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THE YEAR 1969
“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.”
3 January (Friday): The battalion moves back up north to Polei Kleng (Dilkes:227).
5 January (Sunday): Bravo Company departs the fire support base by helicopter to the south. From their landing zone, they march about 1000 meters and set up a night location near a Montagnard village called Plei Broch (Dilkes:228).
6 January (Monday): At first light Bravo Company enters the village and flushes out one armed MVC, who is killed by a member of 1st Platoon (Dilkes:228).
7January (Tuesday) The division base camp went on an alert status in conjunction with an enemy mortar attack on Carnp Holloway, BCompany, 1st Battalion, '12th Infantry was airlifted - to AR796466 to aid inthe defense of Camp Holloway. (Divison Report)
8 January (Wednesday): Bravo and Delta Companies are rotated out of the field into fire support base Mile High for perimeter guard duty. Shortly after their arrival, the fire base receives recoilless rifle fire and is probed by the enemy. One man is wounded (Dilkes: 228).
10 January (Friday): Leaving Bravo Company in the FSB, Delta Company makes a combat assault into a landing zone at YA 935585, northwest of the Punchbowl. Two soldiers are wounded when one of them steps on a cluster bomb that had been left in the landing zone by the enemy as a booby trap. While Delta Company is making its combat assault, Alpha and Charlie Companies, who are working together, discover an abandoned regimental-sized bunker complex. (Dilkes:228-229). Pot control agents (RCA) were used to contaminate caves a t YA.693536. "The Base Camp Reaction Plztoon workingwith C Campany, 1st Elattalion, 12th Infantry c aptured 15 detainees duringa search of four villages (AR~778430, AR773418, AR813534, and AR785443 (Division Report)
15 January (Wednesday) A platoonfrom Delta Company observed several individuals movingona trail at Yq 939596. The Platoon set up and anmbush and killed two VC (Lenninger 87)
18 January (Saturday): Charlie Company makes contact with the enemy in the Chu Pa Mountain region, killing two NVA. Specialist Fourth Class James S. Eisman and Private First Class Jerry L. Warbritton are killed in this action (Dilkes: 229; Arnold: KIA records). Shortly after the Charlie Company contact, Alpha and Bravo Companies switch between the field and the FSB. Bravo Company begins patrolling along the western ridge lines of the Chu Pa Mountain range (Dilkes:229).
28 January (Tuesday): The Recon Platoon makes contact with an unknown-sized enemy force resulting in one WIA and one KIA, Sergeant Dennis Lee who dies from small arms fire (Arnold KIA records, Dilkes:231). C Company, 1st Battalion, 12t h Infantry destrdyed seven huts and captured 2500 lb s of rice.(Division Report)
31 January (Friday) 0200 B Company detects approximately 100 NVA moving SE up a draw in the vicinity of YA 902658. The company engaged the enemy force with Small arms. The enemy dispersed and fled without returning fire. SRPs in the area adjusted artillery on suspected routes of withdrawal. Company conducts later sweeps and find 1 NVA KIA.(Lenninger:103)
3 February (Monday): 2nd Brigade sends a message to battalion describing a boundary line between the 1/14, 3rd Brigade, and the 1/12, 2nd Brigade. It is an east-west line, with 1/14 north of the line and 1/12 south of the line.
6 February (Thursday): At 0925 Charlie Company’s point element makes enemy contact at 905669 when they walk into a three-sided ambush. By 0936 the company is reporting two WIAs to battalion. At 1000 the company is directed to consolidate its elements, prepare to evacuate their wounded, and be on the look-out for one platoon from Bravo Company that is en route to help. The company clarifies their situation at 1020 with a report that their point element is pinned down under enemy small arms and B-40 rocket fire. Twenty-five minutes later (1045) battalion advises the company that dust-off and gunships are in-bound for their location. By 1135 the company is calling in artillery in an attempt to break contact with the enemy. Succeeding 35 minutes later, the company reports they have seven (7) WIAs, one (1) MIA, and a landing zone at 903664. They further define the enemy situation as being two reinforced squads armed with small arms, automatic weapons, and B-40 rocket launchers. At 1250 the Bravo Company platoon reports they are moving toward Charlie Company. By 1615 the platoon from Bravo Company is at Charlie Company’s location, and Charlie Company has completed the dust-off of the WIAs and changed the MIA to a KIA, Private First Class Terence Kilbane. While Charlie Company is engaged with the NVA, 2nd Brigade sends a four-part message from Division to the battalion describing an upcoming operation. Basically, the 1/14 is going to push south in its AO and the 1/12 is going to push north in its AO, while the Delta 1/10th Cav was going to hold the east flank. Division is hoping to fix and kill whatever gets caught in the trap (Arnold KIA records, 1/12 DSJ 02/07/69).
