PACKS STOP BULLETS FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR DECEMBER 4, 1970.

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines


FSB 4-11 (11th INF BDE IO) — Sergeant Glen A. Wittenborn, Campbell Hill, Ill., didn't mind finding a tube of toothpaste and a smoke grenade broken up in his rucksack after a firefight near Fire Support Base 4-11 recently.

Similarly, his companion's in Company C, 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry of the division's 11th Infantry Brigade also discovered bits and pieces of items in their rucksacks.

Enemy bullets had ripped into their packs during a firefight west of Quang Ngai after the unit had stopped for a break.

First Lieutenant Samuel E. Grashio, Spokane, Wash., said that at first the rounds seemed to strike everywhere, but after the initial burst, the enemy concentrated fire on those who had not gained cover.

After the encounter, Wittenborn traced the path of an AK-47 round through his rucksack to where it finally stopped between his field slippers.

Private First Class George W. Berry, Memphis, Tenn., the platoon's RTO, found a round wedged next to a hand grenade it had pierced in his pack.

The unit's Kit Carson Scout also found two bullet holes in his rucksack.

All three agreed that it was lucky they didn't have time to drop their rucksacks.

Lieutenant Grashio felt luck was with him too. His boot had been grazed by a bullet.