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Diary 28 Aug - 3 Sep 1968

28 Aug - Quiet nite - A Co. opened road. B Co. RIF - 1 plat [B Co.] escort Engr to RC & CP O; C Co. opened road. B Co. got 1 POW & one body. At 1635, Engr convoy returning from culvert site was attacked. B Co. escort plat and A Co. reacted. Arty, helicopters & gun ships broke ambush. All [operable] vehicles cleared by 1830. Left 1 crane & 1 dump truck. One Engr KIA & 1 WIA. 2 BC.

An escort mission was different than out posting for a convoy.

While on an escort mission, a company or platoon had complete security responsibility during the outbound and inbound move of a unit not equipped to defend itself from an ambush.

In this case an Engineer construction unit assigned to repair a culvert had to first go to the Rock Crusher and pickup supplies and then proceed along Highway 26 to Check Point O where there was a culvert to be repaired (probably from a enemy mining). Previous diary entries have detailed towed arty howitzers being escorted to a temporary FSB.

Upon arrival at the destination, the escort unit remained and secured a perimeter around the escorted unit's work site.

It was while returning from the engineer escort mission that the ambush occurred.

[List of items that appears to be instructions to Company commanders and staff]
Move at 0630
[probably meaning begin move out of FSB at 0630]
Chow - 0500-0600.
[keep] Troops moving. Close [mess line at] 0600. [Begin] Opn 0645
Changes
[probably meaning on orders] passed to CO only
Sumps


29 Aug - Quiet nite - C Co. on MSR, A Co. on MSR to CP T. B Co. RIF in local area then stand down. R escort TN-DT convoy. Neg contact. MG Williamson awarded SS to S-3 [Silver Star to Captain Cain Bridgeman.] [and] gave base camp staff pep talk. [I] Received guidance [from MG Williamson] on convoy escort role.
[List of items.]
Special promotions
Claymores
Police & sumps
1 man/plt
[no idea what this means]
Awards
Ambush & sniper
Personnel for 06-14 A C
[no idea what this means]
Prompt at meetings
Malaria - Rock Crusher
Head space

From General Ellis Williamson's Vietnam Journals, (un-paginated) for 29 August 1968:

"Fire Support Base Rawlins III, Col. Fair, LTC Neilson: Reviewed current operations, flew key personnel around the FSB perimeter in order that they might fully appreciate the value of artillery support. CG proposed that the battalion might work out a plan whereby during a period of contact, all fires around the perimeter are ceased for 20 seconds or so, in order to confuse the enemy and possibly locate his strong points.

...Evening Briefing ... CG voiced his disappointment with the appearance of FSB at the Trang Bang bridge and his pleasure at the appearance of FSB Rawlins III...

30 Aug - Quiet nite - C Co. on MSR. A Co. stand down. B Co. on MSR to CP T. R stand down until 1200. Then escort Cu Chi - TN convoy both ways. C Co. attacked vic. North side of Big Rubber. 3 WIA. B Co. found 2 40 lb mines & 3 graves.
[I have no knowledge about the address below]
CMD
National Def Col
APO 96222

[List of items]
Chap
[Chaplain] Little
19 A
11 B
C - To E6 Prichard 11B
To E5 Ludwig (Resupply)
* To E4 Summerhill

 

31 Aug - Quiet nite - B Co. & R open Rt 26. A & C Co's open Rt 22.
Rt 22 - open 0915
Convoy depart CC - 1015 Last elem 1110
Lead element
[of convoy] security [at] edge of Little Rubber 1125
Lead element convoy 1145
B Co. received 1 RPG & scattered AK fire at CP O - one man WIA

[List of items]
SVC Co.
Full SOJ for C Co. - Crackerjack
[do not know meaning of this]
Shots
Awards - Gen Long
[25th ID ADC (M)]
H & I - 81mm POL
90 mm RR

1 Sep - Quiet nite. RF outpost received mortar & rocket fire. A Co. & Recon opened MSR 22, B Co. opened MSR 26. C Co. stood down. B Co. found 1 Body.
Lead element convoy - Little Rubber 1015
Lead element of return convoy - Little Rubber 1345

2 Sep - 57th Mal Labor day Quiet nite - R at Rock Crusher (RC), open road to TN, reinforce C Co. C Co. open 22. A open 26. B Co. escort Rome Plow, replace FF plat, local RIF. Large mine on FF road - 1 Arty KIA, truck destroy; 1 RPG fired at A Co. 1700.

3 Sep - Quiet nite - R at RC, open road to TN, reinforce C Co. C Co. open 22. B Co. open 26. A Co. Plat escort Rome Plow, 2 plat escort engr at [FSB] Buell.
Open road - 0758
Convoy by - 0930
Return by - 1330

[List of items]
Canvas repair kit
Signs, mess tent
Move S1/S4
flower seeds
children - RT 292

 

Cliff Neilson
Mohawk 6
May-Nov 1968

Illegitimati non carborundum