8 February (Saturday): 2nd Brigade sends out a warning order to the battalion to get ready for an operation on the 11th. In response the Battalion S3 orders flame throwers from the Division Chemical Officer for the battalion. One goes to Delta Company and two to Alpha. At 1011 the Alpha Company commander notifies the S3 that the flame throwers have arrived, but they are not charged. The battalion continues with its missions throughout the day. Late in the evening (1600), a group of three-to-four NVA, located at 903675, fire B-40 rockets at Charlie Company, wounding Private First Class Cox, line number W165. Approximately 20 minutes later Specialist Fourth Class Robert Parcher Jr., line number W096, is killed by small arms fire while engaging the small enemy force. By 1703 contact with the enemy is broken and the company continues to move. Then at 1715 the enemy once again fires B-40 rockets at the company, this time wounding Private First Class Nesbitt, line number W124 and Sergeant Erwin Dallmeyer. Not having enough light left to continue to move, the company establishes its night location at 907673 (Arnold KIA records, 1/12 DSJ 02/08/69).
9 February (Sunday): At 1720 Bravo Company makes contact with four-to-five NVA at 916653. As a result of the engagement the company sustains five (5) WIAs and one (1) KIA, Private First Class Steven R. Bauer. Enemy casualties are unknown (Arnold KIA records, 1/12 DSJ 02/09/69).
10 February (Monday): At 0820 Alpha Company calls in a resupply request for 26 cases of C-rations. An hour-and-a-half later the company reports they are at 921664. Then at 1056 a man with a broken collar bone is reported. The company requests the S3 Air (83) find them a landing zone so they can evacuate their injured man. The remainder of the day is consumed with efforts continuing the company sweep, checking out an enemy bunker complex, finding a landing zone and getting it cleared, getting the wounded and injured evacuated, and finding a night location. By 1335 Alpha Company closes on their night location at 917663, clears an adequate landing zone, and completed the evacuation of line numbers E-177 (Private First Class Alvin Shelton) and E-182. Then at 1440 the S3 (82) calls the company commander and tells him that battalion is going to put a lot of fire into the area that the company will be sweeping tomorrow, and that he wants them to move with caution. In this same log entry, the S3 staff enters a report describing what Alpha Company found during day (a bunker complex containing some 60mm mortar parts and rounds, French cigarettes, some miscellaneous helicopter parts, and some VC posters). The last message of the day from Battalion to Alpha Company is a FRAG ORDER. At 2015 the S3 (82) calls the company commander and tells him the following: SP at 0800 for Objective "A." The company’s route of travel will be 917666 to 914669 to 912670, then onto the objective at 908671. The sequence of events on Objective "A" will be CS at 0830, artillery and mortar prep at 0845, and air strikes at 0900 (they will be dropping 500lb bombs and napalm). Charlie and Delta Companies are given the same FRAG ORDER. Bravo Company, with their wounded, rotates back into the battalion FSB for perimeter security detail, while Delta returns to the field (1/12 DSJ 02/10/69).
11 February (Tuesday): Alpha Company reports stand-to and pills complete at 0700, and SP at 0800. By 1014 they are held up on the line of departure (LD) and report hearing small arms fire, "pops,” and secondary explosions as a result of the prep taking place on the objective. At 1018 the company advises battalion that once they start moving after the air strikes, they will recon by fire before moving. At 1027 the company crosses the LD, initiates reconnaissance by fire and advances the last 800 meters to the objective. At 1200, the company reports they have closed on and secured the objective. At 1308 two sweeps (71 and 72) are sent out. Nothing else is reported insofar as company activity is concerned for the remainder of the afternoon. At 1930 Alpha Company reports a long laundry list of things found on the objective. They include about 100 bunkers, 1/2 of a dead NVA (the upper half), grenades, ammo, magazines, a protective mask, a pistol belt, poncho liner, a large classroom, and other items of field equipment (1/12 DSJ 02/11/69).
4 March (Tuesday): Specialist Fourth Class Benjamin Rawlings of Bravo Company, 4th Engineers is killed, while First Lieutenant Harris and Private First Class Cole of Charlie Company are wounded (Arnold KIA records).
5 March (Wednesday): Private First Class Johnny Lynn is killed by enemy rocket or mortar fire (Arnold KIA records).
6 March (Thursday): Specialist Fourth Class Paul Varosky of Bravo Company, 4th Engineers is killed (Arnold KIA records).
8 March (Saturday): Specialists Fourth Class William Beard and Roy Zufelt, line # A127 of Delta Company, and Sergeant Dean Johnson of Bravo Company are killed by enemy small arms fire, while Privates First Class Charles Glass, Stanford Marunich, and Ramon Ovalla of Charlie Company are wounded (Arnold KIA records).
