Hist Sep 68 – May 69

From September 1, 1968, until December 31, 1968, C Troop provided support for the Fourth Infantry Division. During this time, C Troop activity consisted mainly of visual reconnaissance in the Division area of operations in support of the First and Third Brigades. Activity during this time was extremely light and contacts were few and far between, consisting mainly of assisting long range patrols in contact, extracting long range patrols, and medical missions. C Troop had its first major contact and lost its first aircraft, an OH-6A piloted by LT Edward F. Johnson and LT Patrick T. Murphy, on 27 October 1968. The Troop made contact with a platoon sized force and killed twelve enemy with their AH-1s and Scout OH-6A’s. A squad from the troop’s Aero-rifle Platoon was inserted to search the bodies for intelligence purposes, but they immediately came under intense automatic weapons fire. After several hours of heavy contact, during which an OH-6A was shot down, the rest of the Aero-Rifle Platoon was inserted along with an infantry company from the Third Brigade. A mechanized Infantry platoon, also from the Third Brigade, later arrived on the scene and contact was broken by the enemy around 1800 hours. The Aero Rifle Platoon and the downed aircraft crew were extracted leaving the mechanized infantry platoon and the infantry company to secure the area. C Troop was credited with thirty-six confirmed kills and later intelligence maintained that C Troop had made contact with a battalion sized force. During the week of 10 to 17 November, C Troop encountered heavy enemy contact on an almost daily basis-along the Cambodian Border near Duc Co. During this week Major Frost had one Command and Control Helicopter shot up causing him to crash land at LZ Vera and a second Command and Control helicopter received several hits from two fifty caliber positions. Al-though C Troop aircraft were receiving intense anti-aircraft fire and aircraft hits, they were able to maintain mission ready status and halt the enemy advance, which turned into a retreat towards Cambodia. On 24 November Major Robert Frost turned over his command to Major Jerry G. Ledford. From this period until 31 December, C Troop continued reconnaissance in support of the First and Third Brigades but enemy activity in the area was extremely light. During the month of January 1969, action in C Troop’s area of responsibility began to increase daily, consummating with discovery of a large enemy force on January 15 1969. It was 15 miles north of Plei Djerang. In the ensuing action, a Cobra Gun Ship was downed after making gun runs on the fortified enemy position. The Blue Platoon, led by 1LT Charles Cambell, was inserted and remained on station all night in an effort to recover the two pilots. Late during the day of 16 January 1969, the ground element was finally extracted, their mission complete. From January 16, 1969 to January 22, 1969 the Troop had a quarterly training week when numerous classes were conducted and maintenance on the Troop’s Aircraft was performed. Luring the months of February and March, C Troop roamed the Division’s area of operation searching out the enemy and inflicting heavy casualties on him. On 24 April 1969, C Troop was released from the support of the Division and moved to Lane Army Air Field where they are now under the operational control of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. During the month of May 1969, the troop operated in the An Lho Valley fifteen miles northwest of LZ English, where they have harassed and interdicted the enemy supply system.

3 thoughts on “Hist Sep 68 – May 69

  1. Bob Pape C Troop Blues flew over with unit in July 68 . Went to 4th Division recondo school . Late 68 started breaking up unit was transferred to D Troop Scouts Section leader

  2. Remember well the day at LZ Vera very well. I was Major Frost’s crew chief on that ship. If it wasn’t for his great flying skills we would not have had the outcome we did, all walked way in one piece. Still have the first aid kit with the 50 hole through it just inches away from his head and the clamp off the tail rotor that was also shot off. Lt. Cunningham had his hands full with communications as major’s radios was out.

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