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1/14th Daily Journals for SEPTEMBER 1966.

On 1 SEPTEMBER 1966, as the rest period was drawing to a close, the men readied themselves and their equipment to move out again in search of the enemy.

 

2 SEPTEMBER 1966 – everyone was up before daybreak making final preparations for the move, but the weather wasn’t cooperating and it was soon evident that there would be a delay. By 1000 hours it had cleared enough for the trunk convoy to start for Oasis.  It was hoped that the helicopters would be able to start extracting in the early afternoon. At 1230 hours, the convoy closed Oasis and the men waited for Company B and Company C to heli-lift in.

Later in the afternoon, with all elements closed into the Oasis, Company C was flown into LZ 36J. They were followed by the Command Group, 4.2 Mortar Platoon, and B Battery, 2nd of the 9th Artillery. Company B heli-lifted into 44B and Company A went into 52G. All elements reported negative enemy contact. Defensive perimeters were set up and no enemy activity was reported during the night.

 

3 SEPTEMBER 1966 – Company C moved out with its 2nd and 3rd platoons from LZ 36J. At coordinates 964067 they hit about 4 NVA soldiers with automatic weapons. Evidently the NVA has spotted Sgt Aysons point squad and had set up a quick ambush. Sgt Ayson was wounded immediately. When Sgt Murray moved up to assist the wounded Sgt, he too was wounded. A machine gunner moved up on the right flank and gained fire power over the enemy. When the enemy broke and ran, artillery fire was called in on them. Upon searching the area, they found 4 rounds of 60mm mortar, one NVA pack, and about 500 rounds of 7.62 ammunition. After the wounded were evacuated, they continued their search with negative contact.

Company B minus the Recon platoon closed into LZ 36G with negative contact. Company A closed into LZ 44B also with negative contact at about 1407 hours.

 

4 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the ceiling lifted by about 0900 hours. With the sun now shining brightly the day proceeded to be quite hot. Company C jumped its 1st platoon on a flight from LZ 36J southwest with artillery and Buccaneers 5 and 6 preparing the LZ. They landed with negative contact. About 1 ˝ hours later they spotted one NVA sniper in a tree. The 1st platoon fired and brought the sniper down. However, due to the water obstacle, they were unable to retrieve the body.

At 1600 hours, the 2nd platoon moved out to set in an ambush near the site of the previous day’s clash with the enemy.

Company B sent out its 2nd platoon plus the Recon Platoon and swept the western and southern portion of its AOR. The sweep ended with negative contact and the 2nd platoon helilifted back to the LZ. The Recon stayed and set up an ambush.

Compnay A sent its 1st and 3rd platoons sweeping its northern and southern sectors of responsibility. The married up with the extracting elements of Company B and were also extracted to their LZ (44B). The remainder of the day and night showed negative contact.

 

5 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the morning skies were bright and sunny. Company B moved from 44B, as a company, southward just east of the Chu Pong Complex. About 1400 hours in the afternoon, they picked up one NVA POW who was located in a recently inhabited campsite. In this campsite they found GI type equipment including air mattresses, bags, and uniforms. They also discovered one Russian flag displaying the infamous hammer and sickle and one NVA flag.

Company A moved in a parallel direction to Company B and found 2 grave sites identified as NVA soldiers. Both Company B and Company A are moving south towards LZ Cat. Company B will go south of Cat to LZ 52I.

Company C, still working north of LZ 36J sent its 1st and 3rd platoon north to the Ia Drang River. They found 4 NVA bodies along with some gear. Upon completing their mission they were extracted back to LZ 36J. All of Company C’s elements were to man the perimeter with its LP SOP in effect.
 


6 SEPTEMBER 1966
– today the skies cleared about 1000 hours. The Battalion would move to a new AOR today leaving 36 and moving into 52. The 4.2 Mortar Platoon moved by chopper followed by the command group and Company C from LZ 36J to 52A (Cat). Company A and Company B moved by foot from 52G and 44B to 52A (Cat) and 52I respectively. Company A, upon reaching 52A spotted 3-5 NVA soldiers occupying a portion of the LZ. They fired on the fleeing enemy, wounding one of them. They were unable to recover the body. Shortly after Company A made their contact the 4.2 Mortar platoon, the Command Group and Company C heli-lifted into the LZ. Company B while moving to 52I accompanied by the Recon platoon spotted one NVA and the Recon platoon captured him. After closing back into their LZ they set up their LPs and perimeter defense. The night was quiet.

