Crossing Viet River Is Half of the
DUC PHO, Vietnam (IO) - It isn't often that
the infantry has to worry about such things but 2nd Lt. Fred de Witt
recently reported that no one in his platoon was seasick.
Just a few minutes before, D Co., 1st Bn.,
35th Inf., had moved up to the Song Thu Bong River north of Chu Lai.
They were to cross the river and pursue enemy troops known to be
operating on the other side.
The mission was complicated though, when a
bridge indicated on the map was found to be blown in half and
As Capt. George Davignon pondered the
problem, he noticed six reed boats on a small island in the middle of
the river. Summoning Sgt. Roger A. Smith, Davignon discussed his plan.
"The next thing I new," said 1st
Sgt. Thomas C. Mathis, "the two of them were swimming the river,
naked as a bird's tail and with no weapons."
The pair clambered onto the island and
spotted five Vietnamese hiding in a bunker. Startled by the attire-or
lack of it-of their discoverers, the Vietnamese emerged from their
shelter. After haggling a while over price, D Co. had an amphibious
The river crossing was completed and D Co.
moved out in pursuit of the enemy.