ALLIES REPEL ATTACK FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR SEPTEMBER 27, 1968.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
LZ BRONCO — A joint effort of the 2nd ARVN Div. and troops from the 11th Inf. Bde. recently spoiled enemy plans to attack and capture Quang Ngai City.
Persistent intelligence reports of a large-scale enemy unit planning an offensive against the provincial capital, and subsequent ARVN contacts in the area brought a quick response from four companies of the 3rd Bn., 1st Inf.
After VC positions were prepared by air strikes and artillery fire, the men of the "Always First" battalion began combat assaults against the enemy. The objective was to secure three strong points along the Tra Khuc River and drive the VC into the ARVNs deployed as a blocking force along the river's north bank.
Mobile Blocking Used
"The ARVN's continually made mobile blocking maneuvers as enemy pull-backs were reported," said CPT Dan Prather, battalion liaison officer to ARVN headquarters.
As 3rd Bn. 1st Inf. companies began their sweep, they came under heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from pockets of enemy resistance which used numerous command detonated mines scattered throughout their well-fortified positions. "We estimated the enemy to be main-force VC unit with NVA advisors," said Battalion Commander LTC Henry I. Lowder. "Even after the concentrated air and artillery strikes the enemy was still dug in when we landed."
Constant Movement Is Key
Constant movement to catch "Charlie" off guard was the key to the operation LTC Lowder explained. "The War Lord" helicopters of the 123rd Avn Bn. deserve great credit for staying on the hot LZs, extracting casualties and carrying out the effective repositioning of the elements," he noted.
"As the battalion approached the enemy-occupied objectives," related SP5 Wayne Marek, operations NCO at the temporary base camp, "C Co., led by CPT James O'Herron, ran into what appeared to be the enemy command post. They encountered heavy small arms fie and more command detonated mines."
422 Enemy Killed
The combined allied operation accounted for 422 enemy killed in six days of fighting. More than 93 small arms and crew-served weapons, numerous mines, grenades, and explosives also were captured.
The enemy threat against Quang Ngai City had been stifled.
An original copy of this document was donated to the Americal Division Veterans Association (ADVA) by LTC Paul Parham who served as Information Officer for the Americal Division.