March 1969

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King And Queen, 4th’s Trump Ace

By SP4 John Rowe

OASIS—When the king and queen of battle combine their talents the enemy suffers the sad consequences.

So it has been in the continuing fighting on the Chu Prong Mountain Ranges as the king, Artillery, joined with the queen, Infantry, to form a one-two punch which resulted in 46 enemy deaths.

Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery, fired 8,138 rounds of artillery from LZ Valentine during the period of March 1-18 in support of the Famous Fighting Fourth Division’s 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry.

Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel James E. Price of Matewan, Va., had praise for both artillery support and the

performance of his ground troops.

"The two are forming a good combination," said Colonel Price. "The artillery has been doing some good firing and keeping the enemy down."

Colonel Price explained that the basic plan of the operation was for the artillery to assist the infantry units after initial contact had been made.

The ground units make contact, then back off, as fire support shells the enemy. Then the infantry can move in for a climactic sweep.

The strategy being employed by the 3rd Brigade forces follows the "lock-on" concept advocated by brigade commander Colonel Richard L. Gruenther of Arlington, Va. Artillery plays an important part in the tactical concept as friendly forces utilize all of their military and Intelligence gathering powers to "lock on" the enemy, suspected to be the 24th NVA Regiment in Chu Prong.

In the most heated contact during the current stage of the operations, the 35th’s Company B accounted for 11 NVA deaths In a lengthy battle which took place March 16-17.

Bravo Company encountered the estimated NVA company while on a search and clear mission. Eight enemy were killed during a six-hour battle in which artillery, gunships and air-strikes were used to force the NVA out of their mountain bunkers. Three enemy were killed on the following morning when a sweep was made of the area.

Adding to the enemy’s miseries has been the uncovering of weapons caches by the Cacti Blue.

Both Charlie and Bravo Companies found enemy weapons after an earlier large cache find by the battalion’s Reconnaissance Platoon.

Company C discovered two AK47 rifles, a B40 rocket launcher and seven B40 rounds in the area northwest of Pleiku. Company B found two AK47s and a B40 rocket launcher.



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