendly KIA (Specialist Fourth Class Dale Anderson), two friendly WIAs, and five enemy KIAs (Dilkes:199, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-6).
22 February (Thursday): Delta Company discovers five NVA bodies at YB925208 (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-6).
23 February (Friday): Delta Company, while on patrol, makes contact with four NVA at AR813944, killing two and wounding one (Dilkes:199, Firman: 5, 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-6).
28 February (Wednesday): Alpha Company, while conducting a combat assault at YB817247, is fired on by several NVA. Return fire results in three NVA KIA (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-6).
1-3 March: 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, 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 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 receives a mortar attack. Friendly losses include KIA Specialist Fourth Class Darryl Gallaugher of HHC and eight WIAs. At AQ889380 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 30/04/68-9).
6 March (Wednesday): Battalion elements observe three NVA at AQ813315. 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 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, 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. 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 30/04/68-16).
22 March (Friday): Charlie Company discovers two enemy bodies in graves at ZV230192 (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-16).
23 March (Saturday): Charlie and Delta Companies discover three fresh NVA graves at ZV228208. Later in the day, both companies discover an NVA bunker/hospital complex at ZV225205 with documents and a large amount of supplies (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-17).
25 March (Monday): At AQ793173 a battalion MEDCAP team observes three NVA, takes them under fire, and captures one AK47 and one pack with documents (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-18).
2 April (Tuesday): In the afternoon, a stay-behind force of four men from Charlie Company surprises four NVA at AQ775183 policing up Charlie Company’s recently-used patrol base. Using artillery, they are able to kill one NVA. (Dilkes:201).
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 AQ835287 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, resulting in the death of Sergeant Wallace Dietz (Dilkes and Arnold KIA records; 4ID ORLL 30/04/68-23).
13 April (Saturday): A patrol from Echo Company’s Recon Platoon makes contact with four or five individuals at AQ807197, 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. 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 (Dilkes:202).
26 April (Friday): Charlie Company and the battalion command group occupy LZ Brillo Pad at YA 952885 (Dilkes:202).
27 April (Saturday): Charlie Company encounters and kills one NVA at YA839911 (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-26).
29 April (Monday): One member of Delta Company is wounded at YA996825 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. A search fails to locate the individual (4ID ORLL 30/04/68-27).
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; 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 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 (MacArthur AAR).
3 May (Friday): At YA 942892 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 AAR).
4 May (Saturday): At YA 940891 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 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 (Dilkes:204).
7 May (Tuesday): At YA952882 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 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 AAR-3).
9 May (Thursday): At approximately 2100 Delta Company,120 man unit, which is dug in on a hilltop know as the “Alamo,” 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, 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 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. 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 (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) 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, 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 kills one NVA (Hubbard:14; GO #2297, MacArthur AAR-5).
18 May (Saturday): Specialist Fourth Class Michael Flaharty is wounded (GO #2297).
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 receives enemy small arms fire and sustains one WIA. The patrol withdraws from its position back to LZ Brillo Pad. A patrol from Alpha Company in a different location discovers one NVA body estimated to 10-to-12 days old (MacArthur AAR-6).
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 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, killing two (MacArthur AAR-7/8).
26 May (Sunday): In a 19-hour period, LZ Brillo Pad (YA963855) 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 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).
27 May (Monday): LZ Brillo Pad (YA963855) receives a total of 30 120mm and 75mm recoilless rifle rounds, killing five US and wounding 15. Corporal Tom Galvez; Privates First Class James McKelvey, John Lindel, Frank Garapolo, and Larry Caravetta of Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery are all killed in a mortar attack (Arnold KIA records, MacArthur AAR-8).
28 May (Tuesday): Private First Class Javone J. Beach of Charlie Company is wounded.
29 May (Wednesday): LZ Brillo Pad (YA963855) 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) 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 a Charlie Company platoon discovers three NVA bodies and four rifles. Delta Company kills one NVA at YA938854 (MacArthur AAR-10).
4 June (Tuesday): A four-man patrol from Delta Company engages two NVA at YA938863 and sustains one WIA (MacArthur AAR-11).
5 June (Wednesday): At YA956859 a Charlie Company patrol finds one NVA body with documents. Then at YA953859 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 AAR-11).
7 June (Friday): Alpha Company departs from LZ Alamo 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 (MacArthur AAR-12).
9 June (Sunday): Alpha Company is located in a patrol base at YA 988896. 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, 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 AAR-12).
12 June (Wednesday): At YA919892 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 makes contact
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 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 for a five day stand-down (Dilkes:213).
6 July (Saturday): A patrol from Alpha Company makes contact with five NVA at BR162334, 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 Oasis near Duc Co and continues its ground operations until 21 July (Dilkes:213).
20 July (Saturday): An Alpha Company LP at YA798233 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 evacuated (Dilkes:213).
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 (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 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 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 AO 803387 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: 215).
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 11-68;).
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. 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 (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 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 11-68).
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 11-68).
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 (Dilkes:219, Leninger:32-35).
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 casualties (Dilkes:219).
21 October (Monday): An observation post reports seeing eight NVA within 500 meters of Fire Support Base Pack Rat at YU 818738 (OR-LL 11-68.
22 October (Tuesday): The battalion returns to LZ George at AQ 83721177. Bravo Battery, 4/42 Artillery comes back to the battalion, while Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry (Mech) is re-attached (OR-LL 11-68).
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 11-68).
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 02-69).
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 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 (Dilkes:220, Leninger:60-61).
20 November (Wednesday): The battalion establishes a fire support base at LZ Swinger, YA 837935, 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 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 032931. Alpha Company CAs into LZ White at VA 920740. Charlie and Delta Companies conduct a sweep of the entire area of operations, but find nothing (OR-LL 02-69).
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) 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. 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 (OR-ll 02-69).
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 02-69).
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, 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; OR-LL 02-69).
24 December (Tuesday): Bravo Company is airlifted from its area of operations and is taken to LZ Blackhawk, 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 in 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. contact Del