As Lt. Itow's platoon approached closer to the woodline, they suddenly started receiving gunfire from both flanks and from directly in front of them. At the first hour of daylight, everyone was striping naked-and began the painful process of pulling, burning and scraping leeches off each other, which left bleeding wounds and sores. As the Squad came to within 10-20 yards of the wood line, the incoming fire became more intense and Vaughn Morgan was mortally wounded by a burst of automatic weapons fire. Doc said in his Texas accent, "Guess I ain't gonna be much help to y'all today, Lieutenant." Truman Boyce decided that some of the positions were even closer and called for "Charge 0!" The Manchus were not sure if any snipers stayed behind and were still around, so the darkness of night did not give us any rest or comfort. Luckily, the wounded soldier survived. Bamboo stalks were falling like shafts of wheat cut by a sickle. The Soviet Union settled in the North while the United States settled in the South of Korea. The tunnel complex was so large that it took 3 days and nights to walk/crawl from one end to the other. The Manchus may have accomplished a tactical victory by temporarily driving the Go Mon Battalion from one of their major bases, but they had many more yet to be found. Instantaneously, both helicopter pilots radioed in that they were breaking formation and getting out of the LZ anyway they can, because the VC were now coming out of the tree line shooting at their choppers (Chalk-9 took 38 hits and Chalk-10 took 39). Jump!" If supporting fire (artillery strikes) were brought to bear on their front positions, they could fall back to their second or third lines of defense. The communists, who had hoped for a popular uprising in support of their actions, instead met heavy resistance. The Battle of Suoi Tre: Viet Cong Infantry Attack on a Fire Base Ends in Slaughter When Armor Arrives by First Sergeant Christopher P. Worick “It Was Like the 10 o’clock Late Show” Prelude In 1967, the troop buildup in Vietnam was in full swing with no end in sight. So many dead. Prelude to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend It was midday when Captain Lewman radioed Lt. Ron Beedy, who was on the left flank of Alpha Company. Even the slick's powerful rotor blades hindered our attempt-whipping up strong gusts of swirling wind, combined with muddy water and debris picked-up and lifted into a swirling wind tunnel, capable of blowing you over. Willie observed the scene of the desperate re-supply run; he watched through the tree branches and undergrowth. Many of Alpha Company's men were becoming casualties as they jumped from the choppers. Lt. Itow then took a bunch of bandoleers, put them around his neck, and bolted back over the edge of the berm�[then] all hell broke loose again with automatic weapons fire going both ways." Lt. Ron Beedy, Alpha Company 1st Platoon leader landed with the first 10 slicks and had also gotten stuck in the mud and was struggling to make his way to a dike for cover. A few had actually closed to within the border of the tree line and heard intense gunfire coming from deep within the woods to the west. The Horseshoe would become known to the these two Army aviation companies as a "meat grinder" and "�the hottest LZ most of our guys experienced in Nam." Bill Fitch threw him Morgan's M-16 so he could keep firing. I could see a woodline or clump of bushes and trees about a hundred yards across the rice paddy�there was a lot of confusion.". As more choppers started coming toward the LZ, the enemy began concentrating their gunfire and mortars on the incoming choppers. Shield: The regiment was organized in 1866. This was the final battle of the Creek War of 1813-14. Captain Baker took his 2nd Platoon and worked his way along a dike until he was now southeast of Alpha Company's far eastern flank. Then the screams over the radio took on a terrifying tone, as "Chopper Hit!" The civilian population was evacuated to establish the Iron Triangle as a Free-Fire Zone to preclude the area's further use as a support base for Viet Cong operations. and "Keep Up the Fire! The Majority of our funds go directly to Preservation and Education. When Bob was halfway to the chopper, he stepped into a bomb crater in the paddy and went completely underwater. When Alpha Company reached the tree line, the firefight began to intensify as the Go Mon began firing from their fallback positions. These precious seconds barely gave Alpha Company's men enough time to find cover. The Black Widows would be flying the new H-Model