 

7 - 10 SEPTEMBER 1966 – during this period no significant contacts were made in AO52. On 9 September Co C moved to LZ 30C, and Co B to LZ 30B. On the 10th, Recon Platoon, working with Co B, killed on PAVN. The Command Group, Co A and Artillery moved into AO30 on the 10th.

 

11 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the Golden Dragons continued to search and destroy in AO 30. There was nothing of significance found by any of the units.

Company A patrolled in the southwest corner of the AO in a company size force. The "PAVN Hunters" only found barefoot tracks and buffalo tracks. Late in the day, the found a few friendly Montagnards who had been out in the fields slaughtering water buffaloes.

Company B sent out two platoons from LZ 30B. Neither platoon found anything of significance. The third platoon left two squads out on an ambush for the night, under command of Sergeant Peters. They were disrupted a little when some friendly Montagnards walked into their ambush site when they were setting up. They moved to a different location for the ambush.

Company C sent two platoons out to the west. The 3rd platoon remained out overnight in an ambush position. Nothing of significance was found and no contact was made. There were many villages in the area and a Civil Affairs team was going to be requested for tomorrow’s activities.

The Recon platoon, under Lt Dunlap moved out at 1400 hours on a two day patrol. They set up the night in an ambush position. Lt Dunlap’s platoon was probably the most familiar with this Ao since they worked this area back in July with the CIDG Force.

 

12 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the Golden Dragons today continued their search and destroy mission in AO 30. The drive was a Civil Action aimed at the large number of Montagnard Villages in the area. Due to the weather, the Civil Action team from the Bde 85 was unable to get out until late afternoon.

Company B took part in the civic action program today with its first platoon medic conducting a sick call in a sixty man village located at ZA 102149. Also at this village the 1st platoon caught one Montagnard trying to run away. He has Ho Chi Minh Sandals and acted terrified. He was brought into the Battalion CP, and was taken to Plei Me. B Company’s 3rd platoon, Lt Grant commanding, also conducted some civic action with the team from the Bde S5 coming out to a large Montagnard Village made up mostly of old people.

Company C moved back into Catecka today. They took over the perimeter security from a company from the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry, which went out to the Dew Line after the mortar attack on their battalion last night.

Company A continued a company size patrol in the southern part of the AO with negative results.

 

13 SEPTEMBER 1966 – with only two companies in the field, the Golden Dragons continued to thoroughly cover their assigned area of operations.

Captain Richard H Beal, our Battalion S-2 officer, arranged for a Civil Affairs Team and a Psych. Warefare Team to come out to help us deal with the numerous Montagnard villages in the area. At 1000 hours these two teams arrived and Captain Beal took them to a small village just to the west of the battalion’s LZ.

The village, made up of about 60 people, was secured by part of the 1st Platoon of Company B under the command of Sgt Pickett. When the CA team and the Psych. Warefare Team came they then handed out some food, gave some medical treatment and questioned the villagers concerning any VC activity in the area. They learned that there were PAVN in the area before the Dragons arrived in the area. The villagers could not give any specific time frame however. The final results of our work with the villagers was that they were persuaded to resettle closer to Plei Me so as to receive better protection from friendly forces located at Plei Me.

Company A continued to patrol in the southern part of the AO. They found a village in which the CA Team could have been used. The CA team had already returned to Catecka by this time and was not available. It was laid on for them to come out the following day.

 

14 SEPTEMBER 1966 – today the Golden Dragons continued to work in AO 30. Company A had a day of rest while Company B sent out platoon size patrols to the northwest.

Company A used the two teams sent out by the Brigade S-5 in a village about 300 meters from their LZ. One team was the Civil Affairs team and the other a Combat Artists Team. Due to the bad weather and another battalion’s move the Combat Artist Team was forced to spend the night with Company A.

