Newspaper Articles about
the Battle of Battle of Phu Nhieu
17 January 1968
By PFC John Trimble
LZ Baldy - Some 30 Viet Cong dead, eight others detained and only three Ivymen slightly wounded. That was the score recently after the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry finished working over a Viet Cong bunker and tunnel complex south of Chu Lai.
The Golden Dragons were operating from a small hilltop called Landing Zone Uptight. Things had been going slow but then intelligence sources informed the battalion where the Viet Cong were building a force of considerable strength.
Lieutenant Colonel George L. Hall, battalion commander, decided the best way to engage the enemy was to trap him between blocking forces to the north and south, then send one unit up the corridor leaving only the South China Sea for the VC.
Units of the 178th Light Infantry Brigade deployed to the north while Golden Dragon companies positioned to the south to form the blocking force.
Company B and "Fox" force (reconnaissance platoon) charged through the corridor. The Ivymen clashed with determined enemy soldiers firing form well-constructed and concealed bunkers but with aerial support from 174th Aviation Battalion gunships, they forced the Viet Cong into tragic mistakes, later realizing one of the most significant victories of Operation Muscatine.
When the fighting ended, the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry had overwhelmed a large VC unit besides managing to capture 00 enemy weapons.
U.S. Army reconnaissance patrol, backed by helicopter gunships and
artillery, killed 31 communist soldiers Wednesday in a one-sided clash in
South Vietnam's Quang Nai Province.
Two Americans were wounded. They were treated and returned to duty.
The fight was the biggest so far in Operation Muscatine, a month-old search and destroy operation in the southern portion of the I Corps area.
It started at 9:15 a.m. when the recon unit, from the 4th Div., 3rd Brigade, met a communist force of undetermined size near the coast about 17 miles above Quang Ngai city.
There was a heavy exchange of small arms fire. The Americans called in air and artillery strikes and the enemy melted away, leaving 31 bodies.