Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

LZ BRONCO — In a recent day-long battle six miles west of here, an old fallow rice paddy became the graveyard for 15 NVA soldiers who fell under an onslaught from soldiers of the 11th Inf. Bde.

Soldiers of D Co., 3rd Bn., 1st Inf., had been on search and clear operations in the area for several days when an early morning mortar attack on their night laager position triggered a counterattack.

Clash With Enemy

Leaving their positions, D Co. moved out in search of the enemy, sweeping through hedgerows and dense brush, until they emerged into an open field where they met fierce resistance.

CPT John S. Walker (Wakefield, R.I.), battalion operations S-3, described what immediately confronted the company. "The NVA were in a trenchline between two open fields with bamboo around the trench. They were equipped with a machinegun, an RPG-7, AK-47s, an AK-50, and they weren't sparing their ammunition!

With nothing but the stumps for cover, the company moved forward on line until forced to halt as the enemy beat out a steady tattoo of automatic weapons fire.


"I was within 10 feet of that bamboo thicket and I still couldn't locate their positions," recalled PFC James A. Skapara (Boston). "Then all of a sudden, a camouflaged trap door to a spider hole popped open, a burst was fired–and down went the lid."

Meanwhile, B Co, moved west, forming a cordon around the well-entrenched enemy. Valuable assistance came from the air as Army helicopters from the 174th Aslt. Hel. Co., and B Co., 123rd Avn. Bn., made repeated strafing runs on the enemy position.

Action began picking up as two members of a B Co. machinegun team, Chris Osgood (Huntington Beach, Calif.), and PFC *RICHARD OLSON* (Minneapolis), moved far forward of the main element and laid down deadly suppressive fire. SP4 David Schoolous, a squad leader, made repeated dashes to the enemy positions, silencing them with hand grenades, one by one, as other members of the company gave him covering fire.

Richard Olson was killed-in-action on August 8, 1969.

The copy of this document was purchased from the Military History Institute at Carlisle Barracks, PA by Leslie Hines with an assist from Iowa Congressman Grassley.