The Recon Platoon had the most action today. They stumbled upon all sorts of signs that seemed to point to a possible VC squad in the area. They found freshly slaughtered pigs and fresh footprints as well as arrows pointing out trails and bridges. They set up an ambush position as darkness set in.

Company B’s 1st platoon under the command of Lt. Guidry searched a small village which seemed to be inhabited by VC sympathizers. One woman stated that her husband was a VC. The 1st platoon set up in an ambush to try and catch any VC that might try to return to the village.

On the administrative side the battalion continued to press for a large percent of participation in the coming elections back home. It speaks well for the battalion that the men can find time to vote while still fighting "Charlies". As Lt. Colonel Procter said, "That is what we are here fighting for – so that free men around the world can exercise the right to vote".

 

15 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the action in the Golden Dragons’ Battalion was highlighted today with the capture of 9 VMCS by Company B. The 1st platoon under Lt. M. Guidry located a village about 3000 meters west of LZ 30B. Captain R. Ware, Company B commander, moved out to check the village with two squads from his 3rd platoon and a Montagnard interpreter from Plei Me. This interpreter proved to be the deciding factor when he took one of the villagers and pretended to shoot him out of the sight of the rest of the villagers. This loosened their tongues and we discovered that they all had worked for the VC sometime from 1 month to one year ago. The 9 VMCS were taken back to the rear.

Company A started to patrol into an area southwest of AO13 with their Task Force Alpha. They found nothing. At 1715 hours a combat assault was conducted by the 1st platoon of Company A and the Security platoon which has replaced one of Company A’s regular platoon. It took place in the far southwest corner of AO 13 and both platoons conducted search and clear operations.

On the administrative side, Captain Richard Cacioppe paid the Forward Command Group a visit and registered everyone who was eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Also Captain Ora L. Boss returned to Base Camp to prepare (shower, shave, shine his shoes and change uniform) for his RA board scheduled for tomorrow.

 

16 SEPTEMBER 1966 – today was another good day for the Dragons. There was a close ground fog until about 0900 hours, which lifted to show blue sky with broken clouds.

Company A’s Task Force Army which was lifted into position late yesterday started to clear it’s area as it patrolled east with approx. 47 men. They found one abandoned village which looked to have been occupied about 10 days earlier. They closed into their LZ 30X at approx. 1730 hours.

Company B had 2 platoons on patrol. The 2nd platoon went south approx. 4000 meters where they destroyed some old bunkers and spider holes. The 3rd platoon, which made no contact on their night ambush continued to patrol. They picked up 3 VMCS’s at a bridge crossing around noon. One, according to our Montagnard interpreter, fought at the battle of Plei Me last year with the PAVN.

All the companies closed in for the night in anticipation of the proposed move to AO 13 by they battalion tomorrow.

 

17 SEPTEMBER 1966 – after a little rain, the day dawned bright and clear, a good day for the Golden Dragons’ move from AO 30 to AO 13.

The move was initiated at 0930 with Company A moving into an LZ secured by a platoon of the 69th Armory from Due Co. The Recon platoon remained at LZ 30B as security for the Artillery, but with the arrival of 3 Chinooks ("Shrimp boats") the artillery was clear of the LZ before Company B had departed. All elements closed into LZ 13A by 1250 hours – just in time for a thundershower.

Company C was delayed by this change in weather and did not get their lift going until 1320 hours. They then had a long hike uphill to location ZA 065350 where they spent the night. Thanks to a helpful C&C pilot their mail and water was dropped in at 1830 hours. It was literally "dropped" since the trees were approx. 20 feet high in the proposed LZ. Company C will clear it for future use.

Company C conducted some civil affairs work in a Montagnard village seen on the next hill, about 800 meters from the LZ. Medical treatment and "goodies" were handed out and the village chief was invited to dinner with Colonel Procter. Rice was sent out to go with the steaks for dinner; and of course, the chief brought his rice wine to go with the meal. Those who were there were Col. Procter, Major Hoyt, Captain Boss, Capt. Aragaki, Lt. Walters, and the two interpreters.

 

18 SEPTEMBER 1966 – this was the first full day of operations in the new AO. Company A split into its usual two task forces while Company C sent platoon size patrols out to cover the high ground to their northwest.

