Only two days before an attack set up by the Fighting Gypsies had taken a
company size NVA force by surprise during the night.
The enemy was moving down a trail, every third man carrying a cylindrical
object similar to a mortar tube.
During the contact six NVA were killed and one was detained. Four 122mm
rocket war heads were found along with several rocket casings.
From that time on the men on LZ Lillie had been alert for any signs of a
Sergeant Scheier knew immediately that the flashes he saw were proof of
their expectations. Without hesitation he alerted the battery fire direction
control center (FDC),. who in turn alerted the counter battery radar.
In a matter of minutes the exact location of the suspected enemy rockets
had been pinpointed.
"WE COULD SEE the long orange trail of the rockets as they went
toward Pleiku," commented Charlie Battery Commander, Captain John C. Rose.
"The radar had spotted the fourth round as it left the pad. We fired our
first volley and got a large orange fireball that hung over the impact area.
Radar confirmed the secondary explosion with scope sightings of shrapnel
after the initial shell burst.
"I had a ringside seat," commented Captain Rose. "I grabbed
my binoculars and continued the fire mission, playing the role of forward
observer as well as battery commander."
In all, approximately 200 rounds were poured into the area of the
suspected launch location.