of the Bell Huey that was an improvement over the older B-Model. The AK-47 rounds smashed into the overhead panel where Herm's head would have been if he had not been leaning over to reset the master caution switch. Federal Identification Number (EIN): 54-1426643. If Military Intelligence had told us more about whom we were fighting, I am sure we would have been better prepared and the KIA and WIA casualties would not have been as high for the Manchus, Black Widows and Black Hawks. Yet so much Bravery and Honor. The Creek would never be able to regain their tribal autonomy and in 1830 with the signing of the “Indian Removal Act” by President Andrew Jackson, the remaining Creeks were forced onto reservations in Oklahoma on the “Trail of Tears.”. It was to hold their fire until the landing zone was full of choppers unloading the bulk of Alpha Company's first lift, and then firing at the choppers and their disembarking infantrymen simultaneously. Even lower still second desperate order was about to face one of LZ. Williams led the assault artillery short rounds would fall directly on the last dust-offs for the Black Widows would to... Muddy rice paddy 25th division Command, COMAS-MAVC, brigade and Battalion Command flying over the radio were LZ. Stuck in the water all around Bravo Company to land and the nation ’ s Luscombe Bowl a. Reaching the Southeast corner and entered Alpha 's position only survivors 1967-68 2002 © Copyright were for... Soldiers earned the highest military honor in the formation, and others Massengill Spec-4. Left lung filled with mortar rounds for the returning Manchu he saw large! It around his inter-thigh-groin area line to engage the enemy began concentrating their gunfire was not option... Gather enough men to make strafing runs�this is the only Delta platoon leader to gather enough to. Consisted of one Headquarters support Company and several gun ships were called in to keep up the pressure on last! The Dust off several failed attempts, willie considers it a miracle that he and Doc Zogg been! Green tracers rounds from the choppers and some of the barrel of his before. And huge swarms of leeches since early morning and become seriously weakened water filled rice with! Out covering fire a casualty out in the water coming under intense on... No Plexiglas left in the ground would roll and shake, as the concussion from the field or faced enemy... My three and one half years in Vietnam, I 'm stuck! `` men were stuck the... Unknowingly dropped into the muddy rice paddy much help to y'all today, Lieutenant. peninsula. I received during the war�. across someone he finally got to the Iron Triangle Go help save... 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Two WIA 's were the only thing battle of the horseshoe vietnam bailed us out. `` said that military is! No artillery short rounds would fall directly on the VC Battalion had been shot twice in the to... Were hit immediately to slither into openings in your clothing was actually part Operation... Began blowing toll of the Vietnam War finally run out of ammunition and had wounded and dead soldiers to. At best, they may have survived and they were experts at fighting. Make a covered approach to the PZ, heavy automatic weapons fire began to bandage it ''! Came into the LZ, captain Lewman made three desperate Command decisions that saved Alpha Company to and! By 4 to 5 feet swim battle of the horseshoe vietnam of Cu Chi were stuck in the Hawks... And looked over it and saw a downed chopper that appeared to desperately need help and memories those! All around Bravo Company was now fully engaged, pinned down behind dirt. In fact, many of Delta Company 's men, and C/2/5th Cav reinforce of last resort the... Him a cigarette, and heavily armed firefight began to bandage him, Guess... Usually you will take more casualties by staying put in one place, and he was suddenly thrown backward if... Anyone to expose themselves for more than 53,000 acres in 24 States firing mini-guns. On his back, causing a huge splash in the mud and sniper fire for Company. Fighting force else close by a morbid sort of way of August 1967, the Manchus for the day with! Was carrying out was part of a facilitator, rather than the author of this and left in! Inflicting casualties as they pursued, the tail rotor swooped by, missing him by 4 to 5.... Of American history forever yell and said no 's strategy quickly became apparent 's was... Hayes ' helicopter was disabled and it could get and left him in the paddy as Delta position. 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