July 1970 From R. Klinsky’s war dairy:
1 July (Skee made 2 digit midget)
3rd herd moved to Hai Lang w/ 1st platoon joining us later. 3 companies of NVA supposed to be in the area. (what the heck were we…bait???)
Tingo shot his big toe almost off w/ a 60. Using the Cav and 2 platoons of 1/77 as a blocking force, the ARVN’s waxed 145 NVA.
Sgt Debos went out to pick up a gangbang of 4 claymores. Gooks stole 3 and booby trapped the 4th. It went off when he was about 20 ft from it. Messed up his side, legs and chest pretty bad.
Moved toward Khe San way west in the Mountains not far from Laos with 3/5 Cav, 1/61, 1/77, 4/12, 175’s, 155’s, aid station, dozers, & commo (most of Quang Tri, I think), to set up a new firebase. Mine roller 48 tank hit major mine, knocked it off the road and CBL’d it. 4/12 command track hit mine, CBL. Broken wrist and bruises worst injuries.
As the entry above shows, the “artillery raid” to FB Vandergrift was a big operation.[see above Summer 1970]This was the first of two such operations in which we participated in the summer of ’70. The troop was the advance guard for the whole shebang. Shortly after we passed the Rockpile, we came to a stream crossing on route 9 (at 16deg. 45’ 58.3” N, 106deg. 51’ 15.7” E). Since we had an engineer team with us, I had them check the ford with their mine-detectors – it came out clear, so we proceeded through the ford. Two Sheridans crossed the ford ahead of the command track. As the command track crossed, the mine detonated (must have been command-detonated). It went off under the right-side track, so the vehicle, besides flying into the air, dumped me, Greg Beining, LT Malm, and whoever else was in the track off on the left side. We landed stacked like cord-wood, and I recall looking back up at the track as it fell back to earth on its side, and thinking, “Man, I hope that doesn’t land on our legs.” It didn’t. Maintenance/recovery took care of evacuating the vehicle; we continued the mission on down the road to Vandergrift. My “trophy” from this incident was a huge and persistent bruise on my left butt-cheek. I didn’t do much sitting down for several days. On thinking about this later, I was pretty pissed that the engineers did not detect the mine during their sweep of the ford. [Bob Richards]
24 hit mine while bookin’. Went down embankment and flipped over. 1, and possibly 3 broken legs (I assume not all on the same guy). New firebase is shaping up.
Convoy from Vandergrift to Cam Lo got ambushed. RPG’s and auto fire. 1 medivac’d – not bad. On our way back from Cam Lo, 1/61 put out a dismount sweep to check the ambush area. Got fragged by a gook. 1 KIA, 1 WIA. Gook got dead too.
Dude from 1/61 built his fire over an old M16 mag which exploded and put shrapnel in his face. Medivac’d.
1/61 ambushed 1/77’s scouts! No one hurt. Dumb shits!!!
25 July Pedro
My claymore ambush blew at 6AM. Blew 1 gook into a tree. Later found 2 rucks. 9PM, 1/77 security platoon killed a gook w/ claymore ambush