Saturday, October 31, 2015

Battle of Cam Lo--(02/02/68)--Meritorious Unit Citation


1.    In accordance with the provisions of references (a) and (b), it is recommended that the following units be awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation with Bronze letter "V" for especially meritorious combat performance in connection with an extremely heavy enemy attack on their isolated position at Cam Lo District Headquarters on 2 February 1968.
        a.    First Squad, us First Platoon, "D" Company, First Battalion, Fourth Marines
        b.    Third Squad, First Platoon, "D" Company, First Battalion, Fourth Marines
        c.    First Squad, Third Platoon, "E" Company, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines
2.    The above mentioned units were under the command of Second Lieutenant Michael O STICK, 0102306/0302/9940 USMC during the attack.  At approximately 0215 on the morning of 2 February 1968, the above mentioned composite platoon came under extremely heavy enemy attack by 82mm mortars followed by a ground attack by an estimated two North Vietnamese companies.  The initial mortar attack consisted of 100-150 rounds, there was lots of explosions going off - like the movies, all you could smell was gun power rounds which fell within the Combined Action Company perimeter and resulted in the death of one Army officer and the wounding of two ARVN and two Marine personnel.  During the ground attack which continued for fully four hours, on the above mentioned composite platoon, the physical defenses of the perimeter were almost completely destroyed by Bangalore torpedoes and RPG fire.  The bunkers near the blown wire were attacked with RPG's, heavy machine gun and small arms fire.  At no time was the enemy allowed to set foot within the perimeter.  The Marines in these squads fought literally to the last round of ammunition, then resupplied by carrying ammunition from abandoned Popular Forces positions under intense small arms fire.  Approximately 80% of the Marines in the composite platoon became casualties during the battle.  The furious intensity of this action and the courage, determination and devotion to duty of those Marines is graphically demonstrated by the fact that every helmet and every 'flack' jacket was either torn or dented by fragmentation or bullets.  A total of 144 enemy bodies were counted when the sun rose and the enemy broke contact and attempt to flee the area.  This action denied the enemy a major political/psychological objective in their present winter/spring offensive.
3.    The courage and aggressiveness displayed by all members of the composite platoon was in keeping with the highest traditions of the Naval Service.  Special recognition of the distinguished and valorous achievement of the units involved in this action appears to warrant the award of the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
4.    This award is for direct participation in combat operations and the Combat Distinguishing Device is recommended.