23 Feb 1969
Fast PFC Outdraws Slow NVA
BAN ME THUOT — Searching a thick jungle north of here, elements of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, killed two enemy soldiers.
The enemy element, which had been sighted in groups of three to five men, had avoided contact with the "Cacti Blue" whenever possible.’ Several times the enemy managed to disappear into the jungle after a quick exchange of shots at a distance.
A member of Alpha Company on patrol along a jungle trail was credited with killing one NVA.
"I was walking point along the trail and we came face to face as I rounded a bend," said Private First Class Walter O. Lambert of Brilliant, Ala. "I imagine he was as scared as I was, but I shot first."
"It was a case of who was fastest on the draw, our point man or the NVA," said Captain Walter L. Corey of Concord, N.H., Alpha Company commander. "PFC Lambert won."
Returning to an area where it had previously ambushed an NVA soldier a week earlier, Charlie Company repeated the performance and captured one SKS and two packs.
The First Platoon was stationed along a road in pairs at 200 meter intervals.
"At-about nine in the morning, two enemy came upon our position, one in front of the other," said Private First Class Larry A. Pryor of Wanatah, Ind. "When the lead man was about 30 meters from us, we opened up and killed him and the other went down, too."
"We threw tear agent at the second one hoping to smoke him out, but he slipped away," said the second member of the ambush team, Private First Class Brooks E. Short of Hagerstown, Md.
With the aid of a tracker dog, the platoon pursued the second enemy soldier. Although he escaped, he abandoned his weapon and pack during his flight.