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
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
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
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.