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  • @ Altus

    @ Altus.

    I would like to find PAVN veterans of an offensive that occurred in Quang Tin Province in 1969. In the early hours of May 12, 1969 a firebase named LZ Professional was attacked with rockets, mortars and a ground attack. The firebase remained under siege for a week. On May 13-14 just six kilometers west of LZ Professional, three elements of the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry of the Americal Division, Alpha, Charlie and the Recon Platoon of Echo company, fought a large PAVN force. That battle involved 18 fatalities among those three elements. I was there and part of Charlie Company as a medic.

    This was all during an Americal Division Campaign called Fredrick Hill. As a result, the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne (Airmobile) Division was called in. They brought their HQ support elements and two of their three battalions, 1/501 and 1/502, They began a new operation known as Lamar Plain, which lasted until August 1969 when they returned to their own AO.

    I was wondering if you have any sources that might connect me to PAVN who fought in that operation, especially in the beginning from May 12 through May 15. I appreciate any attention you might find the time to spend on this.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

  • #2
    Hi MontanaKid,

    I'll try to check which PAVN unit fought you that day. I am however not too optimistic about successful finding actual PAVN veterans. We do not have much contact with PAVN veterans of the 1960s period.

    Best,

    Altus

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by altus View Post
      Hi MontanaKid,

      I'll try to check which PAVN unit fought you that day. I am however not too optimistic about successful finding actual PAVN veterans. We do not have much contact with PAVN veterans of the 1960s period.

      Best,

      Altus
      Here's a little more information. We captured a POW on May 14, 1969. He stated that he was a member of 3rd, Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division. The 2nd Division, of course, was the usual PAVN force in that portion of Quang Tin Province.
      No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi MontanaKid!

        I'm a friend of Mr Altus. I have some infomation for you:

        He stated that he was a member of 3rd, Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division.

        3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division is 31st Regiment. At the time of 1969, The 2nd PAVN Division had 1st Regiment/ Ba Gia Regiment; 21st Regiment; 31st Regiment.

        31st Regiment had 7th Bn, 8th Bn, 9th Bn. And 9th Bn was 3rd NVA Battalion.

        In the history of the 31st regiment: 9th Battalion fought that fight with two companies (10th & 11 Company). And 9th Battalion reported big win; < 100 U.S. soldier killed, got more trophies.

        I will try to finding some veterans of this fight and tell you soon, . But I'm very interested in the fate of the this NVA soldiers? Do you have some information about this?
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome, quangcan, although I mostly lurk on this sub-forum I am interested in whatever information you can provide as others would be.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by quangcan View Post
            Hi MontanaKid!

            I'm a friend of Mr Altus. I have some infomation for you:

            He stated that he was a member of 3rd, Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division.

            3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division is 31st Regiment. At the time of 1969, The 2nd PAVN Division had 1st Regiment/ Ba Gia Regiment; 21st Regiment; 31st Regiment.

            31st Regiment had 7th Bn, 8th Bn, 9th Bn. And 9th Bn was 3rd NVA Battalion.

            In the history of the 31st regiment: 9th Battalion fought that fight with two companies (10th & 11 Company). And 9th Battalion reported big win; < 100 U.S. soldier killed, got more trophies.

            I will try to finding some veterans of this fight and tell you soon, . But I'm very interested in the fate of the this NVA soldiers? Do you have some information about this?
            Thanks for the information. Unless you are describing a much broader battle, though, involving other Americal (and 101st) airborne in the counter offensive after the attack, the figure 100 Americans killed in our battle was way off the mark. In the battle west of LZ Professional on May 13 and 14 of 1969, the total American dead was 17, including a helicopter pilot shot within the perimeter of A 1/46 Infantry while delivering supplies. Of the other 16, eight were members of Alpha Company 1/46, three were members of Echo Company 1/46 (recon platoon) and six were members of Charlie Company 1/46.

