~ 720th Military Police Battalion Vietnam History Project ~
September 1968 ~ Battalion Timeline
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Last Updated
15 April 2018

At the start of the month Battalion HQ Detachment, its organic letter companies and the 212th MP Company (Sentry Dog) were headquartered subordinate to the 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, III Corps Tactical Zone, Bien Hoa Provence, Long Binh Post,  South Vietnam.

18th MP
Brigade
89th MP
Group
720th MP
Battalion
      All major theater activities, stateside incidents, or political, Cold War and Vietnam War events not directly related to the battalion’s official history but affected the battalion’s force allocations, training, operations, deployments, morale or history are shown in blue American Typewriter font.
2 September
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     The following personnel were promoted to Staff Sergeant: SGTís Raymond L. Bee (B Company), Robert R. Corbin (HQ & HQ Detachment), Willard L. Leeman (C Company), Donald B. Hamilton (212th MP Company, Sentry Dog).

     To be Specialist 6th Class: SP/5 Grant E. Belt (C Company).

     To be Sergeant: SP/4’s Ernest F. Brose, (A Company), Wesley J. Busman (A Company), Terry G. Cash (C Company), William R. Cheney (B Company), Mark N. Haugh (B Company), Michael J. Schnarr (C Company), Steven W. Senkovich (A Company), CPL’s James C. Dicks and Gary L. Hile (212th MP Company, Sentry Dog).

     To be Specialist 5th Class: SP/4 Robert A. Livingston (212th MP Company, Sentry Dog).

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Bearcat The 9th Infantry Divisionís Headquarters (Rear) at Bearcat relinquished the responsibility of their mission in III Corps Tactical Zone, including the area of operations along the Buong River border of the Battalionís Tactical Area Of Responsibility, to the Headquarters Royal Thai Army Volunteers (Queens Cobra Division), now subordinate to Headquarters, II Field Force (Long Binh Post).
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10 September
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0001 hours, Journal opened by SGT Foster.

0545 hours, CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group notified this headquarters that effective 0600 hours 10 September the Actual Gray Alert for Long Binh Post is terminated.

0600 hours, All units were notified of termination of Gray Alert. A,B,C and HHD notified, Reaction Force notified.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  0632 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 89 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

Xuan Loc Convoy  0830 hours, The Xuan Loc Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 14 vehicles. SGT Ravigo, 89th MP Group notified.

Xuan Loc Convoy  0850 hours, elements from the Xuan Loc Convoy notified this office of a traffic accident at Grid Coordinates [map location] YT094125. The accident involved an unknown engineer vehicle and an unknown type Vietnamese civilian vehicle. At this time there is 1 Vietnamese National dead, 1 seriously injured. The 615th MP Company has been notified and are dispatching units to the scene. SGT Mentor, Long Binh Post Provost Marshal Office notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1025 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza of C Company NCOIC POW Hospital Guards notified this office that Nguyen Van Ti, Registration #3064 was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 0900 hours [9:00AM]. POW Do Van Dam was released to the 1st Military Intelligence Detachment on a form 629 at 0915 hours. POW count changed to 184.

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TAOR  1115 hours, SP/4 William R. Cheney of B Company was informed by an unidentified PF at 1030 hours that there was a case of 105 Howitzer shells in the village of An Xuan. SP/4 Cheney went into the village and at 1050 hours found a case of what appeared to be 8” Howitzer charges at Grid Coordinates [map location] YT026012.

     The case was intact and appeared to have been setting in the water for quite some time. Because of the location they were found in, it is very probable that they fell off an Ammunition Barge. There are approximately 12  to 16 rounds in the case. No further information available at this time. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified at 1120 hours. Expended Ordinance Disposal also notified.

SP/4 Cheney
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POW Escort Unit  1245 hours, SP/4 Robertson notified this office that 1 POW from the 24th Evacuation Hospital and 23 POW’s from the 50th Medical Company were transferred to the III Corps Cage without incident. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group, SP/4 Cummings II Field Forces PMO notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1255 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC POW Guards notified this office that POW Nguyen Van Nham, #3065 was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1145 hours. POW count changed to 185.

TAOR  1530 hours, Reference Journal entree at 1115 hours: At 1230 hours a 3rd Ordnance EOD Team (SP/4 Meters and SFC Shade), identified the 8” artillery charges as, 8” MI propellant, solid green class B propellant explosive. The EOD team had the charges towed to the middle of the river and blew same with the use of detonator charges. The Lot# of the found charges was RAD #65992. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified at 1540 hours.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1630 hours, This office was notified that the Tay Ninh Convoy returned to Long Binh Post at 1630 hours with 95 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

Xuan Loc Convoy  1700 hours,This office was notified that the Xuan Loc Convoy returned to Long Binh Post with 15 vehicles at 1700 hours. SSG Ravigo, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  The POW count was sent to 89th MP Group with the following information, 24th Evacuation Hospital- 2 POW’s and 4 guards, 50th Medical Company- 183 POW’s and 18 guards. SGT Shelton notified.

1800 hours, A total of 15 enlisted men and 1 Officer In Charge reported to this headquarters for duty as the USARV Stockade reaction force.

TAOR  1820 hours, The 9th Infantry Division artillery was given clearance on Bearcat counter mortar cancellations J-35B-205,206,207,208; J-36B-211,213; J-37B- all clear. DNSA also given harassment & Interdiction (H&I) times and targets and friendly positions. DNSA notified.

1900 hours, Long Binh Post Tactical Operation Center notified this office that the post is on actual gray alert status (effective 101900). Co. A , B, C & HHD notified.

1909 hours, SGT Daniel D. Shuck, C Company reported 100% strength: 72 enlisted men and 2 officers.

1910 hours, Battalion Reaction Force entered the Long Binh Post net (radio network).

1917 hours, SP/4 Kenneth A. Ostendorf, B Company reported 100% strength: 90 enlisted men and 2 officers.

1940 hours, SP/4 Steven W. Senkovich, A Company, reported 100% strength: 72 enlisted men and 1 officer.

1942 hours, SP/4 Michael W. Sei, HQ Detachment] reported 100%.

1943, Long Binh Post Reaction Force 100% strength; ready to deploy.

1945 hours, 89th MP Group, CPL Lyttle notified Battalion strength at 100%, reaction force ready to deploy.

1947 hours, Battalion given reaction force stand down. Reaction force personnel remain ready to deploy.

