|At 1845 on 28 October 1966 the perimeter of Company C (-),
consisting of the headquarters and the 1st and 2d platoons, was attacked
by two companies of North Vietnamese Army troops. The initial firing and
assault was made against the northeastern section of the perimeter with
two or three enemy firing automatic fire from positions almost due north
(Tab A). Within five minutes, however, a significant number of the enemy
were on line firing on the entire northeast and east portions of the
friendly perimeter as well as a portion of the southeast side. Within
ten minutes, the defensive perimeter was receiving fire of some kind
from every direction except southwest. Five minutes later, fire was
being received from all directions.
The disposition of friendly forces at the time of the initial
firing placed the 2d platoon on the east and the 1st platoon on the
west. One third of the men were in their positions digging, another
third seated beside their foxholes eating the evening meal, and the
final third were accomplishing miscellaneous tasks. The local security
daylight outposts were entering the perimeter and the night LPís were
in the process of moving out for their respective locations.
A water party also was entering the perimeter and was about to
warn the commander of the possibility on enemy in the area when the
initial enemy burst was fired. The water party was returning from a
nearby creek, having skirted the east of the open area north of the
perimeter (Tab A), When approximately fifty meters from the perimeter,
the last one or two, men noticed a fleeting, shadowy movement to their
right rear on the southwest side of the open area. (When asked why they
hadnít provided warning by firing their weapons, the individuals
replied that they believed the movement might have been the friendly LP
going into position. In any event, it is felt that their slightly
hurried manner in which the water party continued to the perimeter
caused one element of the NVA force to open fire prematurely before all
elements could move into position for a coordinated attack).
Almost simultaneously with the initial burst of enemy automatic
weapons fire, the left machinegun of the 2d platoon commenced firing.
Within five seconds of the initial enemy burst, outgoing fire was three
times as heavy as incoming fire. M-79 grenadiers were firing heavily
using both HE and shot rounds. The heaviest outgoing fire was in the 2d
platoon area where firing continued for approximately twenty minutes.
Because of the ferocity of the enemy attack, the deafening roar of both
friendly and enemy weapons, and the difficulty of movement because of
the heavy incoming fire, it took that long to slow down the rate of fire
During this period, the 1st platoon was receiving and returning fire,
however, no infantry assaults were made on their positions. Their fire,
therefore, was slow and well controlled.
From approximately 1850 to 1915, the enemy made repeated heavy
assaults against the 2d platoon sector (Tab B). Enemy fire consisted
primarily of short automatic bursts. Spread over a distance of
approximately fifty meters and with ten to fifteen men firing at a time,
the enemy advanced, dropped back, and then advanced again. At times, the
enemy moved to positions as close as five to ten meters from friendly
positions. During approximately the last five minutes of intense enemy
fire, the attacking elements seemed to form a line and, from the prone
position or from behind trees or irregularities in the ground, simply
poured heavy fire into the perimeter.
As the charging attacks slowed down in the 2d platoon area, a
number of small rushes were made against the 1st platoon sector (Tab C).
The first assault was made astride the trail from the northwest against
the MG position in that sector. The enemy came within ten or fifteen
meters of the perimeter before being forced to fall back. About five
minutes later, the other MG position of the lst platoon was assaulted
astride the trail from the southeast. Again the enemy was repelled by
By this time (approximately twenty minutes after the initial enemy
burst) artillery fire began to come in close enough to be effective. A
contributing factor in the delay was that the artillery FOís radio
failed to function initially and several minutes were wasted in the
process of finding another radio and re-establishing contact with the
firing battery. Once the artillery began to burst close to the enemy on
the east, the ferocity of the enemy attacks in that area decreased
considerably until after 1915 when enemy activity degenerated to a
"lie on the ground, shoot, and throw grenades" effort.
The enemy had used fire and movement effectively. Also, he had use
of stealth in some cases to crawl to positions very close to the
friendly perimeter. In these instances, men armed with shotguns proved
to be extremely effective.
At this juncture (approximately 1930) after the action in the 2d
platoon area had diminished, a third assault was made from the
southwest. The brunt of this attack fell on the 1st platoon. As in the
case of the other two assaults on the 1st platoon positions, the NVA
threw a large number of hand grenades followed by a rapid charge using
assault type fire. The adeptness of the lst platoon machine gunners
broke up this attack as long bursts of fire were placed across the front
of the friendly positions forcing the enemy again to withdraw. About
fifteen minutes later, a final assault was made against the right flank
of the lst platoon. The attack which again featured a hand grenades
prelude, was repulsed by machinegun and small arms fire.
From this time (1950) until contact was broken completely, the
enemy fired at the perimeter from approximately thirty meters range,
threw hand grenades, and fired M-79 grenade launchers. A few minor
attacks consisting of only four to five men were made against the 2d
platoon sector and were relatively easily repulsed.
Action of this type continued until approximately 2045 when a red
star cluster was fired to the northeast of the perimeter. Upon firing
the cluster, one NVA officer, apparently mis-oriented, ran into the
north corner of the perimeter, was pulled into a hole and killed in hand
to hand combat. However, it was apparent that the enemy was withdrawing
and by 2100 fire into the perimeter essentially had ceased.
During the entire action, the enemy used grenades to the maximum.
The M-79 rounds he also used proved to be extremely effective,
inflicting nine of the thirteen friendly casualties. Many of the enemy
rounds burst on the edge of the friendly positions. There were also a
number of tree bursts, planned possibly in an attempt to get increased
fragmentation effects or in an attempt. to hit the command group in the
center of the perimeter. In any event, the gunners seemed to be well
At 2100, friendly casualties stood at two KIA and ten WIA. Two men
had been hit in the first exchanges of fire, the others accumulated as
the fighting progressed. Since contact was considered to be broken,
aerial medevac was requested for the more seriously wounded. At 2213, a
USAF "HUSKY" medevac helicopter arrived in the area to extract
three seriously wounded men by winch through the heavy tree canopy.
At approximately 2237, just as the three wounded had been loaded
aboard the aircraft, a rocket was fired from southeast of the perimeter
causing the helicopter to crash inside the perimeter. The ship was
burning as it came down. The three wounded men were killed either by the
rocket or the crash itself. The pilot and copilot were both injured,
however, the men of Company C were able to chop into the aircraft and
get them out before the fuel caught fire. The mechanic was pinned inside
the wreckage. Although numerous attempts were made to get him out by
cutting into the ship, finally the fuel ignited and the ship was
engulfed in flames before he could be saved. This incident raised the
Army KIA total to five.
During the time that the helicopter was hovering overhead, the men
on the perimeter fired whenever they detected movement or noise. On the
other hand, seeing and hearing was extremely difficult because of the
noise of the helicopter and the light generated by its floodlights.
Thus, the outgoing suppressive fires, while not continuous were
considerable during the entire period of time taken by the extraction
From the time the medevac helicopter crashed until 0630 the
following morning when sweeps were sent out, there were movements of
individuals detected around the perimeter, however, no further attacks
were made. The individuals moving about were engaged to prevent them
from policing the battlefield and artillery fire was brought in
continuously for the same purpose.
The sweeps of the area in the morning found seven NVA KIA. One
enemy WIA was captured. There were also one RPD, two SKS, three pistols,
and six AK-47ís found near the scene of action.
At 0815, a second USAF "HUSKY" medevac helicopter
returned to the area and evacuated the pilot, copilot, arid some of the
Company C wounded. That afternoon, men with relatively minor wounds were
evacuated by UH-1D helicopters after an LZ had been cut in the clearing
to the northeast.