            I was in the battle. I was a medic for third platoon Charlie 1/46. All six of the dead from Charlie Company were from my platoon, which was walking point in an effort to link up with Alpha and Echo Recon on May 14. Of the dead, five were recovered immediately and evacuated with the wounded. Between Alpha, Charlie and Echo companies there were approximately 30 wounded. I attended to the two dead from my platoon that we were able to evacuate, one before he died.

            Because of the intensity of the fire fight, and the fact that most of my platoon's dead were killed while rescuing others, we left four dead in the creek where we were ambushed. Two bodies from Echo recon were in the creek, from a fight earlier at morning. In an attempt to link with us, after our ambush, five members of Alpha Company were killed. It was then decided that white phosphorous artillery rounds would be fired to screen Alpha and Recon with smoke, while they moved the final 100-200 meters to my company's position. The screen was successful, but unfortunately one of the wounded from Echo Recon was killed when one of the WP rounds landed too close to him and the men who were carrying him.

            I was also there eight days later when we went back to retrieve 12 American bodies left behind. I took on the task of accounting for them and tagging body bags with the names of the dead.

            I realize that armies very often give inflated estimates of enemy killed in a battle. Part of it is because the Army has no way of accounting for enemy dead, who are often removed by their comrades. Partly is it a desire to make the battle seem to be more significant when reporting to higher command. Heaven knows US Army estimates of PAVN dead were very often inflated.

            I am not quoting from US Army statistics. I am not a statistician, I was a medic. I was there. I know exactly who died. In the battle fought May 13-14 four klicks west of LZ Professional, 17 members of my battalion including one helicopter pilot, lost their lives, no more, no less. I have no reason to cover anything up. I was there. If there were any more killed, I would tell you and you can bet I would know their names.

            The only other dead from my battalion were three killed May 12 in the initial attack on LZ Professional, plus two more killed by mortar fire on LZ Professional in the week following our battle, when the 101st Airborne moved in two battalions. In addition two members of the artillery battery on LZ Professional were killed, from Charlie Battery, 1/14th Artillery. The only time period in which 100 dead can be counted, is during the three months the 101st was in control. Over three months, they lost more than 70 killed. With our dead added in, that comes to nearly 100, but again, over three months, among our battalion, two from the 101st, plus all the support assets the 101st brought with them.

            But thank you for the information. I would be grateful to make contact with any PAVN veterans who shared that trial by fire with me. I have no idea how many PAVN died there. Most would have been from the close air support, including napalm, dropped on PAVN positions.

            In particular, I would like to know if the man captured by us survived the war. When Alpha company came in to our position, they were enraged to see our prisoner. I had to stand between the prisoner and the rifle of one of the Alpha grunts to keep him from being shot. After he was struck in the head with the muzzle of a rifle by another enraged grunt, I tended to his wound. I very much hope that he went on to survive the war and make a good life for himself.

            You do have the map right. The red circle was LZ Professional. The battle took place about four kilometers from LZ Professional, west of where you see the name Thanh Phuoc. In fact the battle site is almost off the map. My platoon was ambushed where that small stream runs into the creek from the north, right on the edge of the map. The Alpha/Recon position was just off this map, right in the stream. The clearing south of that creek junction was the one crossed by Alpha/Recon under the smoke screen. My company's position was at the trail. All of the fighting took place on or near that stream that runs westward toward the river.
            Last edited by MontanaKid; 08 Oct 12, 19:13.
            No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by quangcan View Post
              Hi MontanaKid!

              But I'm very interested in the fate of the this NVA soldiers? Do you have some information about this?
              I know little about his fate, other than what I said in the earlier post. I know he was taken to LZ Professional. That is probably where he gave the name of his PAVN unit. We did not happen to have an interpreter with us in Charlie Company that day. So LZ Professional is the first place he would have been interviewed.

