Day by Day Report
April 11- 20, 1970

by Lee Widjeskog

April 11, 1970

0430:  Charlie 2/506 at 347191 starts their move to take FSB Ripcord.  At 0712 it had reached the top without opposition.

0910:  Recon 2/506 at 370181 was engaged by NVA at 100 meters without effect.  ARA were employed without results.

Bravo 2/506 was air lifted to Ripcord along with 326 Engineers and bull dozers.  Defoliant helicopters were deployed around Ripcord.

Alpha 2/506 was lifted to Camp Evans.

Bravo 2/506 cut a LZ at 367184.

A mortar section of 2/506 landed on FSB Ripcord.

Recon 2/506 found a cave at 367184 and destroyed NVA equipment within.

1154: at 366163, 3 Bravo2/501 was engaged by NVA.  Two men were WIA.

1224: 2 Bravo 2/501 at 367165 engaged 2 NVA.  Return fire wounded 5 GIs.

1530:  at 375192, Charlie 2/501 took a NVA’s surrender and sent him in for treatment and interrogation.

Units not mentions continued approximately where they were on the 10th of April.

April 12, 1970

Weather is clear!

0735: at 365186 near the top of Hill 805, Recon 2/506 was fired on by NVA leaving one man slightly wounded.

0805:  Delta 2/506 was lifted to FSB Ripcord.

Supplies have been pouring in to Ripcord as efforts are made to secure and build up the perimeter.

1330: Bravo 2/506 received a medevac as requested.

      A  1/506    452166        

      B  1/506    FSB Granite  

      C  1/506    467154        

      D  1/506    FSB Rakkasan,                      

      Recon        455159        

      A  2/506    Camp Evans

      B  2/506    350201        

      C  2/506   FSB Ripcord

      D  2/506    348187        

      Recon        362188

      A  2/501    324178        

      B  2/501    362165

      C  2/501    FSB Gladiator 

      D  2/501    343176        

      Recon        437186

Artillery not changed, but now mortars from 2/506 are on FSB Ripcord.

April 13, 1970

1150: Recon 2/506 at Hill 805, engaged one NVA at 40 meters and successfully scared him off.

1150: 3 Delta 2/501 engaged 3 NVA in a stream at 365160 with small arms and killed three.  As the bodies were searched Delta received 56 rounds of mortar fire resulting in 3 WIA.

1310: at 452166, Alpha 1/506 received 25 rounds of mortar leaving 2 WIA.

2353: at 490198, Delta 1/506 listening post received a RPG resulting in 2 minor wounds.

Outside the main Ripcord grounds, FSB Nancy was hit in the pre-dawn hours by mortars, RPG, B-40 rockets and small arms as NVA attacked from the NW and SE.  Results were 4 KIA, 37 WIA, 8 ARVN WIA, 64 NVA killed and 6 NVA captured.

1/506 continued patrols around FSB Granite, 2/501 patrolled south of Ripcord and 2/506 worked Ripcord and north east.

Artillery was unchanged.

April 14, 1970

Weather conditions are poor for visibility.

0340:  Two men on FSB Ripcord were wounded by two short 81mm rounds.

1455: at 363171, 3 Delta 2/501 was engaged by NVA with small arms and RPG resulting in 10 WIA.

1615:  A soldier of Bravo 2/506 was medevacked due to epileptic fits.

1720:  at 367165, 2 Bravo 2/506 engaged one NVA at 20 meters.  The NVA returned fire and fled.  Results were one NVA dead.

      A  1/506    455166                  A 2/506   508310

      B  1/506     FSB Granite          B 2/506    347201

      C  1/506    468151                  C 2/506   Ripcord

      D 1/506     Rakkasan               D 2/506    349187

      Recon        Camp Evans          Recon       363186

 

      A  2/501   324178                  A 2/502   557218

      B  2/501    362164                  B 2/502   440288

      C  2/501    Gladiator               C 2/502    551284

      D  2/501   358169                  D 2/502    Jack

      Recon        440188                  Recon       435254

 

      A 2/319 FA       FSB Rakkasan

      B 2/319 FA      FSB Gladiator

      C 2/319 FA      Granite 

      A 1/39   FA     Evans

      B 1/39   FA      Nancy  

      A 2/94   FA      FSB Barbara

      C 4/77   FA      Evans

      C 34      FA       FSB O’Reilly

      A 2/11   FA      (4 sections) FSB Rakkasan 

                               & 2 sec. at Gladiator

April 15, 1970

Once again, the weather is less than ideal.

