1 June 1969
Boosts ‘Yard Morale
Plei Do Villagers Repel VC
By SGT Michael Tousey
CAMP ENARI — The People’s Self Defense Force of Plei Do repelled an attack by an estimated platoon size force of Viet Cong (VC) in an hour long firefight at the perimeter of their village.
A sweep of the area by the Montagnard villagers the following morning turned up two blood stained shirts.
The enemy attacked the southeast corner of the village which faces a VC infiltration route into Pleiku. In addition to the Self Defense Force, artillery and gunships participated in the fight. The Viet Cong have regularly probed the village from the east, but had never attacked it before.
"I was really pleased that the Self Defense Force reacted so well their first time under fire," said 1st Lieutenant William A. Ruzin of Hopkins, Minn., the Civil Affairs team leader from the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry.
"Before we knew it they were in the trenches firing away at the enemy. None of the VC came near penetrating the perimeter.
"This contact has had a very positive effect on the morale of the Self Defense Force and the village. They know now that the village can defend itself."
The Cacti Blue Civil Affairs Team has been helping the villagers in Plei Do fortify the village and construct needed improvements.
The men from the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry who are sent out to Plei Do nightly for added security were not needed in defeating the attacking enemy force.