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8 April 1970
Recon 2/35th
Submitted by: Tony Flesch

There are some things a person will never forget!

On this day we were in a fire fight. I carried the radio for our platoon leader. He, our forward observer and I were on the radio calling in our position when we were hit by a mortar round. I was briefly dazed by the explosion but sadly our platoon leader and the F.O. were killed. I was "LUCKY" that day!

Killed was Lt. Thode and Jeffery Freeman.

God bless them. May they rest in peace!

8 April 1970
Bravo 2/35th
Submitted by: Jim "Doc" Hall

On April 8, 1970 B Co was pulling security on FSB Challenge. The morning went by in a normal boring fashion. There was a lot of card playing and book reading going on. We weren\'t even called on to patrol the area outside the perimeter. This changed suddenly as we were told to get ready. We were going out as a reaction force after Recon hit the Sh**. We were told not to take packs just weapons and ammo.

The wait for the birds was a pretty short one as I remember. According to the daily journals for that day the Recon action began at 1155 hrs and was broken at 1230 hrs though redleg was deployed until 1300 hrs. They suffered 2 KIA\'s and 5 WIA\'s that day. I\'m not certain when we got the call but according to the daily journal 1st platoon Bravo was picked up at 1300 hrs and landed at 1320 hrs with the balance of the Co. picked up at 1315 hrs and on site by 1350 hrs. I don\'t personally remember seeing any of the Recon guys that day though they stayed on site until 1500 hrs. What we did see though was surreal. After a sweep of the general area we came back to the point of contact. It was a very wide trail under some high dense canopy. In the middle of the trail was a large \"pile\" of almost undistinguishable \"goo\". The only hint of what it really was was a \"top knot\" of black coarse hair sitting on top of the pile. Everything else in the pile was pulp. This pile was probably about 2 - 2/1/2 ft high and maybe 3- 4 ft in diameter. Off to one side were 2 legs leaning against a log, both with bare feet. One was on one side of the log pointing up and the other on the other side of the log with the foot on the ground. To this day I don\'t know how many NVA this represented but it appeared from the size of the pile to be quite a few.

Somebody along the line devised what they thought was a brilliant strategy. They decided to fake a complete pull out of the area to see if anyone came back to claim the bodies. They brought in choppers and loaded everyone in except CP & 1st platoon. We were left to ambush the contact area. We had come without packs so had no food or sleeping gear and most of us hadn\'t even brought canteens. We spent a long afternoon and cold long evening in ambush that day. The next day we remained on ambush throughout the day again without food or water but to no avail. As the day progressed the pile began to stink terribly in the rising heat and was literally covered by flies as we lay there next to it. Again we were told that we would be staying the night still without food or water or sleeping gear. We lay there within 20 ft of the stinking pile for one more sleepless night but at least it was uneventful.

The next day, April 10, we were finally extracted at about 1000 hrs. It\'s funny what you can get used to and consider within the norm. Back in the World a site or a smell like this would of made any of us violently ill. Out here in the boonies most of us just wished that we had some water to drink or something to eat as we lay there taking all of this in. KIA on April 8 were Lt. Thode and Sgt. Freeman. For years I only knew that Lt. Thode was killed. I never knew Sgt. Freeman\'s name. Lt Thode had been the 1st platoon leader prior to taking over the Recon platoon in February. Most of our guys knew him well and were shocked at his death. It was a site that day that I will always carry in my head. God Bless the Recon guys who went through all of this. God Bless the Bravo guys who carry this picture in their minds to this day.

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