0033:  a load of C-rations is delivered to Ripcord by Chinook in the dark.

0640: at 507246 (about 4 klicks north of Rakkason) 2Delta 2/502 received RPG fire. Leaving 1 US KIA (James Tyner) and 8 WIA.

0815:  at 681151, Charlie 1/506 spotted 35 NVA in the open at 250 meters.  Artillery and ARA were employed leaving one known NVA dead.

1111: at 362164, 3Bravo 2/501 engaged 3 NVA at 15 meters.  Result was 3 NVA KIA and 4 US WIA.

1555: A 2/11 FA moved from FSB Gladiator to FSB Granite.

1600:  A 2/506 opcon from 2/502 to 1/506 at 480145, was engaged by 5 NVA as they left the LZ.  They were hit by mortars, small arms and grenades. Killed in the action was one NVA and three US, Dean Dafler, and Bobby Young of First Platoon.  Attempts to get a medevac in quickly was nullified by jungle cover, fog and darkness.  This resulted in the death of Charlie Steffler in the early morning while the other two wounded survived.  Medevac was not able to come till 1100 the next day.

1/506 locations not far from the 14th.  Recon now at 437146 and A2/506 at 481145.

2/506 all units similar to yesterday.  2/501 all units similar to yesterday.  2/502 Alpha and Bravo as yesterday. Charlie at Gladiator, Delta at 494254 and Recon at 437249.

The only change for artillery is A2/11 FA has two sections on Granite.

April 16, 1970

1130: A buried grenade was hit by a soldier digging a fighting position on Ripcord.  It exploded injuring him and one other.  Dennis Heinz of Charlie 2/506 died at the hospital.

1420:  Ripcord, received 25 mortar rounds leaving 4 WIA.

1515:  the 2/506 TOC has opened on Ripcord.

      A  2/319 FA          Rakkasan,

      B 2/319 FA           Ripcord,

      C 2/319 FA           Granite,

      C 4/77 FA             Evans,

      A 1/39 FA                         Evans,

      B 1/39 FA             Nancy,

      A 2/11 FA                         Granite,

      A 2/94 FA                         Barbara,

      C 34 FA                O’Reilly

      FSB Gladiator is being closed out and taken down.

April 17, 1970

0630: at 362166 Bravo 2/501 conducted a recon by fire with M79 before leaving their NDP.  The NVA responded from several directions.  Artillery and ARA were employed.  2 NVA died and 1 US (Norman Peery) was killed.  12 men were WIA.  This is in the area known as “Re-up Hill”.

0700:  At 504245, 2Delta 2/502 engaged and killed 1 NVA, 4 klicks north of Rakkasan.

0830:  At 341197 1Bravo 2/506 found 4 bunkers and the grave of one NVA.

0900:  At 340201 1Bravo 2/506 cut a one ship LZ.

0920:  At 348200 2Bravo 2/506 cut a one ship LZ.

1430:  At 474146, 3Charlie 1/506 found the remains of 16 NVA killed by artillery, ARA and tactical Air.

1500:  At 353114, a 2/17 Cav aircraft received ground fire leaving one US WIA.

1530:  Delta 2/506 at 352185, found 5 bunkers and destroyed same.

1650:  Battery C-11 FA of ARVN was inserted onto Ripcord with their 105 Howitzers.

1650:  Charlie 2/501 left Gladiator and landed on Granite.  Gladiator is now closed.

FSB Ripcord with 2 artillery batteries, mortars, TOC and infantry total 334 men.