Operation OVERTAKE Convoy Ambushed

2019 hours, A north bound Operation OVERTAKE escort reported that the convoy received 2 rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) fire, approximate 50 rounds automatic weapons fire from the east side of Highway 1A at Grid Coordinates (map location) XS926956. The Overtake units returned approximately 100 rounds of fire with their organic weapons causing unknown results. One Armored Personnel Carrier received 3 small arms rounds. There were no injuries or damage, the convoy with all vehicles proceeded north. The ARVN unit who has responsibility for the area was notified, but what action has been taken is unknown. CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group notified.

2230 hours, the Battalion Staff Duty Officer, 1LT Edward R. Mendez of B Company, conducted a routine check of the POW Hospital and 720th MP Battalion area. No discrepancies were noted.

2400 hours: Daily Log closed.

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11 September
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0100 hours: Journal opened by SGT Reddick.

0555 hours, CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group notified this office that the Long Binh Post Gray Alert would be terminated at 0600 hours.

0600 hours, All companies notified that the Actual Gray Alert was terminated. A , B, C & HQ Detachment notified.

If you can provide information on what restrictions were involved in a Gray Alert, please use the Email Link at the top of this page.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy 0637 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post at 0637 hours with 81 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

1010 hours, SGT Estiban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC of the POW Guards notified this office that Le Minh Cham, registration #3066 and Guan Van Xay #3067 were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 0900 hours. POW count changed to 187.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1100 hours, C Company notified this office that the Tay Ninh Convoy arrived in Cu Chi at 0900 hours [9:00AM] and were holding waiting for road clearance. Due to enemy activity on the road and in Tay Ninh it is not known at this time if the convoy will proceed or not. SP/4 Gilmer 89th MP Group notified.

POW Escort Unit  1330 hours, PFC Lynn, 50th Medical Company notified this office that the following POW’s were ready to be transferred from the 50th to III Corps Cage. Nguyen Tranc No, captured 28 August, unit unknown; Tram Van Tam captured 8 May by 1/27 Infantry; Nguyen Van Lac, captured in February 1967 by 1st Infantry Division; Tran Thuo captured 4 November 1967, unit not reported.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1430 hours, The 25th Infantry Division Provost Marshal Office notified this office that the Tay Ninh Convoy would be staying in Tay Ninh tonight. Also requested a convoy escort be sent to the Phu Cong Bridge and escort a convoy back to Long Binh Post. The convoy was made up of vehicles from Cu Chi. They were being moved because of possible enemy activity. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1510 hours, SGT Estiban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC POW Guards notified this office that POW Nguyen Van Xanh registration #3068 was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1430 hours [2:30PM]. POW count changed to 188.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1525 hours, Three gun jeeps were dispatched from C Company to the Phu Cong Bridge to bring back the Tay Ninh convoy vehicles that were marshaled at Cu Chi.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1605 hours, The Tay Ninh convoy departed the Phu Cong Bridge at 1605 hours [4:05PM], with 47 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

Kidnap Attempt Of Outpost-2 PF

TAOR   1615 hours, Nguyen Van Ngat, a Popular Forces soldier from Outpost-2 Long Hung Village was working in a rice field at Grid Coordinates [map location] YT037027 when he was approached by a local VC leader named Le dressed in black pajamas. Le pointed what appeared to be a .38 caliber pistol at Ngat and told him that if he tried to escape he would kill him.

     Le walked up to him with a hand gun and and ordered him to start walking towards the woods. Ngat decided to bet it all and turned and ran towards the village. For some unknown reason Le gave up his pursuit and ran into the woods.

Reflection  "The Company Commander requested a helicopter for an over flight and assigned myself and SSG Sanchez [Supply Sergeant] to take the flight over the area of the incident. The helicopter we used was a LOH [Light Observation Helicopter] from the 1st Air Cavalry Division.

     We searched the entire area of approximately one kilometer but didn’t locate the VC or any other suspicious movement.

VC Platoon Leader "Le"
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          During the flight the pilot, a Captain, went through his hot dog routine of flying sideways one handed while firing his 45 cal. pistol out the door at some water buffalo below. I don’t know if he ever hit any of them but it sure did piss off some of the local farmers working in the area. Their buffalo are their tractors, without them they can't work the rice paddies. The Captains antics took only minutes to destroy months of good will between the villagers and the outpost personnel." CPL Thomas T. Watson, Squad Leader Ambush Squad-76, B Company, 720th MP Battalion.

     At 1630 hours the PF’s from Outpost-2 made a sweep of the area for Le with negative results.

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Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1700 hours, The convoy from the Phu Cong Bridge arrived at Long Binh Post at 1700 hours without incident. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1730 hours, The POW count was sent to the 89th MP Group with the following information: 24th Evacuation Hospital, 2 POW’s, 4 MP guards; 50th Medical Company, 186 POW’s and 18 MP guards. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

1800 hours, Fifteen enlisted men and 1 officer dispatched to the Long Binh Post stockade as a reaction force.

TAOR  1825 hours, The 9th Infantry Division was given clearance on Bearcat counter mortars. DSNA given counter mortar cancellations: J-35B-205,206,207,208; J-36B-211; J-37B all clear. DSNA given Harassment and Interdiction (H&I) times and targets and friendly positions. DNSA notified.

TAOR  2035 hours, CPL Phillip C. Zamaloff of B Company Tactical Operations Control (TOC) notified this office that in response to the attempted kidnapping, ARVN forces from Duc Tu posted two ambush elements in Village of An Hoa Hung Grid Coordinates [map location] 041 040 and 042 038. The mission will start at 1900 hours and terminate at 2400 hours.

D Company, 87th Infantry - TAOR  2140 hours, Personnel from D Company, 87th Infantry at the POL Site (Petroleum Oil Lubricants), Grid Coordinates [map location] YT023 052 notified this office that at approximately 2135 hours they had received four rounds of small arms fire from approximately 100-150 meters Northwest of their position.

     Action: B Company TOC notified a B Company Ambush Team who made a sweep of the area with negative results. CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group notified.

2400 hours, Daily Log closed.

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12 September
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0100 hours: Journal opened by SGT Foster.

Blackhorse Detachment  0614 hours, SP/4 Glenn B. Wegl of B Company, notified this office that the alert status at the Blackhorse base camp is green. The road conditions from Blackhorse to Xuan Loc are red and the roadway is not cleared at this time.

0624 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post at 6:24AM with 59 Vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

0855 hours, The Xuan Loc Convoy departed Long Binh Post at 8:55AM with 22 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

0945 hours, CPT Michael E. Lenhart, Operations Officer 95th MP Battalion, requested a 50 man reaction force with 1 officer be sent to the Long Binh Post stockade at 1800 hours this date. A ,B & C Companies notified.

