14th Infantry Press Coverage: June
1970... by Stephen Heck
Leaves Enemy Leaner and Hungrier
June, 1970 ... Plei Djereng
In a search and clear operation north of Plei Djereng, elements of Co. D, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, made a number of North Vietnamese Army soldiers a little "leaner and hungrier" when the Golden Dragons interrupted their would-be feast.
After setting up a company-size defensive perimeter, the 2nd platoon moved out to sweep the surrounding jungle. Enemy presence in the area was obvious when they came upon a small stream which had a basket of peeled potatoes on it's banks.
Moving 100 meters further, the 4th Divison troopers ran into a bunker complex showing recent use. Nearby was a small hootch which had been used as a kitchen. "We found about 15 metal cooking pots all over the place", said Sgt. Guillermo Figueroa, of Calexico, Ca. "I also found about 100 pounds of rice and 20 pounds of fish in bags."
While checking out a bunker, Sgt. Figueroa saw some brush move to his front. "I quickly hid in a bunker and watched as an NVA soldier with an SKS rifle moved from behind a bush", he said. "I opened fire but he quickly jumped into a hole."
The bunker was surrounded by a squad of men and a Kit Carson Scout tried to persuade the enemy soldier to come out. the NVA soldier refused to budge and after many minutes of unsuccessful persuasion, a smoke grenade lobbed into the hole ended the argument.
For some reason the enemy soldier had been very reluctant to leave the area. Near the bunker was found a three foot tall basket containing 20 plucked and cleaned chickens, ready to be cooked.
Our thanks to Stephen Heck for providing these newspaper articles as published in "Stars & Stripes", "The Ivy Leaf" and "The Army Reporter".