9 March (Wednesday): Staff Sergeant Charles Avery of Bravo Company, 4th Engineers; Sergeants Robert Protto Jr., Clarence Burleson, and Jerryl McDonald; and Specialist Fourth Class Raymond Betha, Edward Millison III, Clarence Nofford and Thomas Turner of Bravo Company are killed by enemy small arms fire. Wounded in the same engagement are Second Lieutenant Alan R. Nathan, Specialist Fourth Class William Stedl, and Private First Class Julius Mitchell of Bravo Company (Arnold KIA records).
10 March (Thursday): Specialist Fourth Class William Stedl and Private First Class Julius Mitchell of Bravo Company die of wounds received on 9 March (Arnold KIA records).
20 April (Sunday): Private First Class Silas W. Parobek is killed by enemy small arms fire, while Sergeant Eugene A. Murphy is wounded; both are from Charlie Company (Arnold KIA records).
24 April (Thursday): Captain Donald D. Blair, First Lieutenant James E. Bousquet, and Private First Class David G. Kellison of Charlie Company; and Specialist Fourth Class Lawrence Budzinski and Private First Class Randall Ruggs of Bravo Company are all killed by enemy small arms fire, while First Sergeant Jesse E. Revels of Bravo Company is wounded (Arnold KIA records).
27 April (Sunday): Staff Sergeant Kenneth Henkel, Specialist Fourth Class Elijah Williams and Private First Class Gary Hunsun of Bravo Company are wounded.
28 April (Monday): Specialist Fourth Class William Stout III dies of non-hostile causes (Arnold KIA records).
3 May (Saturday): Sergeant Corneliuson of Bravo Company is wounded.
7 May (Wednesday): Specialist Fourth Class James F. Devitt of Headquarters Company is wounded, and Sergeant John McCarthy of Alpha Company dies in a helicopter crash.
14 May (Wednesday): Specialist Fourth Class George Heatherly of Bravo Company, 4th Engineers is killed (Arnold KIA records).
27 May (Tuesday): Staff Sergeant James Francis, Specialist Fourth Class Harold Warmsley, and Privates First Class Gary Fassel, Keith Gibson, Garey Grubbs, and Matthew Lozano Jr. of 1st Platoon Charlie Company are all killed by either enemy small arms fire or fragmentation wounds, while Privates First Class Gary M. Janssen and Bill Masel are wounded in the same action (Arnold KIA records). C CO CPT Wandke is wounded and LT Orndorf assumes command.
31 May (Saturday): First Lieutenant Kenneth Scurr; Sergeants James Leonard, Prentiss Harris Jr, and William Sewell; Specialists Fourth Class Stephen Turzilli and Philip Weir; Private First Class Michael Heath; and Private Patrick Hagerty are killed in enemy action, while Captain Phillip W. Patrick, Sergeant Bill J. Warner, Specialists Mike Crawford, Zane E. Crow, Robert E. Good and Privates First Class Boon and Lifear are wounded. All 15 men are from Bravo Company (Arnold KIA records).
31 May (Saturday): Specialist Fourth Class Joaquin Tello and Sergeant Ralph Zeringue of Alpha Company are killed by enemy small arms fire (Arnold KIA records).
5 June (Thursday): Sergeants Louie Dalie and Lawrence Paulsen, Specialist Fourth Class Alexander Santiago; and Privates First Class Thomas Horal, David Howard, Mack Preston, and Thomas Williams are killed by enemy small arms fire, while Sergeant James C. Ramsey, Specialists Fourth Class Franklin C. Everett and Runningcrane, and Private First Class Fredrick Henry are wounded in the same battle. All eleven men are from Delta Company. Charlie Company, 1st Platoon sustains three wounded: Second Lieutenant James Hafford, Sergeant Mike Gowan, and Specialist Fourth Class Ruben G. Cruz (Arnold KIA records). Medics Paul Tilleman, attached to Delta Company, and Metcalf Claudie attached to Charlie Company, are also killed in action. Metcalf was killed by friendly fire artillery after gettiing lost and separated from his company.
6 June (Friday): Private First Class Fredrick Henry of Delta Company dies of wounds received on the 5th of June (Arnold KIA records).