SP/4 Wegl
Tay Ninh Convoy Ambushed

1030 hours, II Field Forces Tactical Operations Command notified this office that the north bound Tay Ninh resupply convoy was ambushed at Grid Coordinates XT317351. The convoy received small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire from an unknown size Viet Cong force.

     Results: 2 trucks damaged to include one 5 ton tanker. Minor damage to one aircraft. Minor damage to one Armored Personnel Carrier. At 1100 hours the following units were airlifted into the contact area: B Company, 2/27, B Company 3/187th, D Company 2/506th Infantry. Contact was lost at 1210 hours. Casualties as follows: 1 confirmed US KIA, 5 confirmed US WIA, 14 confirmed VC KIA, organic weapons fire was returned by the convoy personnel of C Company.

25th Infantry
Division
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Reflection  "I was in either Unit #30 or #31 that day with SGT Robert J. Moak and PFC Strickland the machine-gunner.

     The attack took place on Highway QL-22 between Go Dau Ha and Tay Ninh right by the Michelin Corporation Rubber Plantation, apparently this was the same spot as the 25 August 1968 ambush where SP/4 Guy A. Davison was killed in action and five other C Company MP’s wounded.

     It was rumored that the local Michelin office paid the Viet Cong to leave the harvesters alone and we [U.S. Government] had to pay $50 a tree for any trees that we damaged, a lot got damaged this day.

     The attack started with a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) hitting the first vehicle of the 59 vehicle convoy, after the #28 unit, which was the NCOIC vehicle, SSG Hosmer [SSG Darwin D. Hosmer] was in command.

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     The truck caught on fire and SSG Hosmer continued on to Tay Ninh with what was left of the first march unit. A second truck was also hit as I recall, one was a tanker, the second was carrying artillery shells.

     We were halted east of the ambush site, we dismounted and occupied a ditch on the right hand side of the road. We were ordered forward and then stopped again just short (maybe half mile to a mile) of the kill zone. This time SGT Moak, could see movement in the rubber trees off to our right, he opened up with his M-79 and either he hit a tree in front of us or else a mortar round came in and hit the tree. SP/4 Bruce R. Lambert took some shrapnel in his back, he did not know it until a couple of hours later.

    After about 10 minutes we were ordered into the kill zone with about 12 trucks with instructions to move straight through it. The 25th Infantry Divisions Cavalry Unit had tanks and tracks on the right hand side where the fire was coming from and they were putting out suppressing fire.

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     Just as we were half way through the zone, we were ordered to stop. The truck that was carrying the artillery shells was about to blow, the truckers got out as did we. Tracer rounds were coming in pretty good. The MP gun jeep behind us also entered the kill zone but most of their trucks were just outside of the zone, the remaining MP's escorts up to assist us.

     The burning ammunition truck blew and the engine block wound up 100 feet west of where the truck was, glad it went that way. We were showered with metal and wood and all kinds of garbage but no one got hurt.

     The blast left a big hole in the road. We were again ordered to move so we instructed the drivers to follow us, when we left the ditch they were to do the same.

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     I threw the M-60 machine gun into the back of the jeep and dived in behind it, SGT Moak dove into his seat and PFC Strickland gunned the jeep. It turned out that only one truck got out with us, a deuce and half. It had all the tires shot out but one, the trucker drove it out on the rims. I don't know how long we had been in there, it seemed like a long time but my guess is less than 20 minutes

      SSG Hosmer ordered us back in to get the rest of the trucks, the convoy the day before had not returned to Long Binh as there had been major fighting going on in Tay Ninh City. So SGT Raymond H. Tate and SP/4 Murphy [SGT Albert Murphy] who had been with that convoy along with a number of other gun jeeps came out to help, they called in that they would go in and get the trucks. They returned with all of the remaining trucks, most had bullet holes and shot up tires, but no major damage.

     While we had been in the kill zone an ARVN unit had been choppered into a clearing to the East of the rubber trees, they were to advance and catch Charley in a cross fire, they were on the ground 2 minutes when the choppers landed again and they boarded and left.

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     We had also been warned by an ARVN unit sitting in Trang Bang Village that there were plenty of VC up ahead.

     The units after us made it through with few problems, Charley faded away after the truck exploded. We got to Tay Ninh, replenished our ammunition and prepared for our return trip to Long Binh Post.

     The final tally on our side was 1 dead and 5 or 6 wounded, one being SP/4 Bruce R. Lambert. The story was that the KIA was a lieutenant commanding the tracks but I didn't see that. There was a lieutenant standing on top of the tracks directing fire with no regard to his own safety, so maybe it was him. The wounded were either truckers or the track guys. The only trucks lost were the two I mentioned above, no units were turned around, all completed the run.

     The next day no convoy ran to Tay Ninh because there were no trucks or escort vehicles at Long Binh, they were still at Tay Ninh. The 14 MP units and about 150-175 trucks started the return from Tay Ninh to Long Binh. There was no ambush on the return trip, however, they threw one mortar round at us just to let us know they were still there.

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     When I went back up two days later the rubber trees had been cut back 50 feet so the VC could not get close to the road. SP/4 Murphy, SGT Tate and SSG Frazier  had it, the return trip the next day was the last time they ran convoy. They had been pinned down all day during the 25 August 68 ambush.

     SP/4 Murphy and SGT Tate got assigned to R&U (restoration and upkeep), SSG Frazier remained as platoon sergeant for convoys but did not go on the road. My days on convoy were also coming to an end, two weeks after this I was assigned to TDY at the USARV stockade, then into the orderly room as company clerk. SGT Moak also went to the orderly room as Operations Sergeant and then to the POW Hospital Guard Detail. PFC Stickland remained on convoy for his entire tour."  SP/4 Harold G. “Harry” Lambert, C Company, 720th MP Battalion, September 1968 to November 1969.

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SSG Hosmer
SSG Frazier
SGT Moak
SGT Tate
SP/4 B. Lambert
SP/4 H. Lambert
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SP/4 Murphy
PFC Strickland
If anyone can provide any other information or photographs of the MP escort detail or ambush and the missing photos of the above personnel, please notify the History Project Manager via the Email Link at the top of this page.
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Xuan Loc Detachment  1130 hours, PFC William Stevenson of B Company, Xuan Loc Detachment notified this office that SP/4 Ingra of C Company, 169th Engineer Battalion, operating a 10-ton dragon wagon and in convoy, was involved in a traffic accident with a Vietnamese civilian Lambretta at Hoang Dieu St. in Xuan Loc. Minor damages to the Lambretta, minor injuries to the Vietnamese female occupant, Lr Thi Dat.

