IVY LEAF

1 June 1969

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Specialist Shaw Stops Enemy Sapper Attack

OASIS—The dog nearby continued to bark excitedly so Specialist 4 John T. Shaw thought it was time to find out what was happening on the northern perimeter of the Oasis.

The headquarters of the 3rd Brigade had sustained an enemy attack three nights earlier, so Specialist Shaw’s senses were finely keyed.

"The area had been well illuminated in the past hour, but I thought I had better set off a hand flare to see what was going on," said the Dallas, Tex., native.

Suddenly light from a trip flare attached to the barbed wire at the inner most edge of the perimeter cut through the pitch black night.

"When the trip flare went off I was able to see an NVA soldier crawling through a hole he had cut in the wire. Right behind him were four others.

I immediately opened fire with my M79 grenade launcher. I fired three rounds, with the third round hitting right in the middle of the men lying on the ground.

By the time I fired the third round I could see them all plainly. I’m almost sure I got one of them," said Specialist Shaw, a member of Echo Company, 1st Battalion, 35th Infantry.

As bunkers along the perimeter opened fire, the enemy sappers retreated from the area.

A search of the perimeter uncovered a B40 rocket booster, 10 satchel charges, two grenades and a Bangalor torpedo that the sappers had left behind.

Tho enemy intruders, wearing black shorts, straw hats and carrying AK47 rifles, had disarmed the trip flares in the outer strands of barbed wire by tieing strips of bamboo around them.

 

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