Army Reporter information
173 ABN BDE was a US Army unit
for 173 ABN BDE
For date 680106
Primary service involved, US Army
Kontum Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Dak To
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Perfect Ambush LRRP Seizes Flag" dated 6 Jan 1968.
A VC flag was displayed by a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol of the 173rd Abn Bde here as a result of a perfect recondo ambush netting five VC killed and the capture of five enemy weapons and supplies. The LRRP team, led by SP4 Donald G. Waid, was lifted into and area just vacated by a company of Sky Soldiers the previous day. The recondos hoped to catch the enemy by surprise if they decided to check out the paratrooper's night position. The team's mission got off to a bad start. "Our presence was detected by a group of villagers as soon as we climbed off the chopper," recalled SP4 John Carson, who was experiencing his first mission as a recondo. Waid moved his team into the thick brush to confuse the onlooking villagers. For the next few days, the paratrooper discovered many well-traveled trails but could not detect and enemy movement in the area. At dusk one day, the team stopped just off a freshly used trail and set up for the night. In the dark protective shadows of the jungle, the well-hidden paratroopers silently waited for the enemy. They did not have to wait long before spotting a band of five armed VC moving down the trail towards their ambush. The paratroopers let the enemy pointman walk well into the killing zone before assistant team leader SP4 Irvin Moran detonated two claymore mines, instantly killing four of the Communist soldiers. The fifth VC ran through the recondos perimeter before he was cut down by PFC Wayne Harland, a radio telephone operator. Early the next morning, the recondos made good their departure by helicopter. Back at Dak To, the recondos proudly displayed two .45-cal. grease guns, an M1 carbine, an automatic rifle and an old unknown French weapon, besides enemy documents, medical supplies and the flag.
The source for this information was 6801AR.AVN supplied by Les Hines
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