     Action: Serious Incident Report initiated, CPL Lyttle of 89th MP Group notified, Xuan Loc Detachment investigated the accident.

POW Escort Unit  1210 hours, SP/4 Robertson notified this office that 4 POW’s were transferred from the 50th Medical Company to III Corps POW Cage without incident. SP/4 Gilmore of 89th MP Group and SP/4 Cummings of IIFF Notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1310 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza of C Company, NCOIC of the POW Guard, notified this office that POW Do Van Dam registration #3068 was admitted at 1245 hours this date. SP/4 Gilmore, 89th MP Group and SP/4 Cummings, IIFF Notified.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1530 hours, The 25th Infantry Division, Provost Marshals Office, informed this office that both elements of Tay Ninh Convoy would be staying in Tay Ninh tonight due to the enemy activity in the area. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1645 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza of C Company, the NCOIC of the POW Hospital Guards notified this office that POW Ho Van Tieng, registration #3070 and Pham Van Dau #3071 were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1330 hours, this date. POW count changed to 187.

POW Hospital Guards  1655 hours, The POW count was sent to the 89th MP Group with the following information: 24 Evacuation Hospital- 2 POW’s, 2 MP guards; 50th Medical Company- 187 POW’s and 18 MP guards.

1800 hours, A total of 50 enlisted men and 1 officer were dispatched to the Long Binh USARV Stockade as a reaction force.

POW Hospital Guards  1805 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza of C Company, NCOIC of the POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW Ho Van Tieng, registration #3070 had expired from his wounds at 1700 hours. Cause of death was cardiac pulmonary failure, pronounced dead by Dr. Cancel. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified. POW count changed to 186.

Xuan Loc Convoy  1810 hours, The Xuan Loc Convoy arrived at Long Binh Post at 1800 hours with 26 vehicles. CPL Lyttle of 89th MP Group notified.

TAOR  1855 hours, The 9th Infantry Division artillery given clearance on Bearcat Counter Mortars. DSNA given counter mortar cancellations, J-35B 205, 206, 207, 208; J-36B 211, 212, 215, 216; J-37B 218, 221; DNSA also given Harassment and Interdiction times and targets and friendly positions. DNSA notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1922 hours, SGT Cooper, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, reported that Tran Van Y, registration #3072 was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1900 hours. POW count changed to 187.

TAOR  2031 hours, B Company PBR apprehended four Vietnamese personnel on the sand ridge at Grid Coordinates (map location), YT012072, approximately 1,000 meters north of Cogido Docks. One had no national identification card, suspects were taken to Battalion S-2 for interrogation. CPL Lyttle of 89th MP Group notified.

TAOR  2013 hours, SGT Audrey D. Bolen of B Company Tactical Operations Center (TOC), notified this office that the 84 element Tactical Area of Responsibility, spotted movement approximately 200 meters southwest of his location. An ambush squad was notified and swept the area of suspected movement with negative results. 84 element, prior to sweep, reconned area by fire with negative results.

If you can provide information on the identification of the "84" element, please use the Email Link at the top of this page.

POW Hospital Guards  2100 hours, SGT Cooper, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, reported that Vo Van Nhon, registration #3073 and Tran Van Ca #3074, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 2015 hours. POW count changed to 189.

2400 hours, Journal closed.

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13 September
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0001 hours, Journal opened by SGT Reddick.

D Company, 87th Infantry - TAOR  0410 hours, D Company, 87th Infantry personnel at the Petroleum Oil Lubricant Site (POL) notified this headquarters that members of a 1st Infantry Division element on a dredge located approximately 50 to 75 meters southwest of CP #9 on the Dong Nai River, fired two M-79 grenade rounds at a drifting empty sampan located at Grid Coordinates YT019039. Company B River Patrol units checked with personnel aboard the dredge and informed them to use caution when reconning by fire in the vicinity of the POL site. The sampan was not damaged. SDO 1LT Richard A. Emanuel was notified, River Patrol H/G #69 notified, B Company TOC notified, CPL Lyttle of 89th MP Group notified.

1LT Emanuel
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Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  0634 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post at 0634 hours with 33 vehicles. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1230 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza of C Company, NCOIC of the POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW’s Trong Van Tu registration #3075 and Vo Avn Tan #3076 were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1130 hours. POW count changed to 187.

POW Escort Unit  1400 hours, SP/4 Robertson, notified this office that 4 POW’s were transferred from the 50th Medical Company to Cong Hoa Hospital in Saigon without incident. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1540 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW’s Do Phuong registration #3077 and Huyenh Ngoc #3078 were admitted to the 50th medical Company at 1500 hours. POW count changed to 189.

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HQ & HQ Detachment Jeep Stolen

1545 hours, At 0915 hours, SP/4 Malamer R. North of HQ & HQ Detachment parked and secured a 1/4 ton M-151 jeep (89th GP 720MP HQ9 USA #2G0725) directly in front of the Civilian Personnel Office (CPO) at 0930 hours. When he returned to get the vehicle he discovered it missing. An immediate check of the battalion area met with negative results.

      PFC Edwin E. Lucas of HQ & HQ Detachment, stated that at 0925 hours he proceeded to pickup jeep HQ5 parked at the CPO and didn’t see HQ9.

     At 0945 hours the Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office was notified. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group, and 18th MP Brigade notified, and a serious incident report was forwarded.

SP/4 Lucas
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Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1615 hours, All units from Tay Ninh Convoy held over from 11 & 12 September returned to Long Binh Post with the 13 September convoy, total of 104 vehicles and 21 MP escort vehicles. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1730 hours, The POW count was sent to the 89th MP Group with the following information: 24th Evacuation Hospita- 2 POW’s and 4 MP Guards; 50th Medical Company- 187 POW’s and 18 MP Guards. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

1755 hours, A total of 50 enlisted men and 1 officer were dispatched to the Long Binh Post USARV Stockade as a reaction Force.

TAOR  1815 hours, The 9th Infantry Division artillery was given clearance on Bearcat Counter Mortars. DSNA given counter mortar cancellations: J-35B, entire group; J-36B, all clear; J-37B, all clear; DSNA also given Harassment & Interdiction (H&I) times and targets and friendly positions. Weekly report was forwarded to DSNA as follows: Joint Operations, 1; Ambush Sites, 40; Patrol, 89 (includes ambush sites) ; Med-Cap, 2.

