The attack of Sunday, June 14th, 1970
This is the most storied occasion I have ever known of in or out of the military. Everybody had a story, a retelling of this attack & they were all exciting! Wow! What a terrible night! These are some of the things I heard:
- When the shooting started, several NVA were either already over the berm or on it. They had been working their way through the “wire” & were tying up the trip flares with bamboo strips. Someone told me the shooting really started when a trip flare was set off by a sapper.
- A sapper actually made it all the way to the medical bunker, somehow hid himself on top & began sniping at anyone he could. Doc Schramm has mentioned this many times. He also told me his vacant sleeping bunker was hit by an RPG which burned through the sand bags & culvert & exploded inside.
- Several of the bunkers, maybe three(?) were over run by the sappers & were only recaptured later as Echo CO, Cpt Crutcher, firing an M-79 grenade launcher, lead some determined GI’s to get them back. F_ckin’ Outstanding!
- There was a spotlight or two(?) which were mounted on jeeps. Those intrepid individuals of the light crew drove onto the berm with their lights aimed out over the perimeter & turned them on! Many of the grunts & GI’s mentioned this…they said it just rained RPG rockets all aimed at the lights, which couldn’t have lasted 15 seconds, if that. Somehow no one was killed!
- No GI’s were killed that night. Amazing!
- The howitzers dropped their cannon barrels & began firing “canister” rounds over the berm. Canister rounds! Grapeshot! Give ’em a taste of the grapeshot lads!
- Mortars! God Bless the Echo Co. mortar platoon. Buynak has said they started firing illumination rounds early. There was activity & nervous GI’s were calling in. He was on duty in the FDC, Fire Direction & Control. He said Nick was also in the FDC & they were nervously guarding the door, worried they might be a target for the sappers. I have a copy of a roster from May 31, 1970. I’ll see if I can sort out who the “11-charlies” that are on it & post that later. They fired over 1500 high explosive rounds that night, in addition to over 600 illum rounds. Man oh man!
- Doc Coleman was awarded the Silver Star for his bravery that night, but I don’t know any of the details. It would be great if someone could fill us in on that.
- Sadly we learned that the night after the attack some of the NVA got close enough to fire a single recoilless rifle round into the base & killed a sleeping trooper.
As for myself, I was on LZ Kuhn with the rest of Recon. We had our own problems, some of which I related in Defending LZ Kuhn, earlier in this blog. All I can say about this attack is: Beau coup VC! Number 10! No good! Dinky Dau!