Back at LZ 13A, Company A received another visit from the villagers who were entertained the night before. The chief had a gift of his own when he turned in 10 of his villagers at VMC. He said that these villagers were working for the VC, but got tired of it and wanted to give up.

Company C spent a great deal of the day clearing an LZ on top of the mountain on which they were located. In future operations in this area, the elements could be lifted to the top and work down instead of having to face the long climb up.

Also of note today was the addition of two platoons from the Regional Forces located at the Oasis. One platoon waked up the mountain and closed into Company C’s LZ late in the afternoon. The other platoon trucked into LZ 13A early this morning and were incorporated into the perimeter.

 

19 SEPTEMBER 1966 – the morning was bright and clear after the first dry night in about a week. It was a day made to order for "Daddy Dragon’s" birthday. Captain Richard Cacioppe brought out a birthday cake for Lt. Colonel Procter and at night Captain Boss presented Lt. Col. Procter with a Montagnard machete from the "PAVN Hunters".

Tactically, Company A’s Task Force PAVN Hunter continued to patrol and closed into LZ 13A at 1600 hours. They made negative contact except for searing out a village called Plei Yt where they found nothing.

Company C moved on two axes up to the northeastern corner of AO 13. They also made negative contact except for the searching of a Montagnard village.

` Of note, was Colonel Procter’s decision to have the Golden Dragon’s sponsor the village of Plei Yt. This means that medical assistance as well as clothes, food, and sanitation would be provided. The aim was to help the villagers help themselves. They had been used by the VC as laborers and they told the Colonel that they were tired of such treatment. By sponsoring the village, the Golden Dragons would also provide assistance and protection should the VC return. The excess from the evening meal was given to the village as a step in the right direction.

The night was lit by the friendly glow of fires from the village next door. The Montagnards, fearful and shy, had not lit fires when the Dragons first moved into the area. But the friendly, generous Americans and their obvious desire to help had impressed the villagers. They became more and more friendly and relaxed until their lives became routine again.

GOLDEN DRAGONS ADOPT PLEI YT

PLEIKU, RVN – The 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry (GOLDEN DRAGONS) has adopted the Montagnard village of PLEI YT, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

When the "Golden Dragons" moved into an area of operations near the village, Lieutenant Colonel Gilbert Procter, Jr., Battalion Commander, decided it would be a good idea to show the villagers that the "Golden Dragons" were better friends than the Viet Cong. For many months the VC had stolen the villagers’ rice and anything else of value.

Col. Procter called a conference with Major Joseph Hoyt, battalion operations officer; Captain Richard. H. Beal, battalion intelligence officer; Captain Michael Sparago, battalion surgeon; and Major Michael Filip, 3rd Brigade Catholic Chaplain. They discussed a civil affairs program to help the villagers.

The village chief was contacted and asked what his people needed to help them improve their village and living conditions.

The chief tld them that the village needed an adequate fresh water system. The villagers were in the process of hauling sand for a purification system, but the project was slow going because the sand had to be carried in small baskets on their backs.

B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 9th Artillery, volunteered their ľ ton truck for hauling the sand. The villagers pitched in and filled in the swampy area beside their water point. They also constructed a six foot wide footbridge.

Chaplain Filip arrived one morning with several boxes of clothes, soap and other useful items, which were distributed in the village.

Captain Beal mixed a large vat of strawberry and cherry flavored Kool-Aid for the villagers. He got several weird looks, but the villagers soon discovered the strange mix tasted good.

While the clothing and soap were being passed out, Doctor Sparago and PFC Kenneth Williams, a medic from the 1/14th, Headquarters and Headquarters company, set up an aid line to examine and treat the sick.

Before the group departed the village, Captain Beal asked the interpreter to find out what else the village needed.

It was disclosed they need food and hand tools. "Doc" Sparago said he knew where these items could be procured, and he set off for sector headquarters in Pleiku.

He returned a few hours later with several 100-pound bags of wheat, three rolls of blanket material, several cases of soybean oil, and a large bundle of hand tools; including axes, hatchets, saws, chisels, files, hammers and several other useful items.