TAOR  1950 hours, B Company Tactical Operations Center (TOC), SGT May notified this office that ARVN ambush elements from Duc Tu would set up positions in the Battalion TAOR at Grid Coordinates [map location], YT 041040; start 1900 hours and terminate at 0100 hours.

D Company, 87th Infantry - TAOR  2033 hours, D Company, 87th Infantry personnel at the Petroleum Oil Lubricant site notified this office that they received 10 rounds of small arms fire from what they believe to be a sampan traveling north on the Dong Nai River from Checkpoint #9. The PBR River Patrol was notified and checked the sampan finding it empty. They destroyed it at Grid Coordinates YT014045 with 6 rounds from their M-79 Grenade Launcher. CPL Lyttle of, 89th MP Group notified.

D Company, 87th Infantry - TAOR  2110 hours, D Company, 87th Infantry personnel at the POL site notified this office that they spotted movement outside their perimeter at Grid Coordinates YT019047. Recon by fire at movement with negative results with 4 M-79 rounds and 20 rounds M-16.

TAOR  2145 hours, B Company PBR #69 notified this office that at 2035 hours SGT Zane K. Pucket of B Company, while performing duties on patrol received minor fragmentation wounds to his abdomen while firing the M-79 Grenade Launcher at the sampan (2033 hours this log). SGT Pucket transported to the 24th Evacuation Hospital where he was treated and released by Dr. Baldwin. CPL Lyttle of 89th MP Group notified, Serious Incident Report #2149 initiated.

2400 hours, Log closed.

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14 September
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0001, hours: Journal opened by SGT Reddick.

0110 hours, SGT Talent the Operation Overtake Desk Sergeant notified this office that the 716th MP Battalion has located the 720th MP Battalion jeep, HQ9 [stolen 13 September at 1545 hours] unsecured in Saigon and impounded it at the Headquarters Area Group (HAG), in Saigon.

TAOR  0225 hours, B Company, PBR #67, notified this station that they spotted approximately 6 Vietnamese personnel on the west side of the Dong Nai River at Grid Coordinates (GC) [map location] YT018017. Boat #67 stated that from observations, it appeared that the Vietnamese had weapons.

   Action: Notified Thu Duc Advisors and requested that their ARVN unit located at YT018017 conduct a sweep of the area at GC YT018017.

TAOR  0420 hours, This office reestablished contact with Thu Duc Advisors in reference to disposition of requested sweep for suspected enemy troops. Same advised that approximately 8 ARVN personnel were in the vicinity of GC YT018017 since 1900 hours 13 September and possible were the same Vietnamese personnel observed by PBR #67. B Company TOC notified.

Blackhorse Detachment  0625 hours, PFC Glenn B. Wegl of B Company, notified this office that the Alert Status of the Blackhorse base camp (11th Armored Cavalry Regiment), is “Green.” The roads in Xuan Loc remain “Red” until they have been cleared.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  0635 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 82 vehicles. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  0715 hours, SGT Cooper of C Company, NCOIC of the POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW Lung, Nguyen Van registration # 2985 had expired at 0715 hours. The cause of death was a ruptured spleen and left kidney. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Cancel. Lung was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 0930 hours, 20 August.

Xuan Loc Convoy  0845 hours, The Xuan Loc Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 34 vehicles. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  0925 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, notified this office at 0900 hours that POW Huynh Van Xe, registration #3066 had expired at 0715 hours, Cause of death was fragmentation wounds of the head and neck. He was pronounced dead by Dr. Cancel. Xe was admitted to the 50th Medical Company hospital, 11 September at 0930 hours. SGT Shelton of 89th MP Group notified. POW count changed to 188.

D Company, 87th Infantry  1030 hours, SGT Danny K. Ayres of D Company 87th Infantry (Rifle Security), 89th MP Group, was struck and killed by a 5 ton Kaiser truck driven by Freitas, Frank F. SP/5, 321st Transportation Company. Vehicle bumper marker of the vehicle and trailer are: truck- 48th GP 7T 321T33 USA # 5F7738; trailer- 48GP 7T 800 USA # 7G4733.

   SP/5 Freitas was proceeding north exiting from the Cogido Barge site. SGT Ayers was standing facing northeast approximately 5 feet west of the security guard gate. At this time the right front portion of the trailer struck Ayers from the back causing him to fall to the ground. As the vehicle proceeded past the gate the right rear wheels of the trailer ran over Ayres.

   SGT Ayers was transported to the 24th Evacuation Hospital on Long Binh Post, where he was pronounced dead at 1155 hours from a crushed head, by Dr. (CPT) Downer, John G. 05344903. The vehicle did not receive any damage and was released to its unit. SP/5 Freitas was taken to Long Binh Post Provost Marshals Office and later released to his unit. No charges have been made pertaining to the accident.

1225 hours, The 89th MP Group Operations (S3), notified this office that the “Authentication Table” for 14 September has been compromised. The authentication table for 15 September will go into effect at 1400 hours on 14 September, and will continue to be used until 2400 hours 15 September.

POW Hospital Guards  1610 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that Anh, Nguyen Van was declared to be an ARVN soldier by US Military Intelligence, 219th MI Detachment and transferred from the 50th Medical Company to Bien Hoa Provincial Hospital. POW count changed to 187.

POW Hospital Guards  1700 hours, The POW count was sent to the 89th MP Group with the following information; 24th Evacuation Hospital- 2 POW’s, 4 MP Guards; 50th Medical Company- 185 POW’s and 18 MP Guards. SSG Ravigo of 89th MP Group notified.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1735 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy arrived at Long Binh Post with 45 vehicles. SGT Shelton 89th MP Group notified.

1800 hours, Fifty enlisted men and 1 officer were dispatched to the Long Binh Post Stockade as a reaction force.

TAOR  1825 hours, The 9th Infantry Division Artillery given clearance on Bearcat Counter Mortars. DNSA given Counter Mortar cancellations: J-35B, 205, 206, 207, 208; J-36B, 211; J-37B all clear. DNSA also given H&I [Harassment and Interdiction] times and targets and friendly positions. DSNA notified.

POW Hospital Guards  2000 hours, SGT Cooper, C Company, NCOIC POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that Cu, Nguyen Van registration #3079 and Phuong, Nguyen Van #3080, were admitted to the 50th Medical Company Hospital at 1945 hours. POW count changed to 188.

