13 July 1969
Recon Pays Off
By SGT Michael Tousey
HIGHLANDER HEIGHTS — Detaining an enemy is a real touchy business," explained Sergeant First Class James Tibbit of LeesviIle, La., platoon sergeant for the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry.
The Recon Platoon, working with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, was sweeping an area where there had been contact the previous day. Specialist 4 James Hyatt of Baltimore, a squad leader with Bravo Company, spotted a north Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldier who was suspected as part of a burial party sent back into the area by the enemy.
Specialist Hyatt fired, hitting the enemy in the leg, and the job of apprehending him began.
"You have to find him, get control of the situation and disarm him,’’ said Sergeant Tibbit.
"This requires real care. You want him for the information he has, but he is always dangerous.
"The problem is complicated by the fact that we can’t understand each other’s languages.
"Yesterday, after Bravo Company shot the NVA, we started searching the area. We knew he was in there. , We moved approximately 300 meters beyond the bunker complex. I thought I heard the guy yelling; we thought he might be trying to get us into an ambush.
‘‘Grinde (Specialist 4 John Grinde of La Mesa, Calif.) and I crossed a Montagnard fence. The NVA jumped up and Grinde fired just above his head, close enough to make him think about the situation.
"He got down fast and we yelled to him to Chieu Hoi. He yelled back something which may have been Chieu Hoi. We moved up on him slowly, got our rifles on him and we had him.
"He did not have any grenades or weapons on him, but checking him out for them was still a problem. He was on his stomach when we got to him and could have had a CHICOM grenade under him, but he didn’t."
The Hoi Chanh was turned over to Army of Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) officials who later reported that he gave them a lot of information concerning an ambush on Highway 14.