The next morning, Col. Procter, Major Hoyt, Captain Sparago and Captain Beal presented the village chief with the items. The chief was really delighted and expressed his appreciation with a big smile and a hearty handshake.

Everyday a team of medics treated the villagers and the effects were beginning to show. The soap helped cure sores and the other medications cleared up numerous other infections.

The day before the "Golden Dragons" prepared to move to another landing zone a sign was placed at the entrance of Plei Yt – "Friends of the 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry.

 

20 SEPTEMBER 1966 – Today dawned bright and clear with no ground fog or overcast. It forecasted of better things to come with the end of the rainy monsoon season. The Golden Dragons took full advantage of this change in weather with Company B conducting a helicopter assault into AO 22 at 0630 hours. This was an example of the way the 1/14 will operate with the coming of the dry season. The men could hardly believe the rainy season had finally come to an end.

Reacting to intelligence information from Due Co, Company A’s "PAVN Hunters" move west with the aid of the 69th Armor into AO 12 and then on foot to a village reported to be unfriendly. Two scout dogs, new arrivals to the battalion aided in the search of the village. Nothing significant could be located in the village.

Company C continued to move south and west with Task Force Smoke and Task Force Fire. They found nothing of value and remained in the area for the night.

The S-5 effort received a good workout during the day. The Recon platoon took a Civil Affairs Team in to the village that Company A entered yesterday. Then the team went into the Golden Dragons’ village and conducted more of their civic action.

The Dai Ui from District near Oasis came up at 1200 hours. He was accompanied by Major McCleince and entered the village with Colonel Procter and Major Hoyt to pledge his support to the village chief.

Company B upped its VMCS count be training in 5 more VMCS from the village complex they entered that morning.

 

21 SEPTEMBER 1966 – This day began with an implied promise of the end of the rainy season and held up to its promise throughout the day. Lt. Colonel Procter, Major Hoyt, SP/4 Johnnie Collins and "Sky King" went on their morning mile run for the second day in a row. There were a few startled looks thrown their way, to say the least.

Company A send out its Task Force Alpha to the sound and they found a large bunker complex about 1300. The Engineer squad, headed by Sgt. Garcia, was flown in and they did a thorough job of destroying the 110 bunkers found.

Company C devoted the morning to the joining its two task forces, Fire and Smoke. Company C then closed into LZ 13A at 1630 in the afternoon.

The "Golden Dragons" village today received more aid as Father Filip brought assorted clothes, soap, and medical supplies into the village. Doc Sparago, the Battalion Surgeon, also went into the village to hold sick call.

 

22 SEPTEMBER 1966 – The morning was cold and dreary. Although very little rain fell, the sporadic drizzle and brisk wind even discouraged the Colonel on his morning run.

The new "Lassie" Team was a constant source of amusement to the Battalion. Before the arrival of the team, nobody seemed to know what the "Lassie" Team was. In one instance, Captain Aragaki, out Artillery Liaison Officer, was asked by an RTO in Company C "What is a Lima Team?" Captain Aragaki came back with "Lima" as in Lassie". When the RTO again asked for further elaboration Captain Aragaki finally got the meaning across with "Would you believe; WOOF WOOF?" The dog teams worked out extremely well. Sgt. Castle, the dogs’ platoon Sgt., in his briefing on the dogs capabilities, stated that they would be helpful in finding punji stakes and other booby traps. Today we found this only too true when Sgt. Castle’s dog "Turk" found an old punji stake ---- in his right leg.
 

"Turk" (scout dog) and his Purple Heart

Company C spent the day in rest. Company A’s TF Army moved out of 13 A early this morning to the south with the mission of joining up with TF Alpha. After the link-up they found very fresh signs which were believed made by approx. 20 men. There were bunkers and positions in the process of being constructed. This complex would conceal up to 250 men when finished. The portion of the bunkers that had been constructed was immediately destroyed.
 


Log Bridge leading to enemy compound


23 SEPTEMBER 1966 – The day became known as visitors day at the Golden Dragons’ Forward CP. It started with a visit by General Walker at 0830 hours to discuss plans for the battalion and also to praise us for accomplishing our mission.