2005 hours, LT Klem, Duc Tu Sub Sector, notified this office and stated information was received from a Vietnamese female, Bien Hoa sector, who disclosed that 2 battalions of Viet Cong were moving north from Long Than to the Duc Tu District across grid line [map location] approximately YT 1203. The VC mission, possible attack on Long Binh Post (negative US evaluation rating).

   Action: CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group, SGT Fortin, 720th Intelligence (S2), notified.

2200 hours, CPT Hyatt of the Long Binh Post Tactical Operations Center [TOC], notified this office that an intelligence report received from MAJ Cooper, II Field Forces TOC, dated 1915 hours this date.

   MAJ Cooper reported one Vet Cong unit (approximately 200 Viet Cong), located at Grid Coordinates [map location] YT 183070 to YT 235070, wearing mixed uniforms with the following equipment: 31- 122mm rockets, 2- 60mm mortars and individual weapons. Their mission is to mortar Long Binh Post area and attack outposts along the highways between Honai and Bau Tau Hamlet. The mortar attack is to begin on the evening of 14 September (time unknown) and for 3 days there after.

   The Agent Report: sent to Popular Forces; To 199th Light Infantry Brigade; To 2nd Field Forces TOC; To Long Binh Post TOC; to 720th MP Battalion. Notified, SGT Fortin, 720th MP Battalion S2, CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group.

2400 hours, Journal closed.

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15 September
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0001 hours, Journal opened by SGT Reddick.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  0641 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 56 vehicles. CPL Lyttle 89th MP Group notified.

TAOR  1300 hours, a boat from the River Patrol of B Company discovered the body of a Vietnamese male floating in the Dong Nai River at Grid Coordinates YT015054. The body had no clothes or identification. The body was taken to Bien Hoa Provincial Hospital for disposition. The cause of death appeared to be drowning, there were no signs of violence on it. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1400 hours, SGT Esteban Mendoza, C Company NCOIC POW Hospital Guard Detail, notified this office that an unidentified Viet Cong, registration #3081 was admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1330 hours. POW count changed to 189.

TAOR  1415 hours, B Company Tactical Operation Center notified this office that the Rural Development Cadre in An Hoa Hung were conducting a practice alert from 1400 hours this date until 1600 hours 16 September.

1530 hours, MAJ Day notified this office that 50 enlisted men and 1 officer will be needed at the USARV Stockade at 1800 hours. This is a change from 25 enlisted men and 1 officer that were originally projected. MAJ David I. Bertocci, S3, HHD, A, B and C Companies notified.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1640 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy arrived at Long Binh Post with 51 vehicles. SSG Ravigo, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1645 hours, The POW count was sent to SSG Ravigo, 89th MP Group with the following information: 24th Evacuation Hospital- 2 POW’s and 4 MP Guards; 50th Medical Company- 187 POW’s and 18 MP Guards.

POW Escort Unit  1705 hours, SP/4 Cummings of the II Field Forces Provost Marshals Office notified this office that the following POW’s were ready to be transferred from the following locations: Dian- Nguyen Van Tay, Nguyen Van Hung; Cu Chi- Mai Van Ngan, Nguyen Nong Nad, Nguyen Van Mai, Le Van Trung, Nugyen Xuan Thu, Vi Van Thanh. Huynh Van Be, Nguyen Van Xiet; Dong Tam- Huynh Van Quan, Ho Van Hiep, Tran Van Le, Phan Thi Ngoc, Pham Thi Xay, Tran Thi Lung, Huyn Van Than, Tran Van Bang, Le Van Tu, Nguyen Cuong, Tran Van Theu, Pham Vam Sinh, Le Van Be, Le Van Danh, Nguyen Van Nguu, Le Van Co, Nguyen Van Toan, Doan Van Yem, Huynh Van Den, Nuynh Van Man, Ho Van Cay, Le Van Tam, Huynh Van Dup, Le Van Ton, Ngo Van Dang, Truong Van A, Le Van Tien, Nguyen Van Dung, Nguyen Van Chi, Nguyen Van Danh and Tran Van Dung. IIFF PMO gave permission to move the POW’s, letter furnished III Corps Cage.

1800 hours, The 50 enlisted men and 1 officer of the Stockade Reaction Force was dispatched to the Long Binh Post USARV Stockade.

TAOR  1815 hours, The 9th Infantry Division Artillery given clearance on Bearcat Counter Mortars. DNSA given cancellations on Counter Mortars J-35B, 205,206, 207, 208; J-36B, 216; J-37B, all clear. DNSA also given clearance on Harassment and Interdiction [H&I] times and targets and friendly positions. DNSA notified.

1830 hours, "Ripe Regret 38" [radio call sign] was dispatched as the Battalion Roving Patrol.

TAOR  1845 hours (delayed entree), at 1600 hours, SGT Forti of Battalion S2 found a small enemy bunker at Grid Coordinates [map location], YS 065973. The bunker was 3/4 covered with trees and heavy bushes. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group and LT Clem, Duc Tu notified.

TAOR  2053 hours, B Company element #62 notified this office that a Vietnamese male believed to be a draft dodger was apprehended in the vicinity of the An Xuan brick factory at Grid Coordinates YT026014. The suspect was transported to Battalion S2 for interrogation by the 2nd Military Intelligence Unit. SGT Fortin, S2 HHD, notified 89th MP Group.

TAOR  2210 hours, SGT Fortin of Battalion S3 notified this office that the Vietnamese male Draft Dodger suspect apprehended by B Company #62 element was interrogated by 2nd MI and found to be an innocent civilian and released. SGT Shelf, 89th MP Group notified.

2400 hours, Journal closed by SGT Reddick.

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16 September
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0001 hours, Journal opened by SGT Reddick.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  0630 hours, The Tay Ninh Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 112 vehicles to include 2 Bob Tails and 2 wreckers. Four march units to Tay Ninh, 2 March units to Cu Chi. 89th MP Group and 25th Infantry Division Provost Marshals Office notified.

Xuan Loc Convoy  0905 hours (delayed entree), at 0900 hours the Xuan Loc (Blackhorse) Convoy departed Long Binh Post with 21 vehicles. CPL Lyttle 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1255 hours, SP/4 Weaver, C Company, NCOIC, POW Hospital Guards, notified this office that POW’s Mai Van Sai, registration #3084, Nguyen Van On #3082 and Nguyen Van Nam #3083 were admitted to the 50th Medical Company at 1200 hours. POW count changed to 192.

