NVA/VC in the Wire
the worst and most frightening NVA/VC to penetrate the wire perimeter of base
camps, fire support bases, etc, were the specially trained SAPPERS. They
got in everywhere and always caused casualties and equipment loss when they did.
If they were not killed at the perimeter, they were hunted down by rifle squads
or MPs or ad hoc security teams depending on what was available at the scene of
At FSB's it was a balls to the wall attack on the perimeter, often from
more than one direction, and explosive charges or ladders were used to cross the
wire (also to carry off wounded and dead too). Again it was rifle fireteams/squads
and ad hoc security teams that handled penetrations.
At NDPs, with no wire, just your LPs firepower and claymores were all that
separated the individual fighting positions and the gooks. The mortar pits, gun
pits, HQ bunkers, aid station and such were all inside the double circle of NDP
fighting positions. The grunts are all that was between these places and the
gooks. While 2 men slept at each IFP (behind it in a tent made out of ponchos)
the 3rd stood guard. Guard was rotated about every 2 hours all night long. Same
thing at the positions inside the NDP. Everyone was told the password, everyone
moved as little as possible, light discipline was enforced-often harshly, and
everyone knew that this was a FREE FIRE ZONE IN ALL DIRECTIONS or if there were
restrictions in place. Each company had an ambush patrol OUT THERE
somewhere and each platoon had a 3 man LP OUT THERE in front of it - minimum!
Some times there were 2 LPs in front of each platoon.
If there was an attack, and the gooks closed with the first line of IFP's, the
theory was the second would sweep them clear with weapons fire and grenades. BUT
reality was that if the gooks over ran the first line of bunkers (IFP's) the
second was less than 30 feet behind it, so there was a really confused
fight at close range, with people fighting hand-to-hand, using small-arms,
pistols, knives, bayonets, butt-stocks, entrenching tools, machetes,
hatchets, steel pots, pistols, fists teeth, rocks, boots, web gear, sandbags,
anything and everything is a weapon. The fight is all around you, the enemy can
and does come from any direction. No prisoners taken or offered. Hand grenades
and explosive charges were also sometimes used in clearing or
securing contested bunkers. Sometimes, if there were guns inside the perimeter,
the gunners would scream out the warning BEEHIVE! BEEHIVE!
BEEHIVE!!!!!!!!!!! and the radio net would broadcast the warning too. All GIs
that could would try and sink into the ground or get behind something quickly.
Reason, the gunners were gonna cut loose with bore-sighted 105mm howitzer
cannister rounds in an effort to stop the already desperate situation from
getting worse inside the NDP. This, when it happened tended to stop the
attackers rather suddenly and leave dazed survivors from both sides to finish
the fight at close quarters.
Whoever the senior man was, could call for other nearby artillery and
mortars to plaster the entire NDP with fire for effect till the gooks were all
dead or running. If air support was available it would also respond to a
call of BROKEN ARROW (this code means that a ground unit has been or is
about to be over run by the gooks, and all available support is diverted and
placed at disposal of same.
TO "DELTA, MIKE 2" INDEX
Infantry Division TAOR (1969)
All material presented in the pages of
this index is Copyright (1999)
of 'Delta Mike 2' and
and may not be copied, stored or distributed without the express permission
of the author. Please respect the ownership of these memories. Thanks.