1500 Local Time
16 July 1966
Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. Yesterday they were helo'ed into the area, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo's commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded. At approximately 2015 the NVA launched a full-scale assault on Kilo Company's hilltop, which the Marines threw back owing to some brutal close-in fighting buttressed by supporting fires, with both sides suffering significant casualties.
The Marines of Kilo Company pried themselves out of their holes with the sunrise, and were greeted with an NVA mortar barrage for their efforts. It didn't last long and there were few casualties, so the rifle company got itself in order and not long after was back on the move, proving south towards the Ngan River. There was good news in that 2/4 had been told to hustle up and move west with all practical speed in order to effect a linkup with 3/4, owing to the tough resistance the Marines were running into, and radio traffic reported that 2/4 arrived at LZ Crowe* at approximately 1400. So there was a strong base behind Kilo Company, to the north, but it kind of left Kilo as the lone, dangling appendage to the south, still under orders to find and force a crossing to the south side of the Ngan River.
Needless to say the Marines were none too happy to be flung out so far to the south, without support, to an area they'd already gotten a good bloodying in, but order are orders, and so we catch up with Sergeant Little and his squad about to make another attempt to cross the Ngan River.
*With three helos already grounded there from damage caused by collisions, then the NVA shot down a Marine CH-46 yesterday evening, the LZ Crowe area was now being referred to as "Helicopter Valley."
The Marines are from Jimmi's Flashpoint Minis.
The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army troops are from Martin's Peter Pig.
1st Row, Squad Command Section (left to right): Sergeant Little, LCpl Jackson (RTO), and Doc Eakle (Corpsman)
2nd Row, 1st Fireteam (left to right): Cpl Benavides, Pvt Connor, and Pvt McCaffrey (Grenadier)
3rd Row, 2nd Fireteam (left to right): LCpl Danny Thomas, Pvt Stidham, and LCpl Correa
4th Row, 3rd Fireteam (left to right): LCpl Nikki Jacobs and Pvt Higgins, and then they picked up Pvt Holland from the attached machine gun team
*I gotta admit, while the Marines are not outta the woods yet, they're lives have been made much easier by their deadly shootin' dice, which has accounted for eight NVA in four rounds of fire (seven in three rounds of fire), which is very odd for KR-16, definitely some hot dice. Ergo...
Danny looked over at Correa, "holy crap man, that's some hellacious shootin' there, partner!" Correa didn't say anything, just grinned back.
*I'm telling you, I don't know what's going on with these dice, but I swear I'm not cheating. And I can tell you that Correa is quite the marksman, you will see something like this occur in Fight #24.
But then it hits him; Danny looks around, "where's Nik?"
"Hang on, Danny. Are you okay, Holland?" Rob hollered. "Yes, Sergeant, I'm okay, working on getting my gun back into action," replied Holland. "Good, you just hold tight, keep an eye out to your right, and do not fire to your left, we're coming back to you!"
*I'm telling you, the Marines are only hitting on 5+, and NVA in cover are saving on 4+, but they're still dropping like flies...
The platoon dashed up Hill 212, reporting they found seven dead NVA but no live ones, and by the time they got back down the hill the rest of Kilo Company had been engaged and was falling back, so the squad grabbed their wounded and joined them on the hump back to their previous night defensive position.
And on a side note, once the squad got back to Da Nang, Doc Eakle was awarded the Bronze Star w/V for his heroics in dashing forward under fire to pull Danny and Stidham out of the line of fire.