POW Escort Unit  1305 hours, SP/4 Rucki, 50th Medical Company notified this office that the following POW’s were ready to be transferred to the III Corps Cage: Ta Van Lai, captured by 2/60th on 3 September; Cao Dan Coi captured 19 April; Trinh Tien Ty captured by A Company 2/39th on 4 September; and Nguyen Ho Son captured 27 August. SP/4 Cummings at II Field Forces Provost Marshals Office notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1400 hours, SP/4 Weaver, C Company, NCOIC, POW Guards, notified this office that Nguyen Thi Hien, registration #16936 was admitted to the 24th Evacuation Hospital at 1340 hours. POW count changed to 193.

Cu Chi-Tay Ninh Convoy  1415 hours, the south bound Tay Ninh Convoy received Viet Cong sniper fire at Grid Coordinates XT313355. SP/4 Murphy of C Company, stated that his element received approximately 5 to 6 rounds of small arms fire from the right side of the road. The fire was not returned. There were no injuries or damages reported. SGT Shelton, 89th MP Group notified.

POW Hospital Guards  1700 hours, The POW count was sent to the 89th MP Group with the following information: 24th Evacuation Hospital- 3 POW’s and 4 MP Guards; 50th Medical Company- 190 POW’s and 18 MP Guards. SP/4 Jaquette, 89th MP Group notified.

Xuan Loc Convoy  1730 hours, The Xuan Loc (Blackhorse) Convoy returned to Long Binh Post with 20 vehicles without incident. CPL Lyttle, 89th MP Group notified.

1745 hours, Fifty enlisted men and 1 officer dispatched to the Long Binh Post USARV Stockade as a reaction force.

1800 hours, Interior Patrol "Ripe Regret 38" was dispatched to patrol the battalion area.

TAOR  1825, The 9th Infantry Division given clearance on Bearcat Mortars. DSNA given Counter Mortar Cancellations; J-35B, 205, 206, 207, 208; J-36B, 216, 214; J-37B, entire group; DNSA also given Harassment & Interdiction (H&I) times and targets and friendly positions. DNSA notified.

1950 hours, Ten personnel from HQ Detachment were assigned duties at the USARV Stockade. 89th MP Group notified.

TAOR  2335 hours, Personnel at Outopst-4 (Long Bin Tan) notified this office that while observing area of Grid Coordinates YT034036, saw movement and fired approximately 10 rounds of M-16 with negative results.

2400 hours, Journal closed by SGT Reddick.

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20 September
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TAOR  0440 hours, the 60-foot long reinforced concrete bridge across the Buong River on Highway QL-15 just south of the Long Binh Post, was destroyed during a Viet Cong attack. An estimated 300 pounds of explosives placed by the enemy dropped the reinforced concrete span into the river making it impassable. Immediately after the explosion they also attacked the Duc Tu District MACV & Popular Forces Outpost that abuts the bridge on the south side in Phuoc Cang Village, with automatic weapons and RPG fire.

     Members of C Company, 92nd Engineer Battalion, and 617th Engineer Company (Panel Bridge), 20th Engineer Brigade (Long Binh Post), 159th Engineer Group, under security of battalion MPís and APCís of A & C Company, and Popular Forces soldiers from Phuoc Cang, immediately began construction of a temporary 110-foot bypass of Double-Double Baily Bridge. The highway is heavily traveled from Saigon and Long Binh Post to U.S. bases at Bearcat, Long Than (North) in Bien Hoa Province, and the Australian Army base at Nui Dat and ultimately to the floating port at the City of Vung Tau, both in Phuoc Tuy Province. The temporary one-lane bypass was completed by 2240 hours that evening.

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Personal Reflection   ďIt started off as another quiet uneventful night on ambush when the Viet Cong blew up the Highway-15 Bridge over the Buong River this morning and attacked the MACV/ARVN outpost at Phuoc Cang. The explosion was a big one, shaking the ground under us. We were two clicks away, but you would have sworn it was just next-door. It scared the hell out of me until I realized it wasnít one of our outposts disappearing in a cloud of smoke. Everyone in the ambush team was wide eyed after the shock wave passed and the shooting started. Every now and then you could also hear the thud of an RPG round hitting the outpost. The familiar sound and tracers, of their 50 cal. machine gun returning fire at the VC positions, immediately followed it.

     Things are going to be screwed up on the highway for a while until they build a bypass. There was a lot of shooting going on, but I didnít hear anything about any casualties over the battalion radio net. I knew that before the morning light came we would be getting a radio call from Battalion TOC to proceed to the site and sweep our side of the river below the bridge. About an hour before sunrise the radio call came in, and it was going to be another long hot morning on recon before we could finally get some sleep.

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     We walked out of our position up along the Finger of Land east towards the highway. It was still dark so we waited off in the distance until the safety of the morning light before proceeding on to the highway. There was too much activity and to many unfamiliar units on the roadway for us to chance coming out of the darkness unannounced and getting fired on by some jumpy PF’s and engineers. By the time we arrived they already had the engineers out working on building the temporary bypass.

     The VC did a good job; the entire span was lying in the water. The old French brick watchtower where the 50 cal. is positioned at the center of the outpost was pockmarked on both sides facing the village where the RPG rounds hit it. Plenty of officers were on the scene surveying the damage.

     We started our sweep along the river westward for about half a mile without finding anything of interest. I didn’t really think we would, the VC probably came at the bridge from the east side with the outgoing tide." CPL Thomas T. Watson, Squad Leader Ambush Squad-76, B Company, 720th MP Battalion.

CPL Watson
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21 September
     The last 13 hard core militant prisoners at the USARV Stockade surrendered to authorities. C Company provided supplemental MP manpower to the 95th MP Battalion compound security staff until 2 November 1968.
22 September
VC Base Camp at An Xuan

TAOR  Combined B Company ambush squads conducted a search for a Viet Cong Base Camp on information provided by Battalion S2. The unoccupied camp was located on the bank of the Dong Nai River just a few hundred yards south west of An Xuan Village.

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Reflection  "We started the sweep of the area in the morning on the premise that any VC using the camp would have returned to it from the village before sun up. We approached from the south sweeping north towards the village where another blocking force was in place in an attempt to contain any VC in the base camp area. Their only escape would have been into the river and the river patrol was on station for just such an event.

     Unfortunately for us the tide was high when we started our sweep. Due to the thick brush and deep water we couldn’t move on line to sweep the area and had to go single file. It took almost an hour to hack our way through the waist deep mud, water and thick brush to the area described by the fisherman.

