Got the Vietnam figures painted up yesterday, let's get it on! It's September 25, 1967, the Brigade has been on the ground in the 'Nam for four whole days and has troops out on patrol. Someone up high is looking at for them, so the squad is sent east along Highway 20 (made up) instead of west, where all the recent contact has been. SSgt Bleier is able to muster a full complement of troops, and so all eleven men are on the move.
The squad has been in a Ranger file coming down Hwy 20, but up ahead it opens up for a bunch of rice paddies and the village of Ap Bac 14. SSgt Bleier gives the hand signal and Sgt Greene begins fanning fireteam 1 out into skirmish line to the north of the Hwy, while Sgt Russell continues with fireteam 2 down Hwy 1. SSgt Bleier is standing in the road, kind of scratching his head at the sight of all the locals didi mau-ing out of the area. It doesn't take him but a second to realize this coincides with his making a tactical error, a rookie mistake, 'getting caught with both feet in the air." SSgt Bleier's squad has hit a likely ambush site and has both of his fireteams on the move in the open... He had just opened his mouth to holler when the first shots rang out...
Everyone has acted, so the civvies depart the board and the mortars start landing...
Bleier was pissed and sad and scared and elated and frustrated, all at the same time. His first taste of combat didn't go as planned, and he and his men suffered for it. To be honest, I wish I'd have started the withdrawal sooner than I did, and in reality it was sort of force on me when Greene went down on the left and Russell decided to flee on the right..
Sgt Greene - Three rounds in the chest, Killed in Action
Spec4 Harris - 7.62mm round through arm, Evac to Battalion Aid Station, out for 9 days
PFC Swan - 7.62mm round through calf, Evac to BAS, out for 6 days
PFC Blount - 7.62mm round in foot, Light duty for 5 days
Pvt Holmes - 7.62mm round in hand, Light duty for 3 days
SSgt Bleier - 7.62mm round grazed neck, Light duty for 1 day
Sgt Russell - Numerous 50mm mortar fragment wounds, Fit for duty. Could have taken light duty, but really ashamed at bugging out and wanted to get back to the squad.
Pvt Dwight "Doc" White was recommended for the Bronze Star for making two trips into the fireswept rice paddy to secure Sgt Greene and Spec4 Harris.
The squad is pissed and looking for payback...