Delta, Mike 2 - NVA/VC in the Wire

NVA/VC in the Wire

Well, 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 their penetration.

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.


1st Infantry Division TAOR (1969) 

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