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     Unfortunately it was also a typical day for the weather, no cloud cover, no breeze and before long the morning temperature was in the high 90’s. In the brush there was 100% humidity and the overpowering stench of the stagnant brown water that was always covered with green slime that clings to you like the leaches.

     Visibility was at best only several feet in either direction. During the approach we disturbed the fire ants that were in the brush above and around us. Thousands of the ants dropped down onto us and for a moment stopped us dead in our tracks. When they started biting it was pure hell, we tried to brush them off without much success. You could knock a few of them off, but the ones that didn’t bite onto your hands would float on the waters surface and climb back up onto you and continue to bite anything above the water line. Everyone ended up with red welts on their heads, faces, arms, necks, and hands. Their bites would continue burning for a long time.

     We changed direction around the ants and continued on cursing. Finally the water became shallow and the ground became hard and was above the tidal water line. We thoroughly searched but still couldn’t find any trails or entrances into the wall of thick vines and brush where the base camp was suppose to be hidden. We continued on, chopping our way into the tangled mess towards the river and finally found it. An immediate search was made and no VC were found.

    With the area secured the first priority now shifted to getting as much clothing off as possible to remove the fire ants and all the leaches we collected during the search. The ants you could now brush off because we were out of the deep water, the leaches had to be burned off with a cigarette or forced off by sprinkling salt on them. You learned early out here that salt wasn’t just for seasoning your C Rations, it was saved for removing leaches. If you were out of salt, a couple of drops of your insect repellent worked just as good. Trying to just pull them off was tough because they were covered with slime.

     The thick overhead cover of the trees shut out much of the daylight in the base camp. It also appeared to have been there for several years. When first built, the Viet Cong used cut vines to tie together many of the tree tops so they would grow together like a dome. They then cut down the large trees in the center of the dome to use the logs to build their bunkers. The fortifications under the dome consisted of three, four man log reinforced bunkers covered with the gray clay they dug up from their fighting trenches. The clay was placed around the sides of the bunkers for additional reinforcement, and on the tops for camouflage. If a helicopter draft parted the tree tops all the crew would see beneath them is gray clay. The bunkers were surrounded by connecting trenches that had approximately fifteen individual fighting positions cut into them.

     The camp appeared to have been in use recently but by a smaller number of men than it was designed for. Fortunately for us, it didn’t appear that they were expecting company because there were no booby traps found. In one of the bunkers I found a full ammo can of US M-60 ammunition and a spray paint can that was converted to a homemade hand grenade. One of the other men found a 10 pound bag of rice and a small oil lamp that still contained oil and a fresh wick, dry with soot still on it. There were also several small cans of cooking oil, some pots and tin cups. We searched for other hidden weapons, supplies, or a tunnel without success.

     We were still stumped as to how the VC got in and out of the camp because there were no visible trails or entrances large enough for a man, even a small one. By the time we finished and were ready to leave the camp the answer to their hidden entrance appeared before our eyes as the tide went out. The VC had dug a small two foot by two foot trench that snaked from the camp through the thick brush out towards the rice paddies. Only at low tide can it be seen, and then from outside it would just appear as one of the many small natural culverts in the water and mud. If you crawl on your hands and knees you can get in and out of the base camp with ease.

     We blew up the three bunkers with C-4, and left the area for the shelter and shade of Outpost #1. The tide was now low and we were able to make our way safely past the fire ants without having to disturb the brush they were sunning themselves in". CPL Thomas T. Watson, Squad Leader, Ambush Team-76, B Company, 720th MP Battalion.

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23 September
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TAOR  The Viet Cong ambushed an Army tug hauling ammunition barges on Dong Nai River just south of An Xuan Village from the area in which the VC base camp was discovered the day before.

    "We arrived at the site late in the afternoon and remained a safe distance away as 2LT Robert Chavis called Bien Hoa Air Base and requested a light fire team of helicopters and an air strike to assist us. When the light fire team arrived we marked the area with a flare round from the M-79 grenade launcher and they peppered the area of the base camp with machine gun fire and watched over it until the jets arrived.

   The two jets made their runs over the base camp from west to east and dropped several 500 lb. bombs on it. This was my first encounter of a bombing run from such a close distance. We were situated only about 100 yards from the impact area. The jungle where the base camp had been, now resembled a small lake instead of thick trees and brush.

   It was getting late in the day and too dark to conduct a thorough search of the area to do a bomb damage assessment, so we set up in ambush positions around the base camp. We were smart enough this time to pick high ground so we wouldn’t be in water when the tide was up.

    The night passed quietly and there was no activity except for the clouds of thousands of mosquitoes that roamed the area.

     At the first sign of daylight with the tide still low, we started our search. It certainly wasn’t any easier this time around with all the new debris from the bombs creating an even worse tangle. Yesterdays high ground was turned into today's swamp from the large bomb craters. Nothing was left of the trees, trench lines, or firing positions. All we were able to find were several pieces of torn black cotton cloth, several sandals, and once again all those damn fire ants. There must have been several VC in the camp when it was hit by the 500 pounder's, there was the familiar stench of rotting flesh hanging in the hot, thick, still air.

     On the lighter side, once we got back out of the mud and water onto dry land Captain Solominson put on quite a show. He dropped his M-16 and web gear, dropped his pants, and picked several leeches off his nether area. It was a Kodak moment but unfortunately no one had a camera ready."   CPL Thomas T. Watson, Squad Leader, Ambush Team -76, B Company, 720th MP Battalion.

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26 September
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   The Military Police Corps celebrated its 27th Anniversary.

     SP/4 Roger L. Meador of HQ Detachment, 720th MP Battalion joins COL William A. Brandenberg, commanding officer of the 18th MP Brigade in cutting the anniversary cake commemorating the 27th Anniversary of the MP Corps on Long Binh Post, III Corps Tactical Zone, Bien Hoa Provence, Vietnam.

     SP/4 Meador was selected by Battalion Commander LTC Baxter M. Bullock to represent the enlisted men at the ceremony.

Photo courtesy of the MP Journal Magazine >

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30 September
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TAOR  2245 hours, a team of Viet Cong sappers tried to crawl through the wire of Long Binh Post at Gate #11. It appears their target was the POL (Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricant) storage tanks just beyond the gate to the east.

     Several mortar rounds were also launched at the area during the attack. They set off a trip flare and the bunker guards opened fire catching several of them in the perimeter wire. There was a brief exchange of fire before the VC retreated into the darkness.  B Company TOC tasked Ambush Squad-76 with sweeping the area the next morning.

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