Saturday, October 31, 2015

Battle of Cam Lo (02/02/68)--After Action Report Filed by 2nd Lt MO Stick


"At approximately 020215H, CAC Hq. vicinity YD 129579 started receiving incoming 82mm mortars (initial volley of about 100-150 rounds).  This was followed by a ground attack utilizing RPG's, RR, and small arms.  The initial RPG rounds penetrated the main CAC, COC area killing the sub-sector advisor (Major Payne), two ARVN personnel, wounding two other USMC personnel, and destroying all radios except one.  Capt R. L. McMaken USA assumed command of the compound and adjusted artillery to box the position in.  The 1/40th then provided immediate support.  A call then by Capt McMaken at approximately 0220 notified Quang Tri that they were under heavy ground attack and that a Spooky was needed.  The attack seemed to come from three directions - mainly from the south, west and northeast.  The Spooky arrived in the general vicinity in good time but could not get orientated to the position until about 0430H.  In the interim period artillery illumination was adjusted from Cam Lo (4.2") and Dong Ha (155mm), there were approximately three rows of wire around the compound and in two areas there were enemy personnel who make it into the third row of wire, but were cut down before they could penetrate burn that surrounded the compound.  25 NVA bodies were counted at the in front of my bunker to the right northwest corner and approximately 15 bodies at the northeast corner.  Also of interest was the fact that the NVA had dug prone positions about one foot in depth at the northeast salient, the two quad .50's present at the compound were hit by RPG's or RR within 20 minutes of the first incoming. we found pools of blood and that's about all we found of the men manning the quad 50's  Enemy contact was furious until approximately 020615H at which time the contact was limited to scattered small arms fire.  Due to the tre---iourous fighting at the compound and the extreme accuracy of the friendly artillery the enemy was forced to withdraw.  A reaction force composed of two platoons and two dusters from 2/9 was dispatched to aid the CAC Hqtrs and arrived at approx 020630H.  The reaction force then swept to the north of the CAC Hqtrs position, but south of the Song Cam Lo River.  This succeeded in actually trapping some of the enemy as they were making their escape across the river.  Captain McKight in charge of 2/9 reaction force claimed that 8 confirmed and 2 prisoners from this separate action.  A reaction force from Don Ha consisting of 3 tanks, two Dusters, two Quad 50's and approx 100 troops left Dong Ha at 020600H and arrived in the CAC Hqtrs at approx 0730H.  Upon moving in the compound it was learned that a bulk of the enemy forces withdrew to the southeast and northwest, the reaction force from Dong Ha was quickly organized and swept around the perimeter to the south and north of the perimeter.  The quick aggressive, follow-up action accounted for the collection of the large number of POW's and prevented the enemy from reacting in the immediate vicinity.  A list of the cumulative losses as of 021500H included the following: 2 USMC KIA, 1 USA KIA, 81 NVA (conf), 22 Detainees, 42 IWC, 13 CSWC, 18 USMC WIA (Medevac)"--