Cu Dar

27 Oct 1966

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IN MEMORY OF 

Pfc Grant Rushing, Age 23, Winston Salem, North Carolina

 

 

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 Having withdrawn south around a bend in the trail to reload, the point again moved north and found one NVA KIA.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 approximately 1125.

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 2/B.

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.

 

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