~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association Vietnam History Project ~
March 1972 ~ Battalion Time Line
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Last Updated
30 May 2012
18th MP
89th MP
720th MP

Exact date unknown B Company, under the command of CPT David O. Wright, returned from Vin Long in the Mekong Delta, Military Region IV, to Long Binh Post, Bien Hoa Province, Military Region III in a 98 vehicle convoy that took half a day just to cross the Mekong River via the ferry.

     A five man detachment remained in the Mekong Delta region assigned to MACV Team-68 in Can Tho with LTC Dewitt Hudson the Provost Marshal of Military Region IV. This detachment, equipped with two V100 armored cars, continued the convoy escort duties. When required, their manpower was augmented by men from the Company HQ at Long Binh Post.

     After their return to Long Binh Post the company performed Post Patrols, conducted convoy escorts of Vietnamese civilian contractors who were hauling Agent Orange from the Bien Hoa Airbase to the Newport Docks in Saigon, convoy escorts to Lai Khe transporting ammunition resupply.

Woodstock the Sentry Pig

     While at Vinh Long the company pet was a dog named "Pistol" who accompanied us to Long Binh Post. During the March convoy to Long Binh Post SGT Carl Singleton purchased a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig from a roadside vendor and it became our second pet.

     The MP’s built it a pen in the company area and named it 'Woodstock.' A conflict arose when LTC Hammacker, Battalion Commander, pushed me to enforce the one pet per company regulation. To legally circumvent the regulation I issued a company order designating Woodstock as a working animal, a Sentry Pig, and moved his pen next to the company ammunition bunker that was also close to the mess hall where he was very happy.

     The incident didn't do much for my career. It wasn’t to long before Woodstock became fat and I had to concede to the regulation. The company gave Woodstock to the Vietnamese refugees who were kind enough to wait until after we left before they promptly ate him. CPT David O. Wright, Commanding Officer, B Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, Vietnam, October 1971 to June 1972.

21 March

    C Company assumes the physical security assignment at the United States Army Republic of Vietnam (USARV) Headquarters the perimeter, and the general officer's billet area.

     The work was split into three shifts: 0630-1430 (6:30AM to 2:30PM) hours; 1430-2230 (2:30PM to 10:30PM) hours; 2230-0630 (10:30PM to 6:30AM) hours. The assignment was referred to as "The Palace Guard Detail" by the MPs that worked it.

     The General's were: LT GEN William McCaffrey, BG Cook, and General's Antonelli and General Schwitter (their actual general rank is unknown). The duty at USARV and the General Staff Compound was strictly "spit shine and pressed kakis," the MPs that worked it referred to themselves as "The Palace Guard."
30 March


17th (final) US Campaign Begins Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign (30 March 1972 to 28 March 1973).

     Members of C Company were given orientation training on the use of the recoilless rifle against Russian tanks in the weeks prior to the massive Easter Tide Communist Offensive.

The Communist Easter (Spring) Offensive

     North Vietnam launched the largest offensive since Tet, January 1968. The three-pronged invasion of South Vietnam, consisted of 13 well equipped North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Divisions. Army Of The Republic Of South Vietnam (ARVN) ground forces met for the first time with a NVA force equipped with many first-line Soviet weapons, including a number of new tanks, heavy artillery pieces, anti-aircraft missiles, and anti-tank missiles.

     The NVA push would temporarily capture all the territory north of Hue, South Vietnam which encompassed all of Quang Tri Province (the northernmost province of South Vietnam), and the majority of Thua Thien Province on the southern border of Quang Tri Province.

     However, the biggest battle was fought in Military Region III at An Loc where the ARVN defenders, their families, and the American advisors were surrounded and threatened with annihilation from NVA divisions that attacked from across the nearby Cambodian border.

     All along the communist fronts intensive bombardments of U.S. B52 Arc Light missions and close support tactical strikes of American fighter planes destroyed much of the NVA armor and artillery along with their ability to resupply which forced the North Vietnamese troops to retreat in defeat.

     B Company began ammunition resupply convoy escorts from Long Binh Post to Lai Khe during the Communist Easter (Spring) Offensive. The number and frequency of the escort duties were regulated by the enemy activity during the offensive and were rotated between all companies who also conducted civilian refugee escorts to Vung Tau, B Company also received permission to dismantle unused Adams Huts on Long Binh Post and transport them for refugee housing along with food supplies and medical provisions

."NVA tanks, refugees and other problems" March-April-May 1972

     We rotated the duty for the Lai Khe ammunition convoy escorts between the companies. At times it was as needed and when you could see the NVA T-55's (tanks) parked on Highway #13 between Lai Khe and the Thunders (Old 1st Infantry Base Camps between Lai Khe and the border) it got to be daily.

     From the Easter offensive on everything moved south and east. 1LT Danny F. Dent, was the Battalion S-4. He had been a Rifle Platoon leader in the 101st. Airborne Division. One day, a college classmate of his, 1LT Griswold, and his Commanding Officer, a LTC showed up at our officers' hooch area driving a jeep and looking for a place to rest and get clean. They were the advisors to the ARVN Airborne at Da Nang which was in full retreat. Good soldiers with no supplies, no leadership, way out manned and gunned. They were enroute to Saigon to regroup at MACV.

     The refugees were right with them, on the run and totally disorganized. One of our MP's found a bunch of them - maybe 25 or 30 - in a field east of Long Binh Post and we adopted them. They had found an empty building, possibly an old school. I Can't remember. We took food, doctors, medicine, blankets, cots and tables, whatever we could get away with. We took food regularly and took the Doctor once a week. He gave them shots and treated injuries and sickness. We tore down a Quonset hut in the company area and rebuilt it at the camp. The got a home and we got a paved volley ball court. A few Military Payment Certificates probably found their way into some refugee pockets. And, "Woodstock" got in a cook pot.

     Things were dismal. The 1st Cavalry Division had a brigade left in country. Other than that, the MP's were the only ones who could move, shoot and communicate. We openly wondered if we would have to fight through the ARVN to get to ships on the coast at Vung Tau to get us out. The S-3 had a plan such as it was. The NVA was going through the countryside like grain through a goose.

     On a trip to the refugee camp in May, my jeep burned up the coil and quit. Waiting for a new coil, my driver and I found ourselves in the center of the kill zone set for an ARVN convoy carrying 155mm artillery rounds, fuses and powder bags. We were lucky. The convoy lost all 19 trucks. Quite an afternoon.

CPT David O. Wright,, Commanding Officer, B Company.

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