Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

11th Inf. Bde.

LZ CORK — The Viet Cong made a big mistake when they tried to kidnap PSG Enrique Perez (Caparra Heights, Puerto Rico) during a recent sapper attack on LZ Cork, a fire support base in the 11th Inf. Bde.'s Operation Vernon Lakes II. Six-foot, 200-pound Perez leads the 1st Plt., A Co., 3rd Bn., 1st Inf.

VC Strike

After checking bunkers on the base's southern perimeter during the early hours of an inky night, Perez returned to his bunker, and shortly afterwards, the VC sappers attacked the LZ with satchel charges, Chicom grenades, and 60mm mortars.

Perez's bunker was open on one end, facing the perimeter, with a poncho over the opening as a curtain.

Just as Perez started to pull the poncho back, he heard a thump and a jarring explosion beside his bunker. Three more times he heard grenades hit the poncho, drop, and then explode.

The sergeant's life had apparently been saved four times by the poncho, which had bounced the grenades back into a depression directly in front of the bunker.

Jumped By VC

Perez waited a few moments after the last explosion, leaped outside, and sprayed a magazine to his front.

While he inserted a new magazine, two VC jumped the hefty sergeant from the sides of his bunker, attempting to drag him down a rainslick hill.

As Perez struggled, all three fell and rolled wildly down the slippery hill to within a few feet of the perimeter wire.

About half way down the hill, Perez lost his weapon, and the struggle turned into a hand-to-hand combat match as he pummeled the VC with his fists.

Struggles Free

When the trio began receiving AK-47 fire over their heads, the husky sergeant broke away from his would be captors and began crawling quickly back up the hill, the VC unwilling or unable to follow.

The next morning it was determined that around 20 VC had penetrated the wire.

As for Perez, it's a night he never will forget, and neither will a couple of black-and-blue VC.

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.