Early in the morning of 27 October 1966, the
1st platoon of Company B, was moving north on a trail just north f the
2/35 Inf CP. The point saw two NVA enter the trail at YA 859597. Both
parties opened fire. The two NVA went down firing. Having withdrawn
south around a bend in the trail to reload, the point again moved north
and found one NVA KIA. The point then detected movement and was pinned
down by fire from an AK-47.
A squad of 1/B was placed on line and moved
north after first hurling grenades. Upon receiving fire, the squad was
halted and mortar fire was called in on the enemy position as an
additional squad came on line.
At this time (0830), the, company commander
joined 1/B with 3/B. All squads of 1/B were placed on line. The platoon
swept north across a field with head high brush to YA 860600 and
established a base at that location, At the same time, 3/B found and
searched a newly made trail leading to the 2/35 CP Perimeter. The search
was conducted to the east and north (YA858595- YA862595 -YA862600) and
was completed by 0930.
At this point, the company commander and 3/B
returned to the battalion CP leaving a four man ambush/security party
from 3/B with the NVA CIA. 1/B was directed to sweep the area around its
base for a radius of 500 meters, then patrol north to the hill labeled
CU DAR (YA 860615).
1/B platoon leader (1LT Hornak) dispatched
one patrol west to YA 857601 and another north to YA 859602. The former
patrol received small arms fire from a draw at YA 859602. LT Hornak
promptly issued orders to consolidate his force as a preliminary to
placing artillery fire in the draw.
In the meantime, the westernmost patrol
began to receive heavy volume of fire from the northwest and the north
from an enemy force estimated to be a reinforced squad or a platoon.
Fire continued from Y 859602. Fire on the western patrol ceased, then
began more heavily than before, then ceased once again.
The 1/B point man (Pfc Rushing) saw two to
four NVA to his front (north) at YA 861601. He moved fifty meters north
from the platoon base to investigate the sighting. At this time, LT
Hornak decided to withdraw the platoon 100 meters to the south in order
to place artillery saturation fire from YA 858602 to YA 861602. LT
Hornak LT Hornak went forward to retrieve PFC Rushing. Having joined up,
the pair was returning to the platoon base, covering one another and
moving alternately by bounds, when a NVA at YA 605600 shot both of them
with an AK-47. PFC Rushing was killed and LT Hornak was wounded in the
groin. The latter crawled the remainder of the way to the platoon base.
Enemy fire was then received from three NVA
at YA 858602, four NVA at YA 860601, and four NVA at YA 861601. In
addition, an enemy sniper was located at A 861599. Two other snipers,
firing occasional shots into the CP area without results, were located
southwest of the platoon CP. Platoon members observed two casualties
inflicted on the enemy force at YA 861601. One NVA received a shotgun
blast in the face and another NVA‘s arm was shot off by a LMG. CPT
McQuillen prepared to reinforce.
Co B (-) departed the 2/35 CP at 1130.
Perimeter security was maintained by 2/3/d65 Engr, 3/3/d65 Engr, and
headquarter personnel all under the command of the battalion
communications officer, CPT Grimes. Co B picked up the security party
left with the NVA body at YA 950507 and linked up with 1/B at
The company commander placed 3/B on line on
the left (west) at YA859600, facing north. A Squad from 2/B was
designated to evacuate the wounded platoon leader. At this juncture, an
81mm mortar round fired by the Company B 81mm Mortar Section burst in
the trees and inflicted slight wounds on two men from 1/B and one man
from 3/B. The same round also killed the NVA at YA 860560, The carrying
party then evacuated all four wounded.
At this point in time, Company B was
deployed with 1/B and 3/B on line facing north at YA 860600 and YA
859600, respectively. 2/B (-) was in reserve fifty meters to the rear,
3/B was on the edge of a steep slope which descended fifty feet into a
thick brush covered draw. The company lay down a heavy base of fire and
1/B attempted to move forward. Heavy enemy automatic small arms fire
pinned 1/B down and the company commander reinforced with a squad from
Company B again put up a heavy volume of
fire, including extensive use of M-79 shot shell cartridges (M79 HE
ammunition was ineffective as the rounds failed to explode because of
the short range to the target). 3/B (Reinforced) then crawled forward
fifty meters to a ledge on the edge of the draw (YA 861601). Enemy fire
had ceased just prior to their arrival at the ledge.
The platoon had proceeded approximately ten
meters down the ledge when, at 1315, the company commander was informed
that fighter aircraft would be available in ten minutes. 1/B withdrew to
the ledge and the FAC (COMPOSE 05) placed the air strike with extreme
accuracy on the two locations most likely to be used by the NVA forces
as ambush sites. Napalm was used at YA 861602 while bombs and 20mm
strafing were placed between YA 858603 and YA 860803.
A poncho and hammock were later found at the
former location, and a canteen and other miscellaneous gear at the
latter location. The canteen apparently had been blown off a NVA harness
and hurled into the air. (The canteen had made and settled into a
relatively deep self-inflicted indentation in the ground).
Company B (-) searched the area vicinity YA
856605, then returned to the CP on an azimuth of 122 degrees. 1/B (-)
remained at the scene of action, one squad returning to the CP with the
body of PFC Rushing and the captured enemy equipment.