AMBUSH SQUELCHED FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR JULY 23, 1969.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
LZ BRONCO — Enemy soldiers of the 2nd Regt., 3rd NVA Div. are discovering ambushes directed against 11th Inf. Bde. units comes at a very high price. Twenty-Two NVA died when their recent ambush against A Co., 3rd Bn., 1st Inf. and APCs from E Trp., 1st Cav. was crushed with combined firepower from air strikes, artillery, gunships, and heavy machinegun fire.
Hide in Stream
A Co. and the APCs were on a coordinated sweeping mission west of fire support base Debbie when they were hit by intense fire from a stream bed at the edge of a woodline.
The lead APC moving up a stream bed nearby hit a mine and then took three RPG hits, pinning down cavalrymen. Answering the call for help, four more APCs rushed to the scene while air strikes pounded the communist fortifications.
"It was a well-prepared ambush," noted PFC Bill Mead (Oto, Iowa), "because we put 150 rounds of M-79 fire into the area before we entered. They didn't move a muscle or give themselves away at all."
In describing the initial contact, 1LT Terry Ehrich (Cherokee, Iowa), stated, "I don't know how many of them there were, but they had my 24 men and seven tracks pinned down. We had fire coming in from all directions."
Following raids from Marine Phantom jets and gunships of the Army's 123rd Avn. Bn., the men of A Co. and the APCs pushed forward to root out the remaining enemy troops. As they advanced toward the woodline the bodies of 14 enemy soldiers were found.
The enemy fire, not as intense or as concentrated as before, was crushed by continuing gunship and APC fine as the soldiers overran the enemy positions. Found among the enemy dead were tree AK-47s and three RPG launchers with five rounds of ammo.
The infantrymen made another sweep of the same area the next morning and found the bodies of eight more enemy soldiers, five killed by airstrikes and three by small arms.
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.