Ripcord Association

Day by Day Report
March 12- 31, 1970

by Lee Widjeskog

March 21, 1970

After the hectic day on the 20th, the 1/506 remained in their positions   B 3/187, opcon to the 1/506, patrolled around Granite.

A continuation of the poor weather had the 2/506 troops patrolling in their respective areas.  Plans were afoot at Brigade to move onto Ripcord but weather was the issue.

March 22, 1970

Another foggy, cold morning followed by wind and a cold rain. Typical monsoon weather in the highlands.  Alpha, Bravo and Charlie 2/506 used the day cutting LZs.  No contact.  Delta remained near and on FSB Jack and Recon worked the Granite area.

 All of the 1/506 units except Alpha, worked the Granite area with no contact.

 Charlie 1/506 on Granite was probed during the night.  Artillery was employed and no further contact was made.

A sniper team was set about 300 meters from Granite.  The last contact was at 1938 hours.  About 30 minutes later a 105mm round hit a tree near the team and created an air burst.  This killed FPC John Sams and wounded two others. No contact was made with the team until PFC Anderson staggered into the Granite perimeter at first light and reported the incident.   One of those wounded, Donald McKee, died two days later in the hospital in Japan. 

The only change in artillery support is that now B 1/39 with the heavy guns, is now on FSB Barbara

March 23, 1970

Once more the weather was an issue.  2/506 units have not moved far.  Third Platoon A 2/506 engaged three NVA with negative results.  Earlier, Recon spotted NVA north of Gladiator but did not engage.

All of 1/506 worked around FSB Granite.  Bravo 1/506 found a three day old NVA body with equipment in a camp site.  No recent sign.

March 24, 1970

Weather cancelled any major moves.  All was quiet in the 2/506 area.  East of them. 1/506 patrolled but encountered nothing.

Meanwhile, 2/17th Cav, working 3 klicks northwest of FSB Maureen, spotted and killed four NVA.

March 25, 1970

Weather was still the same old story.  Wet, cold cloudy and tough flying.

Charlie 2/506 four klicks north west of Granite had a RPG fired at their position.  A helicopter was damaged, but there were no casualties.

Alpha 2/506 cut a new LZ and the other units patrolled as in the past few days.

The 1/506 continued to work the FSB Granite area without contact.

March 26, 1970

The weather showed signs of improvement, but was still an issue.

At 1100 hours Fourth Platoon B 2/506, as they moved through the jungle, were engaged by the NVA.  This was in the vicinity of what became known as “Re-up Hill”.  Marvin Shell found a foot print and as he waited for his LT to come forward, the NVA opened up, killing him.

The 1/506 maintained their patrolling without any contact.

March 27, 1970

Alpha and Bravo 2/506 continued patrolling their areas.  Charlie 2/506 flew to Camp Evans.  D 2/506 left FSB Jack and was placed in a blocking position for 1/506 near FSB Granite.

Bravo 2/506 engaged NVA two separate times without results.  They located trails and sleeping positions that showed signs of use.

Brigade added 5 companies to the area around FSB Granite as blocking force in response to Intel that indicated possible NVA concentrations.

March 28, 1970

Weather is finally clear.  Brigade is now looking at Gladiator as a new fire support base for the Ripcord assault.  Charlie 2/506 supplied a 10 man security team for Brigade Commander Col. Bradley, as he inspected the potential site.

Bravo 2/506 reported heavy trails and sleeping positions.  Still working the ridge to Hill 902.

A mortar unit was attached to A 2/506.

Near Granite, the blocking companies helping 1/506, continued to search, but without any success.

March 29, 1970

Charlie 2/506, a mortar section and B 326 Engineers moved to FSB Gladiator to establish the base.

Alpha and Bravo each cut LZs.  Delta 2/506 continued as a blocking force near Granite.

Alpha 1/506 moved to FSB Rakkasan with E 1/506.  Charlie 1/506 went to Camp Evans while Bravo and Delta 1/506 patrolled.

March 30, 1970

Weather is no longer an issue for a while at any rate.

Alpha 2/506 had one man wounded by 81mm mortar fire.  D 2/506 moved to 3 klicks west of Gladiator and later had two men wounded by 81mm fire.

Recon went to Eagle Beach and Charlie 2/506 secured Gladiator.

The 1/506 was in position similar to yesterday.  The blocking companies have moved out of the area of operations, but no contact was made.

March 31, 1970

Delta 2/506, north of Hill 605 spotted NVA at 100 meters at 0400.  They employed artillery and illumination.  Secondary explosions were reported and D2/506 investigated the site after dawn finding bunkers but no NVA.

First Platoon Bravo 2/506, working with a tracker dog team near “Re-up Hill”, was hit by NVA when the dog did not alert.  In the exchange of small arms fire and grenades, three GIs were killed and three wounded.  No NVA bodies were found on the blood trails.  Those killed were Lt. Harry Hayes, Sgt. Thomas Shriner and PFC Newton Tapp.

Charlie 2/506 maintained security on FSB Gladiator now manned by B2/319 Field Artillery and mortar units.  Alpha 2/506 continued to patrol in the area as yesterday.

The 1/506 worked on Rakkasan with A 2/319 FA and patrolled near there and Granite.  No contact was made.

Artillery support was B 2/319 at Gladiator, A 2/319 at Rakkasan, A 2/11 at Jack, B 1/39 at Barbara and C/34 at O’Reilly.

April 1 – 10                                                                    Calander