Some time in mid June CPT Skubbina assumes Command of C Company
10 July (Thursday): Private First William J. Mummert of Alpha Company is wounded.
29 July (Tuesday): Privates First Class Gary J. Larson and Armando McKenny of Bravo Company are wounded.
2 August (Saturday): Private First Class Garry Barbee dies of wounds (Arnold KIA records).
4 August (Monday): At approximately 1000 the 2nd Platoon of Charlie Company is conducting a sweep into a blocking position at ZA 133733 when a pistol is accidentally discharged wounding, Specialist Fourth Class Roberto Billagas.
6 August (Wednesday): Privates First Class Joseph Hashin Jr. and Paul Nelson of Echo Company are killed by enemy small arms fire (Arnold KIA records).
8 August (Friday): Private First Class Duane Scowden of Bravo Company dies of a non-hostile cause (Arnold KIA records).
14 August (Thursday): Privates First Class Kenneth Goodness, John Hall, and Rickey Swaney of Charlie Company are killed in an enemy rocket/mortar attack, while Sergeant Randell S. Turner is wounded (Arnold KIA records).
15 Aug. CPT McColgin replaces CPT Subinna as CO of C Company.
21 August (Sunday): Charlie Company departs LZ Penny after spending three days there.
18 September (Thursday): Staff Sergeant Juan Cavazos of Bravo Company is wounded.
28 September: Company Head Medic Emmett James, attached to C Company is Killed by a sniper. Medic Terrance Clark is also wounded in the incident while both were treating a man with a sprained ankle.
Battalion begins move from Camp Enari to Camp Radcliff
3 November (Monday): The Battalion is still conducting search-and-destroy operations in the upper portion of the An Loa Valley. Working out of Fire Base Tape, three companies and the Recon Platoon have established individual patrol bases around the fire support base and are each conducting their own short range patrols. Intelligence reports from Brigade indicate that the enemy is trying to relocate some of its major elements in the battalion AO further to the south. The weather for the next several days will be affected by the fall monsoon with scattered rain showers and considerable cloud cover. Winds are predicted to remain variable at 5-to-10 knots. The moon is in its last quarter. The percent of illumination will decrease from 34% on the night of the 4th of November to 0% on the night of the 10th.
Alpha Company (81) is in the fire support base providing security, as well as maintaining four short-range patrol positions at BS 750149, 758140, 757128, and 744120.
Bravo Company’s (82) patrol base is located at BS 731100. While 3rd Platoon (61) provides patrol base security, 1st (59) and 2nd (60) Platoons are out on patrol. The 1st Platoon discovers a large cave contaminated with persistent CS agent at BS 721099. They estimate that the cave hadn’t been used in over two weeks and probably held a platoon-sized element. Inside they find a significant amount of military equipment, which included: several rounds of 40mm ammunition; a short belt of M60 machine gun ammunition; two M-16 rifle magazines, one of which was loaded; a short belt of Chicom machine gun ammunition; and assorted cooking utensils and food. Nine other smaller caves are found nearby. 2nd Platoon, conducting a reconnaissance in force in the vicinity of LZ Stinger, finds nothing.
Charlie Company (83) is operating out of its patrol base at BS 726171. At 0920, its 3rd
Platoon makes contact with and engages three armed NVA in green uniforms at BS 703176. Using artillery and gunships, contact is finally broken. A search of the area afterwards reveals one pistol belt and traces of blood.
Delta Company’s (84) patrol base is located at BS 779195. From this location four short-range patrols are sent out to BS 767179, 765200, and 773210. At approximately 1515, the first patrol hears the sound of someone chopping wood in the vicinity of BS 769180. A reaction team is sent out from the patrol base to investigate and finds only a shallow depression and a few wood chips.
The Recon Platoon (74) is located in the vicinity of BS 754078 where it conducts a reconnaissance-in-force. At 1330 they report finding evidence approximately 48 hours old of four individuals cutting vegetation for possible camouflage use at BS 773105. They also find an abandoned rucksack approximately two-to-three months old in the same area (Axelson).
16 November (Thursday): Staff Sergeant LeVern Tegtmeier of Alpha Company dies of suffocation (Arnold KIA records).
13 November (Thursday): Sergeant Luis Hilerio-Padilla of Charlie Company is killed by enemy small arms fire (Arnold KIA records).
17 November (Monday): Specialist Fourth Class Michael Pastorino of Alpha Company is killed by enemy small arms fire (Arnold KIA records).
18 November (Tuesday): Private First Class William Mummert of Alpha Company is wounded.
19 November (Wednesday): Staff Sergeant Tommy L. Frye of Echo Company is wounded.
6 December (Saturday): Specialists Fourth Class Kelly Wood and Richard G. Whitaker, and Private First Class Michael Thompson of Bravo Company are wounded.
24 December (Wednesday): Specialist Fourth Class Thomas Hires of Bravo Company is killed in enemy action (Arnold KIA records).
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. email Del