Posted: 4/20/2001 12:55:18 PM EDT
This is just a clip.
106RR196LIB Registered User posts: 72 (4/19/01 12:36:04 am) Reply Re: AFTER
1971 Kham Duc 3/21 196th LIB The 3/21 were ordered to take a non
strategic village called Kham Duc. After they got the vill there was no way to
defend it. It was indefensible by position. Neither side actually wanted it.
3/21 requested helo evac. The NVA were massed on all sides in far superior
numbers and firepower. Helo evac was refused. They were ordered to hold --
land retreat would mean total annihilation. They dug a huge body pit for the
expected casualties. These are used for temporary burial of US remains. Graves
Reg then dis inters and re buries or tranships the remains. The NVA came in
massive force as expected. Helo evac was refused again. Between waves, they
threw their buddies into the pits and continued to fight until it was their turn
to be thrown into the pit. Helo evac was again requested -- they begged. It
was refused. Ammo was stripped from the wounded and dead. The NVA continued
the attack. It seemed that there was no hope and most guys felt abandoned.
Finally when there were very few left alive to evac--the high command relented.
They did not after all want the village anyway. The NVA took Kham Duc. Thee
NVA didn't want the vill either. It was indefensible. They were sure that the
US would mount a massive counterattack so they didn't stay. The NVA had lost
more men than the 3/21 They didn't have the time, energy or men to bury their
own dead. They threw their men into the body pits with the 196th and retreated.
We didn't have enough men left to mount a counterattack. The rains came and the
pits filled with water. It was 30 days before we could get enough replacements
to retake Kham Duc. During the monsoon, it rains every night and gets blazing
hot every day. The remains had been there for a month in the body pits. Graves
Reg was ordered to wade into the pits and identify Americans by feeling in their
mouths for dog tags. Every cadaver was checked. This was the most difficult
assignment ever performed by Graves Reg during the Vietnam War. Please forgive
the spelling and the errors this is always emotional. It seems in some ways a
microcosm of the war, with both sides joined in the brotherhood of the body pit.
PS I cleaned this up alot. Mike H
In a lighter time we had a situation where a small group of armed VC ran across a road in broad
daylight. Six guys form
D 4/31 opened up on them at less than 100 meters,firing in excess of 120 rounds. They missed!
Completely! No one was even scratched!
The CO made them fake a body count because he was so embarassed about their marksmanship.
Did we razz them? You Betcha.
Mike H, that was one hard story to read. Know that it took a lot out of you.
Good come back with the second one.
Say, was 3/21 called the Gimlets back then?
Gene -- They were indeed called the gimlets. I believe they also had a
battalion level officer in 68/69 who called himself
Gimlet. I talked to Survivors at the 196th convention and
some were still bitter as you can imagine. Many of the
survivors were in the recon platoon. They s
God Bless all who served and are serving.
Another post talks of killing someone, read this
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