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Diary  23-29 Oct 1968

23 Oct - [field strength] 513. 10 & 9. Dental apt tomorrow. Quiet nite.

A Co. - Showed flag to Soui Da w/ 1 RF Co, closed 1530.
B. Co. - Opened Rt 26 w/ 1 RF Co. Closed 1500.
C Co. - Stand down. 1st day.
Scts. - Escort Wolfhounds

1.5 hour briefing on how to get VCI [Viet Cong infrastructure.]
Letter Mary Lou
No rain - 1

 

24 Oct - [field strength] 523. 11 & 9. Quiet nite - Scts. - Stand down.

A Co. w/ 164 RF - Open Rt 26 and RIF to the S.
B Co. w/ 1 RF Co. - Open Rt to Mo Cong. Picked up 2 VCI suspects.

From the 25th ID CG Journal of 30 Oct:
Col. Fair, CO, 1st BDE quoted as reporting that Mo Cong is the center for VCI activity in Tay Ninh Province. There are currently some 64 names on the blacklist.

C Co. - Stand down. 2nd day.

Meeting with District Chief (MAJ Mach) & Dist. Sr. Adv. (MAJ Gray). Attack [probable] during 24-29 w/ 26 most likely.

1400 Dent apt.
Letter from & to ML.
No rain - 2

 

25 Oct - [field strength] 529. Quiet nite-
A Co. & 164 RF -open Rt. 26 and RIF'd rubber (Found many personnel working the rubber)
B Co. & RF Co. - open road to Soui Da, dismtd RIF, 1 RF wounded. 3 VC sighted.
C Co. - stand down - 3d Day.
Scts. - Mtd/dismtd RIF'd vic. XT 2
[no additional digits] at base of mnt [Nui Ba Dinh]. Received SA fire 0930. Backed up & pounded w/ 6 AS & 700 rds Arty. Reentered 1400 w/ neg. results. Drew fire coming out. Total 8 WIA.
[This was the 4/23's last day of combat in which we sustained WIA during my command.]

The 26 October 2004 remembrance of Gary Bennett, Recon Plat leader on that day:

"The men of Recon will remember this day. We had a simple morning mission to RIF from the Rock Crusher to the east along the base of Nui Ba Den. We stopped at the end of the road at a small abandon village. It was my fault. I thought we had gone too fast and would return too early. Higher ups may want to give us another assignment.

I sent Sgt Kirby up the trail across the foot bridge toward the little temple. He and another trooper were shot and from then on it was wild. "Doc" Day went to help Kirby and he was wounded. I felt we must have been the only unit in contact that day because we had every artillery unit, gun ship and fighter bomber over head wanting a chance to shoot.

The command & control choppers for higher echelon commanders were stacked up to 10,000 feet. Every commander in III Corp seemed to show up. What should have been a simple little walk in the bananas turned into an all day fight. I give credit to the soldiers of Recon. We fought like mad and all got out alive. We did take eight casualties, but all survived.

I remember the last two wounded were Keith Star and Ed Schwab. There was a lot more to this story, but that's for another day. October 25, 1968. It was a test by fire for this Lieutenant."

Gary

Another remembrance about that action comes from Johnny Chavers on 31 October 2004:

"I remember that day, almost as much as I remember my own birthday. That was the second or third fight I was in.

Danny Bostwich was the regular driver for HQ33 to which I was assigned. For some reason unknown to me, I was driving the track instead of Danny who was in the track commander's (TC) hatch.

Starr went out on patrol with everyone else. When I first got to Nam, Starr was the TC and Danny was the driver. They had to pull off the day Pizza was hit cause something was wrong with their 50cal. Dinky Dau stayed there with him with his trusted 60 cal. to keep them safe. (I was gonna say something else, but decided not to.)

Back to the fight. Sgt. Kirby was brought back to HQ 33, by the medic's. I saw his wounded leg. They also brought to HQ 33 a new in country guy (from Kentucky, I think) with a bullet hole through his chest coming out the radio he was out there on the sweep with. What was worse than that was being hit by mortar fire at the dust off site.

I feel sorry for anybody that got in our way or was there on the side of the road as went fast as we could and shot everything in sight trying to get the rest of our wounded Brothers back to the Rock Crusher. They were dusted off from there. Don't know the status of any of them.

Johnny

2 letter & card from ML - Ltr to ML
Uniform arrived
No rain - 3rd day

26 Oct - [field strength] 547. 7 & 7. Quiet nite - Scts stand down 1st day.

A Co. w/164 Co. - Open Rt 26; Rome plow 1st day.
B Co. - Cordon village (19 suspects). Sent 1 plat to Soui Da for stationing.
C Co. - Moved to and opened FSB Bragg w/ C-7/1
[7th Squadron, 1st Air Cavalry Division [1st ACD] was OPCON to 1st BDE, 25th ID pending the completion of the airlift of 1st BDE, 1st ACD to TNBC. Upon completion of the move, the 1st BDE, 1st ACD was to take responsibility for parts of the 25th ID TAOR while 25th ID units were being repositioned further north and east toward Cambodia.]

No mail. Wrote ML, mailed $100 check to bank.
(Light sprinkle 2000) Heavy 15 min shower


27 Oct - [field strength] 544. 9 & 7. Quiet nite - Scts stand down - 2nd day.

A Co. - Open Rt 26 - Rome plow 2nd day.
B Co. - Open road to FSB Bragg; escorted FA Btry & convoy to Grant. (One comd det
[command detonated] 105 rd exploded in vic Camel [Diary contains no reference to this location], killed 1 RF and 3 RF & 1 Civ wounded).
C Co. - Secured FSB Bragg; opened Rt to FSB Grant.

No mail
Reg 614-30, para 4f - personnel in confinement will have DEROS extended to include period of time lost.
No rain - 1st day

 

28 Oct - [field strength] 547. 9& 7. 65 malaria. 3 months in Rawlins. Quiet nite. Scts - Escort convoys to & from FSB Bragg.

A Co. & 164 - Open Rt 26, security of RP. VTR stuck. Left out; co ordered to secure [VTR] at 2130; reached 2400.
B Co. - Sweep North of Rubber. Neg Results.
C Co. - Open road to FSB Grant & outpost.

No mail
Applied for passport
[I needed a passport because I had been approved for return to the US on the USAF diplomatic support flight that left SGN. Since it stopped at a number of foreign capitals - Bangkok, New Delhi, Riyadh, and Madrid - I needed a passport. From Madrid I hoped to catch a flight to Germany to visit my father.]
No rain - 2d day


Rainbow over FSB Rawlins III

 

29 Oct - [field strength] 563. Quiet nite. Scts - Escort convoys to & from FSB Grant.

A Co. & 164 - Open Rt 26, recover VTR.
B Co. & 2 RF Co's - RIF'd through rice fields & hedge rows. Captured 1 VC suspect.
C Co. - Open & outpost road to FSB Grant.

2 letters ML-answered ML.
No rain - 3rd day

 

 

Cliff Neilson
Mohawk 6
May-Nov 1968
 

Illegitimi nil carborundum

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