Back to A Troop
Chapter 4: Unit Operations
The entire month of May was spent working the area around Dak To. On 4 May the Scouts observe a trail which had been recently used by an estimated company of NVA with some bicycles. While giving the Scouts close coverage, the gun ships received fire and returned it. An air strike was then put in. The Scouts were sent into the area to perform a bomb damage assessment of the area. They received intense fire. More ordnance was then put in. The Scouts were sent into the area to perform a bomb damage assessment of the area. They received intense fire. More ordnance was placed in the area, however results were unknown. ON 7 May 1968, the Scouts were observing a fresh camp site west of Dak To when they spotted one North Vietnamese soldier, took him under fire and killed him. A change in mission was given to A Troop, and the Scout team started a bomb damage assessment of a B-52 strike. They discovered 12 NVA killed by the raid. In the same area one observer noticed three NVA near a crater, took them under fire and killed them.
Southwest of Dak To on 13 May, the Scouts took 6 North Vietnamese under fire. The enemy scattered in all directions. While searching for the scattered enemy, the Scouts observe a small machine gun on wheels, 17 packs and 7 or 8 individuals. Exchanging fire with the enemy, the Scouts killed one North Vietnamese soldier. Artillery and air strikes were then employed killing eight more of the enemy. Still searching the same area, the Scouts surprised an estimated platoon killing six more. The gun ships rolled in on the area, however the enemy had escaped leaving a total of fifteen dead behind. The next day, A Troop worked northwest of Dak To. The gun ships rolled in on a suspected NVA position, killing one before artillery was called in. The Scouts performed a bomb damage assessment discovering one NVA killed by artillery and they killed a third enemy who was seen taking evasive action. Still working west of Dak To, the gun ships spotted three enemy walking along a trail and rolled in killing two of them. The Scouts observed four more in the same area and took them under fire. Bad weather then forced the troop out of the Area of Operation. ON 18 May 1968, an area west of Dak To had been hit by a B-52 strike and the Scouts were performing a bomb damage assessment. The Scouts received heavy automatic weapons fire, causing one LOH to crash and burn on impact. His wing man landed the aircraft in a endeavor to rescue the crew, however, he soon came under fire from the communists guns. A medivac ship was called in rescuing three men. The pilot of the first ship was killed on impact. Due to the large NVA force in the area, neither aircraft could be extracted. Three air strikes were called into the area; however, the results could not be assessed. Four days later, north of Dak To, the Scouts were again on the receiving end of enemy automatic weapons. One LOH was shot down, crashing and burning. The crew was extracted with minor wounds. An air strike put into the area resulted in one NVA killed. On 24 May 1968, the Scouts were checking out a small bunker complex and discovered an NVA soldier hiding in a foxhole. They killed him. While covering the Scouts on 29 May, the gun ream noticed the blast from a mortar. Quickly calling in an air strike, a mortar position was destroyed and three secondary explosions resulted.
On 3 June 1968, while operating southeast of Kontum, four large openings with stairs going into the ground were observed. The Aero Rifle Platoon was inserted and discovered the bunkers had been used for ammunition storage. While screening the area around the Rifle Platoon, the Scouts took 2 NVA soldiers under fire, killing both. One AK-47, a pack and several documents were captured. Four days later while working in the same area, the troop received word that a friendly unit had been surrounded and had several casualties. The gun ships laid down suppressive fires enabling the unit to move into a landing zone where Troop A’s lift ships picked them up. On 12 June 1968, while performing a visual reconnaissance mission west of Kontum, one LOH exploded in mid air, killing the pilot and observer. The Aero Rifle Platoon was inserted to recover the bodies, however no contact with the enemy was made. Working west of Camp Enari on 21 June, the Scouts received intense small arms fire and observed approximately 30 individuals and ten bunkers. Artillery and air strikes were called in killing three NVA soldiers. While reconnoitering a company size base camp on the 26th of June, the Scouts received intense automatic weapons fire. Two air strikes, plus artillery were called into the area. Post strike analysis revealed six NVA killed.
Troop A began July working southeast of Pleiku. Thirty four new camouflaged hootches were destroyed and one Viet Cong killed on the second of the month. On 6 July, northwest of Dak To, the Scouts killed nine NVA soldiers during sporadic contact. East of Camp Enari on 9 July the Scouts were burning four hootches in a communist base when they noticed a NVA soldier observing them from a tree. After killing him, the Scouts called for the Aero Rifle Platoon to be inserted; however, reconnoitering the LZ. it was discovered that the enemy had surrounded it. Two air strikes were put in, followed by the insertion of the ARP. After killing one sniper, the ARP was extracted due to heavy enemy movement in the area. On 15 July, Troop A received a change of mission to find a recoilless rifle position west of Plei Drong which was firing on a CIDO camp. The gun ships noticed the blast from the rifles and expended on the area, silencing the rifles and killing 6 NVA.
On 20 July 1968, A Troop moved to Ban Me Thout for a period of three months. On the same day, the scouts observed four NVA soldiers with weapons moving along a trail. Taking them under fire, the scouts confirmed three NVA killed. The ARP was then inserted to pick up the equipment. Two days late the Scouts observed some NVA in a field with bunkers in it. Covering their departure from the area, the Scouts killed two of the enemy. The gun ships were called on to help a company which was in heavy contact. The guns were given credit for five NVA killed in this action on 26 July.
On 29 July, A and D Troop and B Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, and 1/22 Infantry and D Co 2/35 Infantry were combined to make a sweep with A Troop Commanding Office as Mission Commander. D Troop’s lead APC was hit with a B-40 rocket. D Troop deployed and returned the fire with 106mm recoilless rifle and 30 and 50 caliber machine gun fire. The NVA unit withdrew to the east carrying their dead and wounded. A Troop Scouts discovered the fleeing enemy, filling five. As a results of this action seventeen NVA were filled, sixteen packs, two chicom grenades, one 45 caliber pistol and miscellaneous documents were captured.