Army Reporter information
1 BDE 1 CAV was a US Army unit
for 1 BDE 1 CAV
For date 680120
Primary service involved, US Army
Location, Bong Son
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Cav Chopper Pilots Discover NVA Hidden In 'Duck Blind'" dated 20 Jan 1968.
An NVA attempt to find a better way to conceal troops from 1st Cav Div helicopters has been foiled by an alert scout team from the 1st Brigade aviation platoon. Four NVA soldiers were killed by the team of two OH-13 observation helicopters who spotted unusual structures in a flooded rice paddy near the scene of a heavy contact between 1st Bde elements and members of NVA. "They looked like duck blinds," said WO Arthur Esenpreis Jr., one of the scout pilots. "They were building them in the reeds growing near the paddy dikes. They had woven some reeds together to make the top and sides and the whole thing was supported by stakes driven into the mud." "We could tell them from the rest of the reeds because they were rigid," said WO Phillip Rybolt, the other pilot. "They didn't bend from the propwash when we flew over them." A wooden plank floating in the middle of the enclosure and large enough to support a man was part of each structure, the flyers reported. Each had a small opening enabling a rifleman inside fire at helicopters or at a nearby village. "I guess they figured that nobody would think to look for them in the middle of an open paddy," Essenpreis said, "That water was five feet deep in places." The scout team engaged the enemy soldiers with grenades and machineguns and advised an infantry company sweeping to the north of the incident. The Cavalrymen found NVA uniforms and field equipment in the demolished structures.
Comments: WO Esenpreis, Arthur; LOH pilot; ;
WO Rybolt, Phillip; LOH pilot; ;
The source for this information was 6801AR.AVN supplied by Les Hines
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