Quang Tri base camp occupied
Quang Tri base camp occupied
4/12 Cav assigned to guard road between Quang Tri and Dong Ha
The following is from Keith Short of C 1/11th Infantry:
On 6 Aug 1968, A/4-12 Cav replaced C/1-11 Infantry in a place called “Red.” Red appears to be the area around FSB Pedro area to the north of the Thach Han River. It begins at 13:41 hours when A/4-12 Cav start calling in their locations at check points #1, #7, #23, #25, #50 and #70. I’m assuming these were places were east of FSB Pedro. At 15:59 hours the location of A/4-12 is at YD258526, some 4300 meters north of Pedro. At 12:59 hours, 7 Aug 68, an A/4-12 Cav location is at YD232477 just off Rte. 557 on a little knob about 1900 meters SWW of Pedro. At 13:45 hours there is an A/4-12 Platoon at YD231472. At 14:04 hours 1/A/4-12 at YD2314566 found a spider hole they threw CS in and then destroyed it with a track (no enemy found). At 14:28 1/A/4-12 was at YD227466. At 14:28 1/A/4-12 was at YD222474 and at 16:10 hours they’re at YD231481. At 17:59 hours A/4-12 Cav reports LP’s at YD285501, YD291503 and YD293500. At 22:01 hours the CO of A/4-12 was given orders to report to QTMB NLT at 11:00 hours for a meeting. On 8 Aug 1968 at 16:58 hours A/4-12 Cav sends in their ambush locations at YD278482, LP at YD286501, a patrol from YD287502 to YD272489 to YD274482 (an area 4500 meters NE of FSB Pedro). At 21:00 hours to 21:50 hours A/4-12 reported they were shooting illumination after hear noises from 2x persons running at them at YD284501 (this position is west of the ammo dumps at Red Devil). On 10 August 1968 at 11:40 hours the 1/11 Daily Journal entry reads: Change of Task Organization (Loss of A/4-12) will be effective 101600 11 Aug 68.
[End of Short’s insert]
Mine (I would assume – and we all know what assume spells – 1st platoon) first time took place up on the DMZ; we had been doing a sweep all morning. We took a lunch break, all the tracks were spread out in a line. I was sitting out on the right front fender of A16, McNeil and Willie P were up top and Troy was in the drivers hatch. What followed seemed to happen in slow motion (but it took place in seconds) out front and to the right of the tank the ground started erupting (it was incoming mortar rounds) McNeil yells incoming about the same time, being wet behind the ears I was amazed by it all. In the next moment it’s assholes and elbows, with c-rats flying through the air. Being the gunner I had to get in fast so the rest could get in; while this is going on Troy has the Tank going backwards. The grass was so tall unless you were in the TC hatch you could not see shit. The next thing you know we have back off into an old B52 bomb crater, trust me you can lose a tank in one of them, and threw a track as we hit bottom. The rest of the platoon had pulled back, we are sitting at the bottom of the crater at an angle so it is out with side arms (grease gun / 45 pistol ha-ha) lucky nothing else came of the incoming. An M88 was sent up to pull us out of the crater; they hook onto one hook and pull us out while doing this the other track comes off. So here we sit one large visible non-mobile bunker. The rest of the platoon is covering us from a distance. I do not remember how long it took to get the tracks back on but I would think we would have been inspired. Were we lucky, someone watching over us, or what? Photographs of M88 and crewman
From Lt. William G. McShane 3rd Platoon 1968-69
August 6 Spent a week in the hospital in Da Nang Legs, hands, feet, lips whole body swells up so much I must walk on heels of my feet to get around. Learn what it’s like to get malaria from the men in my ward and swear if I get out of this place and back to my men I will force feed malaria pills to them for the rest of the year. The sweats and cold chills they had under ice water rubber blankets made a believer out of me. I didn’t have it and didn’t know what I had until four months ago (2002). Story to be told at the reunion under the right circumstances. Remember after returning to the platoon, one of my men getting a wound, bite or irritation, on the rear of his calf. A few days later it ate its way through to the front of his calf without touching either side. Just came out the front. Sent him to the doc and it was the last I saw of him.
While I am in the hospital Sgt. Jim Platt gets the platoon up to strength and combat ready.
August 15 Out of the hospital, no ticket home. Guy in another platoon shot a friend in the arm with a 45. We are doing road duty. Keeping open the road between Quang Tri and Dong Ha. Wrote home and I quote ” I know that I have got the best platoon over here and I think my men are beginning to think the same way also. It is not a feeling of over confidence either; it is just a feeling of pride among everyone.” Credit one Platoon Sergeant, Jim Platt.
August 18 Took six incoming rounds, from where or where I don’t know? Close to DMZ. August 21 Fire fight up North. Air strike. “I think the mail is getting fouled up again. It isn’t coming in regularly. A few of my men haven’t gotten mail from their wives for 8 days when they were getting it everyday.”
August 24 Got ahold of the clerks typewriter to write home. We were 1500 meters from the DMZ. Second platoon took three incoming when leaving.
August 24 – Sept 8 References to being in base camp at Dong Ha. Vaguely remember calling Dong Ha base camp for a while. Think our area was on south of the tarmac. Took 50 incoming rounds and spent a few hours in a trench. Came out of the trench and saw Sgt Spybuck pop his head up. He was white. Hard to do for a 201 pound Cherokee. I remember him as being just one big man with coal black hair. He was Indian but I really can’t say what tribe. One night on road duty I fell asleep and my men could not wake me. I was out cold in some kind of stupor. They got worried, call HQ and out came Spybuck, to save the day and me. I seem to remember being held up in the air by Spybuck and him shaking me while holding me with his hands on each of my upper arms as I dangled in front of him. Wake up time! He was Top at that time. Reported we were in a typhoon for three days. Tank sank in a rice paddy up to its turret ring. Assume we got it out.