16 Feb 1969
Bisons Extract Troops Despite Jungle
‘The tall trees and heavy loads complicated things… but the pilots did a beautiful job.’
RUGGED TERRAIN and triple-canopied jungle prevented slicks from extracting Ivymen of the 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry, during heavy fighting northeast of Plei Djereng.
In the time of distress, the "Shamrocks" of Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, who normally fly reconnaissance patrols in the Light Observation Helicopter (LOH), responded to the emergency with lightning precision.
"It was hazardous terrain, to say the least," recalled First Lieutenant Ronald E. Squires of Santa Clara, Calif., a Shamrock pilot describing the area near Chu Pa Mountain.
Enlarge Bomb Crater
Through the use of a chain saw which had been lowered to them, the ground forces were able to enlarge a bomb crater large enough for one LOH to land at a time.
Five more LOH’s were rounded-up and one at a time, they descended through the 200-foot-thick jungle foliage.
The LOH’s could only extract two Ivy-men at a time, but the speed and accuracy with which they worked proved to be enough aid.
"The tall trees and heavy loads complicated things," said Specialist 4 Clifford
R. Toye of Camden, N.J., a LOH crew chief, "but the pilots did a beautiful job."
For their actions, Lieutenant Colonel R.D.. Renick, battalion commander, and 11 other members of Delta Troop received the Army Commendation Medal from Major General Donn R. Pepke, 4th Division commander, at a special impact awards ceremony.
Other Ivymen honored -were Captains Augustine Vendetti, Robert D. King, First
Lieutenants Thomas P. Smith, Ronald E. Squires, Misters Robert F. Freese, Paul L. Harp, Specialist 5 Gordon D. Haines, Jr., Specialists 4 Mike Huwe, Edmond D. Nugent, Allan R. Struss and Clifford R. Yoye.