Here's the next fight, our first action against NVA regulars in the hill country near the Cambodian border. Here's the situation: following the fight at Nam Pla 6, the battalion continued to focus most of its attention north of Dak To, seeking out the Viet Cong. It's October 9, 1967, and the squad (minus SSgt Bleier, who's recovering in Okinawa, and Pvt Greenwood, still at BAS) is scheduled to conduct another patrol to the north, trying to figure out where the VC went after being run out of Ap Bac and Nam Pla. However, Brigade called out with a FragO and the squad was diverted west. It seems one of the Division's Hueys went down about 6 klicks away, near Hill 98. A Bird Dog in the area gave it a look, doesn't look like there are any survivors, so the squad is just going out to destroy equipment and recover our folks.
The platoon had followed the trail network west and then north, and was now in the process of cutting back east to search the area around Hill 98.
The waterbull runs off the NW corner, never to be heard from again.
The last remaining NVA, lightly wounded up near the downed UH-1, passes his test and runs off his base edge. The NVA lost four men (and a water buffalo), while three got away, though one was lightly wounded.
The fight went very well, the squad is performing like a well-oiled machine and conducting itself (mostly, not counting Harris) as seasoned vets that have 'grown up' very quickly under fire. They accomplished their mission and gave the NVA, heretofore not known to be operating on this side of the border, a quick bloody nose. But Banaszak can't help but ponder on how lucky they were: once again, Holmes proves his worth as a pointman, but if that knucklhead with the buffalo hadn't stumbled into us, how might things have gone? Or if the NVA in the bunker had been a bit more vigilant (AKA, rolled better spotting dice), or if that RPG had put the M-60 team down, instead of missing by a couple yards?
Speaking of the M-60 team, someone needs to talk to Harris about his yellow streak... Blount took a round through his trap and will be spending the next 12 days in the hospital at China Beach.
Hope you had a good time, I sure did.