Vietnam Service Medal

Journal Entries for:

September 3, 1968

The doctors never did discover what caused Alex to be ill. His fever was from "unknown origin", they said. He should be coming back in a day or two.

I have only 46 more days to freedom... getting short!

September 5, 1968

Weather… wet

It has rained for the last few days. Typhoon Bess is due to hit full strength at noon today.

Our tent almost washed away the other night so we thought about building an ark. When the weather gets better we will need to repair the damage to the sandbags that surround our tent. One good thing, the weather helped to keep "Charlie" quiet. He must be bailing out his tunnel.

Alex was just released from the hospital so he should be back shortly. It will be nice to have some help with radio duty once again.

Jim and Smokie

Jim Hall & Smokey

September 6, 1968

Birthday celebrations on the Hill. Jim (Dick) Hall (Headquarter's medic) and Smokey (generator guy) were each born on 9/11 and are celebrating their birthdays early before they leave for Quang Ngai.

View Jim Hall's photo album here.

Medic Cross

September 9, 1968

The NVA lost a major battle last month. I hope our success keeps "Charlie" quiet until I get out of here.

Yesterday, I received my separation orders. I must report to Cam Ranh Bay on October 15, for my flight home.

September 15, 1968

On this day, Sgt. Leon Daniel Bullock died of wounds suffered during combat in Quang Ngai Province. He was a member of A Troop's 3rd. platoon. He was only 23 years old.

ARVN Training Area

Son Tinh ARVN Training Area

Courtesy of Jim Wambold

September 18, 1968

Quang Ngai

Quang Ngai Headquarters

Approximately five days ago, we received orders to move to Quang Ngai. This time I did not volunteer. My orders were to go along and set up a mobile radio station. I only received two hours notice, so I had to hurry to get my gear together.

We traveled the 50 miles from Hawk Hill to Quang Ngai after dark. Our troop arrived on the outskirts of town at three in the morning and camped there until daybreak.

In the morning, we headed for an airport located south of the city. Here, we set up a base camp while our troop continued to scout for the enemy.

It was not long before we needed to move our position closer to the fighting to improve the communications.

Quang Ngai Camp

Forward Outpost at Quang Ngai

In a few days, we declared victory and headed for home. On the way back, we stopped in Chu Lai for the night and parked right on the beach. While there, I had a chance to swim in the South China Sea and even saw a stage show. We returned to Hill 29 in the morning.

I now have 30 days left.

*Operation Champaign Grove

Operation Champaign Grove was formed on September 4 to relieve pressure on the Ha Thanh Civilian Irregular Defense Group Camp and to prevent a possible attack against Quang Ngai City. Units of the 11th Brigade, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, and the 2nd ARVN Division combined together to account for 323 NVA killed.

In a battle five miles southwest of Quang Ngai City, C Troop felled 42 of the enemy and captured a large weapons cache.

On September 14 infantrymen and cavalrymen of Task Force Galloway reported 40 NVA and three VC killed and six crew-served and eight individual weapons captured in Operation Champaign Grove. (*Information Office, Americal Division)

**1-1 Cav: on 14 Sept 68, A trp and C trp with B co 4-46 Inf continued recon in zone toward the west and northwest along probable avenues of withdraw as a follow-up to the contact of the previous day. At 1410 hrs, A trp was engaged by an NVA force vic BS522750 supported by AW and AT weapons. A trp immediately assaulted the enemy’s position and C trp with B co 1-46 Inf was ordered to assist A trp by attacking along A trp’s eastern flank. The attacks dispersed or destroyed the enemy and A trp, C trp with B co 1-46 Inf established night blocking positions along a line from BS493745 toBS532764.

Results of the contacts on the 13th and 14th of Sept were as follows:

Friendly-3 KHA, 22 Wha, 1 track destroyed, 2 tracks damaged.

Enemy – 112 KIA, 1 CIA, 17 IW, 11 SCW

**Reporting Officers:

  1. Col Oran K. Henderson. CO, 11th Light Infantry Brigade
  2. LTC William D Guinn Jr., 1st Battalion 20 th Infantry

Results: 1st Battalion 20th inf

a. Personnel: KIA WIA MIA VCS

Friendly: 18 KIA 70 WIA -- --

Enemy: 98 KIA -- -- 8 VCS

b. Equipment Losses: Type (Quantity)

Friendly: UH1 (1)

Enemy: mixed ammo (4,404) rds

c. Weapons Losses: Type (Quantity)

Friendly: M-16 (4)

Enemy: AK-47 (18) Pistol .45cak (1) RPD MG (3) 57 mm RR (1) Flare gun (2) RPG 7 launcher (1) B40 launcher (1)

Commander’s Analysis 1st Battalion 20 Infantry:

It is difficult to estimate the size of the enemy force in the HA THANH area. With a couple of exceptions, the NVA did not actively seek contact with our forces. The NVA, however, were forced into fight, fought hard and well. Their defensive positions were exceptionally well prepared and indicated a trained and disciplined force. Their equipment was relatively new and appeared to be maintained properly. The success of this operation is attributed to the aggressive action by elements of this command and the immediate response by Tac Air, Artillery and Army aviation.


Dustoff Helicopter

Battle of Quang Ngai

Battle of Quang Ngai

Highway One

Highway One

September 21, 1968

*On September 21, the heaviest contact was in Operation Burlington Trail, as units of the 1st Cavalry, F Troop, 8th Cavalry, and a company of the 11th Brigade's 4th Brigade, 21st Infantry killed 92 NVA. (*Information Office, Americal Division)

September 22, 1968

I will remember this night for a long time. I had gone to sleep in our tent. At 0200 hours, the Viet Cong began an attack on Hawk Hill with rockets and mortars. Suddenly, there was a loud explosion that jarred me awake. I quickly grabbed my weapon and stumbled into the tent’s tie-downs as I sprinted over to A Troop’s Command bunker. After daybreak, I went back over to inspect our tent and noticed that the shrapnel had torn holes in the top and also hit the sandbags surrounding the sides. Apparently, a rocket had impacted right next to our tent. We had recently excavated a hole for a new bunker and the rocket unwittingly landed in that hole. If that hadn’t been the case, I doubt if I’d be around to tell the story. I was really amazed that no one was killed.

Only 19 days left.

September 29, 1968

My tour of duty is finally almost over. I have 11 days left on Hawk Hill. Soon, I will depart for Cam Ranh Bay to catch a flight home.

NextClick Star for Next Month

First Armored, First Cavalry, First Regiment of Dragoons - Hill 29, 1968

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