Army Reporter information
for D/4 ENG 4 INF

For date 690113

D/4 ENG 4 INF was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Pleiku Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Plei Me
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Fake, real ambush thwart by convoy" dated 13 Jan 1969. NVA forces set up straw dummies armed with wooden rifles to ambush a 4th Inf Div engineer convoy, then sprang a real trap when the convoy came back. But the live ambushers were no more effective than the straw men. "We were convoying a bulldozer and a couple of earthmovers down to Plei Me," explained LT Charles W. Friend, a platoon leader with D/4th Engr Bn. "We were the first Americans on that road in six months, and we saw signs of the enemy all along the way." Sweeping the road for mines, the engineers met a novel kind of harassment by the NVA - fake ambushes. Half-hidden in the bushes along the road were straw dummies dressed in scraps of uniforms, poking wooden rifles out at the engineers. From a distance it's a pretty scary thing." Friend admitted. But it wasn't until the small engineer convoy started back up the highway from Plei Me that it met real trouble. Halfway to the Oasis, the woodline 75 meters to the east erupted with heavy NVA fire. The convoy came to a fast halt. Two truckloads of armed men jumped to the ground and began blazing back at the enemy. Tanks at the front and rear of the convoy peeled off and swept toward the woodline, catching the NVA in a crossfire of machine-gun and 90mm cannon fire. Suddenly the convoy began receiving fire from the other side of the road. Returning fire from behind their trucks, the engineers swiftly silenced this attack also. "The people on the ground were pretty much on their own," stated Friend. "They did a beautiful job." Helicopter gunships were on stations a short time later, raking the enemy positions. Between passes by the gunships, the tanks moved in again and pumped more rounds into the woods.

The source for this information was 6901AR.AVN supplied by Les Hines

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Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023