ENEMY'S MISTAKE COSTS TWO MEN FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR APRIL 2, 1971.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
By SP4 Kenneth Perry
FSB 4-11, (11th Inf. Bde. IO) — Hard-hitting 11th Inf. Bde. Jungle Warriors and a district rifle platoon from Quang Ngai recently pushed through rugged mountain terrain at night and assaulted an enemy basecamp and killed three VC and captured weapons and supplies south of FSB 4-11.
A squad leader from Alpha Co., 3rd Bn., 1st Inf., Sgt. Chester Roney of Flint, Mich. told of moving over two kilometers into a valley before finding a suitable rallying point for the raid.
"At this point, the Vietnamese platoon leader divided his unit into two, eight-man teams," Roney said. "While he and one RTO remained with my squad, the teams continued towards the base camp."
At daybreak, the assault elements hit the camp, killing three defenders and capturing three automatic weapons and two carbines. Fighting intensified as the surprised VC reacted with a large force.
"The platoon leader informed that his people were in heavy contact with over 30 personnel and were in danger of being cut off," related Roney. A heavy overcast prevented use of gunships, so Roney said he called in artillery and adjusted the fire on the mountainside, hoping to release the endangered teams.
The artillery diversion had worked, and by the time the two elements returned to Roney's position, the remainder of Alpha and two platoons of Bravo Co. had reinforced the squad.
In a sweep of the contact area, the units found three VC KIA, one WIA, one AK-47, assorted ammunition, four hand grenades, approximately 1,000 pounds of polished rice, enough clothing for 50 people, and 15-20 pounds of medical supplies.
The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal purchase from Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines, with an assist from Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa.