NVA Find Deuces Wild, Lose 28 Near Dau Tieng
By SP4 D.J. Caldwell
DAU TIENG - An enemy force paid dearly for an attempt to overrun a Triple Deuce position three miles west of Dau Tieng, as 28 North Vietnamese Army soldiers were left behind dead on the battlefield.
Not a single casualty was sustained by Bravo Company, 2d Battalion (Mech) 22d Infantry during the four-hour fight in which they raked the enemy with machinegun fire, small arms, and a devastating barrage of mortars and artillery.
A warning of the attack had come two days earlier when the company killed three members of a five-man enemy reconnaissance patrol which was camouflaged with charcoal. After the mechanized infantrymen fired at the NVA patrol, they discovered three bodies outside the perimeter.
When the much larger attack came shortly before midnight two days later, the company, commanded by Captain John Johnson of Missoula, Mont., was ready.
From a vantage point atop a high bunker, members of the 3d Brigade company spotted enemy soldiers coming toward their perimeter. At the same time, members of a command observation post several hundred meters outside the wire spotted heavy movement and were told to pull back.
“We came to within 100 yards of the perimeter but could still see groups of five to 15 enemy advancing toward the company,” said Sergeant Aubry L. Crumb of New Orleans.”
Crumb’s patrol came back within the perimeter to engage the enemy as the Triple Deuce company opened up with its heavy organic weapons.
Artillery support from Charlie Battery, 2d Battalion, 77th Artillery in Fire Support Base Wood and Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 27th Artillery in Dau Tieng began pouring deadly fire on the attackers.
While enemy mortars, RPG’s and heavy small arms fire hit around the company’s armored personnel carriers, Johnson got on top of the position’s highest bunker and observed enemy movement through a starlight scope. He directed the company’s fire so effectively that no enemy approached any closer than 50 meters from the Perimeter.
During the height of the battle an 81mm counter-mortar round fired by Triple Deuce mortarmen apparently struck in the midst of an enemy mortar crew, sending up a secondary explosion and silencing the NVA tube.
A sweep of the battle area the following morning turned up the bodies plus four enemy RPG launchers and 25 rounds, three AK-47 assault rifles and several hundred rounds, six bangalore torpedoes, two anti-tank mines and 151 Chicom hand grenades.