Unit locations:

      A 1/506     455153,                A 2/506      481146,

      B 1/506     Camp Evans,        B 2/506      344197,

      C 1/506     469146,                C 2/506      Ripcord

      D 1/506     Rakkasan,             D 2/506      352185,                       Recon 443147      Recon                                     358191

 

      A 2/501     359164,                A 2/502      536203

      B 2/501     362166,                B 2/502      420286

      C 2/501     Granite,                C 2/502      Jack

      D 2/501     379170,                D 2/502      494243                        Recon 440177      Recon                                     435257

      A 2/319 FA    Rakkasan,       B 1/39        Nancy,

      B 2/319           Ripcord,         A 2/11 FA Granite,

      C 2/319 FA     Granite,          A 2/94        Barbara,

      C4/77 FA        Evans,             C-34 FA     O’Reilly,

      A1/39              Evans,             C-11 FA     Ripcord.

April 18, 1970

1021:  First flame drops conducted around Ripcord to control cover.

1145: At 339153, ARA observed and destroyed a heavy machine gun position and 2 bunkers.

1400:  At 393153, 2/17 Cav observed and destroyed one gun positions, 3 bunkers and 10 fighting positions.

1425:  At 366166, 2 Bravo 2/501 received 10 mortar rounds leaving 3 WIA.

1800:  At 357197, 3Bravo 2/506 completed a 1 ship LZ.

1816: At 362164, 2Alpha 2/501 was hit by 5 NVA before they fled east.  Two US KIA and 2 WIA.  The men (Mike Vagnone and Robert Dangberg) had been killed as they were cautiously crossing a deep ravine just before dusk.

1930:  At 340202, 1 Bravo 2/506 completed a one ship LZ.

Unit locations

1/506 essentially the same.  2/506 A to Evans the others unmoved. Mortars 2/506 2 sec. Ripcord. 2/501 similar to yesterday, 2/502 is the same.

Artillery unmoved.

April 19, 1970

0530:  C2/506 on Ripcord, engaged 2 NVA in the wire with grenades.  Nothing found.

0644: At 373162, Bravo 2/501 engaged enemy soldiers with organic weapons.  The NVA returned fire with RPG and mortars.  Three GI were WIA and Sgt. Joseph and Sgt. Jarrett were killed.

1015: A2/506 lifted to 357197 for patrolling operations.

1130:  B 2/506 lifted from 357197 and taken to Camp Evans.

1635:  1Alpha 2/501 at 363164, received small arms fire from bunkers.  ARA were employed and contact broke at 2000. Staff Sgt. Dean Frey was killed as he rushed to the front to join his boys.  Six others wounded.

2100:  D 2/506 destroyed 4 of 10 bunkers at 352185.

FSB Ripcord continues to build.  It now has a population of 367 men.

1/506 Units remained south of Rakkasan along the Rao Trang. Three sections Mortars E1/506 on Rakkasan.  2/506 remain on and around Ripcord with the exception of Bravo which went to Eagle Beach.

1/501 took over Jack and security around Camp Evans.  2/501 secured Granite and the area south of Ripcord near RE-up Hill.

Artillery units remained in place.

April 20, 1970

1150:  Flame drops made around Ripcord.

1225:   3 Alpha 2/501 engaged NVA at 364162 and received RPG and mortar fire.  Two GI were WIA.

1432:  1 Charlie 1/506 engaged NVA in bunkers at 478152.  The NVA fled leaving a grave with a dead man.  The platoon followed and ran into a horseshoe ambush.  The claymore and small arms killed Sgt. Lockett and Sgt. Longmire while wounding 5 others.

1445:  At 349185, 1 Delta 2/506 confirmed a mortar position of two bunkers, 40 rounds, fuses and a blood trail.  All were destroyed.

1605:  A 2/506 destroyed two bunkers at 356192 using LAW (Light Antitank Weapon).

The units remained as yesterday with Recon 2/506 now at Camp Evans.  Two sections of mortar E2/506 at Granite.

April 21 – 30

Calander