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Published 7 Apr 67 Ivy Leaf (Re: 12 Mar 67 Contact)

2/35th ‘Cacti Blue’ Kills 61

Bong Son – The 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry "Cacti Blue", under the operational control of the 4th Division, encountered two North Vietnamese Army battalions west of the Se San River near Plei Djereng while participating in Operation Sam Houston.

The action began on a Sunday morning when Company A of the "Cacti Blue" left its base camp on a southwestern course to investigate a recent B-52 strike.

About 9:30 a.m. the 1st Platoon made contact with NVA snipers in trees and fortified bunkers. The 2/35th troops shot one NVA and became pinned down by automatic weapons fire from a bunker position.

The 3rd Platoon maneuvered left and also made contact, but was unable to penetrate the enemy defense.

Company A withdrew to call in artillery and air fire, but was still pressed by the NVA.

Companies B and C were helilifted to nearby landing zones to support Company A. Artillery fire was called in to block the enemy’s withdrawal.

The next morning Company A conducted a sweep of the battlefield which revealed 61 NVA bodies and numerous small arms and assorted NVA gear.

An extensive bunker system uncovered by the "Cacti Blue" was actually interlocking base camps with handrails connecting the bunkers so the NVA could move from one to the other at night without straying outside the perimeter.

The gear the NVA left behind was new, indicating Charlie was either a new unit or had recently been completely resupplied.

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