WEAPONS CACHE CAPTURED BY ELEMENT OF 11TH BDE., LARGEST IN RECENT YEARS FROM THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR MAY 21, 1971.
Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines
By 1LT John Peterson
FSB 4-11, (11th Inf. Bde. IO) — One of the largest weapons caches in Quang Ngai Province in recent years was captured by an element of the 11th Infantry Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division, in the southern end of Da Son Valley, some eight miles west of Quang Ngai City.
The find included nine crew-served weapons, consisting of three 60mm mortar tubes complete with two extra tripods, three .50 caliber machine guns with tripods, three 57mm recoilless rifles, 68 machine guns and automatic weapons of varying origin, 27 semi-automatic rifles and 19 bolt-action rifles. The majority of the weapons were serviceable and boxes found at the site contained spare parts.
The large cache was discovered by Private First Class Winston S. Jordan (Elberton, Ga.), the pointman, who was working with the weapons platoon and command element of Delta Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry [should be 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry]. The platoon was cutting a trail down a steep and rugged mountainside when Jordan spotted a hootch with tin roof.
"I first saw a 57mm recoilless rifle and called the other to help me check it out," Jordan said.
For the next several hours the men cut a trail and with the help of the First Platoon formed a chain to a landing zone in the valley below. Helicopters extracted the weapons to this support base.
The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal donation by Wayne G. Finkral, former CSM for the 1/52nd Inf. Bn., then later the 198th Infantry Bde.