At 1300 hours Major General Forsythe, USARPAC G-3 paid a visit to LZ 13A. He was an old friend of those men who had served under him when he was Asst. Division Commander for Maneuvers back in Hawaii.

Finally out last visitor was General Beach, USARPAC Commander, who arrived at 1400 hours just after Major General Forsythe left. Lt. Colonel Procter had gone to the village to hand out some clothes and wheat. The visit let to a little unplanned exercise for Lt. Col. Procter, who made the 250 yards uphill from the village in record time.

Company A and Company C continued search and destroy operations in AO 13 and 21. Company C sent two platoons out, one to the south and one to the southeast from LZ13A with negative findings.

Company A continued work with two Task Forces in the southwest portion of AO 21. They found fresh bunkers and hooches in the area, some of which were still under construction. They captured one VMCS who was blind. He stated that 10 to 15 of his comrades departed just prior to their arrival. He was evacuated to the "Dragon Village" so he would be cared for.

The battalion’s project of photographing the landing zones most used by the battalion continued.  Captain Richard K. Beal, S-2, working with the battalion’s new Polaroid Camera took pictures from the C&C ship of many of the old LZs.

 

24 SEPTEMBER 1966 – During the day, the Golden Dragons continued to search and destroy in the southern portion of AO 13 and continued their mission somewhat into AO12.

Company C and Company A worked together in a hammer and anvil type operation in an area which looked as if it might prove lucrative. Company A’s TF Arm and RT Alpha pushed to the west and north while Company C used its 1st and 3rd platoons in two blocking positions. The operation was completed by 1200 hours, but failed to uncover any enemy findings.

Following this, Company A headed south and came upon about 20 villagers. They rounded them up and sent them into Sector for relocation.

Company C moved back and used a Combat Intelligence Team in a small Montignard village near the highway. The Team turned up 3 VMCSs who were sent back to Brigade for interrogation.

Another important finding during the day was made by the Recon Platoon with its new platoon leader, 1 LT Frank Primmer, formerly from Company B. They captured a confirmed VCP. Name: "Raider" – He has been adopted by the Golden Dragons and relocated at the Forward Command Post. He is posted right at the door to the Command tent where he occasionally emits cries and eats leftover C-Ration crackers. Definition: VCP – Viet Cong Parrot.

 

25 SEPTEMBER 1966 – The day was another relatively quiet one for the "Golden Dragons". The weather held clear and sunny throughout the day.

Company C sent its 3rd platoon to a Montagnard village approx. 8 km west along Route 19. With the Military Intelligence Team, they were able to pick up 8 VMCSs who worked for the VC for 3 years and had just returned to the village. They then returned to LZ 13A.

Company A continued to move in 2 Take Force elements in the southern portion of AO 13. They found a number of bunkers about 2 to 3 months old and a number of huts and hidden villages. Late in the afternoon they came upon a Montagnard girl about 18 to 20 years old and her 5 year old brother and younger sister. The boy ran off and they were unable to find him do they left the girl for the night and planned to pick her up in the morning after the boy returned.

Thanks to Captain Hoon, our Battalion FAC, the Command group ate home made fudge dropped by Captain Hoon from his "Bird Dog". The fudge was compliments of his wife. Captain Hoon had just returned from R&R.

 

26 SEPTEMBER 1966 – Today was one of rest for the Golden Dragons. The day was primarily spent in preparation for the move the following day. Some of the men spent a half-hour or so down at the "Golden Dragon Village" water point washing up. There was the usual shower point audience waiting at the water point during the day.

Company C conducted civil affairs missions in the Montagnard village of Plei N’Gol Le about 6 km to the west. They reported a great need for a doctor and medical supplies for the inhabitants.

Company A spent the entire day with two Engineer squads destroying the numerous bunkers and hooches found in their area over the past few days.

At 1730 hours Lt. Col. Procter had a farewell supper with the village chief and two other villagers. The chief brought with him a former chief of the village who also ate heartily.

 

27 SEPTEMBER 1966 – Using a combination of tanks, trucks and helicopters, the battalion made a move from AOs 13 and 21 to AOs 12 and 20.

