Army Times information
for B/7/17 CAV
24 STZ

For date 700603

B/7/17 CAV was a US Army unit
24 STZ was a Vietnamese Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Pleiku Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Camp Holloway
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "B Troop, 7/17th Cavalry Slugs Enemy Near Dark To" dated about June 1970 and believed to be from the Army Times. (Editor: naturally Dark To should be Dak To). Camp Holloway, Vietnam. LOH and Cobra gunships of the 17th CAG's B/7/17th Cav joined forces with Air Force Phantom jets and artillery fire to kill nine NVA soldiers and destroy 13 122mm rocket tubes and 24 enemy bunkers in a thickly wooded area five miles south of Dak To in Can Tun Province (Editor: should be Kontum Province). Just after 8 a.m. the Ruthless Rider element started screening for a platoon size element of the ARVN 24th STZ. LOH pilot CPT Clarence E. Rogers, of Williamstown, WV, after following several enemy trails came upon a 20 bunker complex and several trenches. "As I was flying on my second pass over the bunkers my observer spotted four 122mm rocket tubes aimed toward the Dak To-Tan Canh area," CPT Rogers said. WO James D. Salyer, of Kenton, OH, was flying lead scout helicopter for the second team which had just come on station, marked the enemy position. Immediately two flights of Air Force fighters struck the area with rockets and 1,000 pound bombs and destroyed approximately 15 bunkers and two trench lines. The air strike also resulted in a secondary explosion, according to the lead Cobra pilot CWO Ray H. Christ of Arcadia, FL. The scout LOHs then returned to the area and finished screening for the ARVN platoon. Before too long the lead scout aircraft drew heavy automatic fire. "Mr. Salyerís observer managed to mark the target just as they pulled out from the small arms fire," commented Mr. Christ, "and allowed the fighter planes to saturate the enemy position with rockets." Three NVA kills were credited to the Air Force. "It was almost time to relieve us," Mr. Christ noted, "when the friendly ground troops came upon what was estimated to be two platoons of enemy soldiers. I rolled in with my gunship, followed by my wingman, and we blew the place apart with our rockets and mini-gun fire," he said. Later in the day the ARVN platoon found six enemy soldiers. After returning to the area of operations, CPT Rogersí team, while screening ahead of the ARVNs, found six old bunkers with charcoal pits and four bamboo hootches. Due to the proximity to the friendly element, the commander of the mission, B Troop executive officer CPT Ronald R. Bath, of Lakeland, FL, called for artillery fire on the rocket and bunker positions which had been found earlier that morning. During the barrage a bunker which contained nine more rocket tubes and the entrance to several tunnels were blown open. CPT Bath again called for the fighter planes which destroyed five more bunkers and produced four secondary explosions. The lead scout ship of the first team flown by Mr. Salyer, meanwhile was working northeast of this bunker complex. There he found three more automatic weapon positions and called for Mr. Christís Cobra. "One automatic weapon doughnut was destroyed. We then returned to our primary concern, the first rocket position," said Mr. Christ, "and continued marking targets for the phantom jets and screening for the ground elements." When the Ruthless Rider scouts and Cobras left they accounted for nine more rocket positions and three more bunker complexes destroyed.
Comments: CPT Rogers, Clarence E.; LOH pilot; ; WO Salyer, James D.; LOH pilot; ; CWO Christ, Ray H.; Cobra pilot; ; CPT Bath, Ronald R.; B Troop XO; ;

The source for this information was paper clippings supplied by Rudi DeFrance

Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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Date posted on this site: 09/24/2017