The move was initiated with the tanks and 9 trucks going by road from LZ 13A to LZ 20P (YA904276). The Artillery, with 3 tubes, the Command Group, 4.2 Mortar Platoon, and Company A’s Weapon Platoon made the 1st move. Company A with the Security Platoon then moved by chopper into LZ 20P, already secured by the platoon of armor.

The next move cleared LZ 13A with two artillery tubes and Company C. Part way down the Route 19, Company C’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd platoons dismounted vehicles and proceeded by foot to their LZ 19G (YA890250). The Weapons Platoon with Security proceeded on to their LZ to await Company C. This move by Company C on foot proved to be a lot more than was bargained for. Captain Simcox, with the 3rd Platoon did not close into their new LZ until 2300 hours. The terrain was extremely dense and the night moved was a challenge that was met by the men of Charlie Company. The night was quiet.

 

28 SEPTEMBER 1966 – In the morning Company B closed into their LZ 20R after coming out by convoy from Catacka.

Company A started the day off by making a number of Battalion staff members honorary members of ALPHA ARMY. These members were: Major Joseph Hoyt, SFC James Davis, M/Sgt. George Higgins, SFC Edmond Blum, Captain Robert Silvola, and Captain "Doc" Sparago. Company A then moved out with Task Force PAVN Hunters composed of the 1sst, 2nd and 3rd platoons to the north for a 2 to 3 day patrol in the mountains of this area.

The "Golden Dragons" also had two visitors: Brig. General terry arrived at 1000 hours to check on the communications network. The commo officer, Captain Bobbie Chavis seemed to have everything in order. Major General Rosson Chief of Staff MACV, visited at 1415 hours and walked throughout the area commenting on Artillery and perimeter positions.

 

29 SEPTEMBER 1966 – The day was a bury one for the Dragons. There were three enemy contacts made and the results raised their enemy KIA count by four.

Company B made the first enemy contact at Loc YA960344 when they spotted 2 VC walking along a trail from the southwest. Company B’s 3rd platoon headed by Lt. Mike Fawks fired upon them and wounded one. They fled to the north with the 3rd platoon in hot pursuit. Aid was afforded them in the form of two L-19s and the platoons attack dog. The results of the encounter were negative except for the fact that one man was definitely wounded.

Company A with Captain Boss and three platoons made the next contact when they walked right into a VC as they were cutting through the brush. The "point" man was taken under fire by the VC. He was unable to return fire because he was without his weapon except for the machete he was using. The results of the contact was negative. The PAVN Hunters were unable to return the enemy’s fire as he made off "without delay".

The final contact of the day was made again by Lt. Fawks’ 2nd platoon from Company B. While setting up an ambush near the village of Plei Rath Lan, the 2nd platoon was surprised by an individual moving from South to North. He was taken under fire but escaped. Then at 1940 hours 5 individuals walked into the ambush from the north. The ambush was sprung resulting in 4 VC KIA. One was believed to be wounded but escaped. Also two more tried to come in behind the ambush from the northeast. They wee fired on but there were negative results. The 4 KIA were wearing fatigues and Ho Chi Minh sandals.

Company C sent two platoons out on patrol resulting in negative results. During the night, no enemy activity was reported.

 

30 SEPTEMBER 1966 – Today was a busy day. The day started bright and early with Company B’s 1st Platoon lifting in to a LZ near a village closed to the Battalion’s northern boundary. They were in by 0630 hours and led search and clear operations in the village. They took 8 VMCS out by 0800 hours. Company B’s 2nd platoon moved from their ambush location lasts night to the nearby village and searched and cleared it by 1000 hours. They also took 4 VMCS back for questioning.

Company C sent their 3rd platoon out on a two-day mission to the south of Due Co. They found nothing of significance and spent the night in this area.

Company A left a 6-man OP at the first LZ they discovered, while the remainder of TF PAVN Hunters moved south from the village of PLEI PAN LAN. Utilizing his three platoons, Captain Boss searched both sides of the river with negative results. Company A did not close into a LZ until 1730 and then no resupply choppers became available until after darkness. Consequently the PAVN Hunters grew even leaner and meaner than they were before.


OCTOBER 1966

TIMELINE: 1966

TIMELINE: VIETNAM