              Since his unit information is reported in the staff daily journal of the battalion S-3 officer, I expect an interpreter for the battalion's intelligence (S-2) interviewed him. From there, I can only presume he was transferred to a POW facility, probably in Chu Lai, the Americal Division's main basecamp. But of course I was a medic in a line company, so I am not a witness as to what happened to him after I was directly involved with him. There may be something on it in the National Archives, kept near Washington D.C.. But I don't have those materials readily available to me in Montana.
              Last edited by MontanaKid; 08 Oct 12, 16:18.
              No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by quangcan View Post
                Hi MontanaKid!

                I'm a friend of Mr Altus. I have some infomation for you:

                He stated that he was a member of 3rd, Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division.

                3rd Regiment of the 2nd PAVN Division is 31st Regiment. At the time of 1969, The 2nd PAVN Division had 1st Regiment/ Ba Gia Regiment; 21st Regiment; 31st Regiment.

                31st Regiment had 7th Bn, 8th Bn, 9th Bn. And 9th Bn was 3rd NVA Battalion.

                In the history of the 31st regiment: 9th Battalion fought that fight with two companies (10th & 11 Company). And 9th Battalion reported big win; < 100 U.S. soldier killed, got more trophies.

                I will try to finding some veterans of this fight and tell you soon, . But I'm very interested in the fate of the this NVA soldiers? Do you have some information about this?
                Here is as close a satellite view as I could get from Google earth before it loses too much focus.



                Again, though it is not as clear, the ambush point was where the smaller creek runs into the bigger creek, where it makes a big loop north of the trail. Alpha/Recon were 50 meters west of the creek junction at the time of the ambush. Charlie company's command post was at the point of the trail below the creek. In the ambush were portions of two platoons, 3rd and 2nd. The first squad of 3rd platoon was walking point, followed by the 2nd platoon. Because of the narrowness and steep walls of the creek, only first squad, 3rd platoon, was involved in the fight at the ambush site.

                I can also give strengths for American units involved. Remember that during this period of the war most American infantry units were operating at numbers considerably below their authorized strength. According to the Staff Duty Journal, Alpha Company had 66 men and officers, Echo Recon had 25, Charlie Company had 76, meaning 167 American soldiers were involved before the fight began. The battles of May 13 involved just Alpha and the Recon Platoon. Together they had approximately 90 personal. But Alpha was short of officers, only the Company Commander, Cpt. Kern Dunigan was with Alpha as an infantry officer. In addition was a forward observer officer from the artillery, and Lt. David Waltz, the recon platoon leader. Kern Dunagan received the Medal of honor for his actions of May 13 and 14.

                Here is the MOH citation, which will give you a little more information about the battle from the American perspective:

                "For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Maj. (then Capt.) Dunagan distinguished himself during the period May 13 and 14, 1969, while serving as commanding officer, Company A. On May 13, 1969, Maj. Dunagan was leading an attack to relieve pressure on the battalion's forward support base when his company came under intense fire from a well-entrenched enemy battalion. Despite continuous hostile fire from a numerically superior force, Maj. Dunagan repeatedly and fearlessly exposed himself in order to locate enemy positions, direct friendly supporting artillery, and position the men of his company. In the early evening, while directing an element of his unit into perimeter guard, he was seriously wounded during an enemy mortar attack, but he refused to leave the battlefield and continued to supervise the evacuation of dead and wounded and to lead his command in the difficult task of disengaging from an aggressive enemy. In spite of painful wounds and extreme fatigue, Maj. Dunagan risked heavy fire on 2 occasions to rescue critically wounded men. He was again seriously wounded. Undaunted, he continued to display outstanding courage, professional competence, and leadership and successfully extricated his command from its untenable position on the evening of May 14. Having maneuvered his command into contact with an adjacent friendly unit, he learned that a 6-man party from his company was under fire and had not reached the new perimeter. Maj. Dunagan unhesitatingly went back and searched for his men. Finding 1 soldier critically wounded, Maj. Dunagan, ignoring his wounds, lifted the man to his shoulders and carried him to the comparative safety of the friendly perimeter. Before permitting himself to be evacuated, he insured all of his wounded received emergency treatment and were removed from the area. Throughout the engagement, Maj. Dunagan's actions gave great inspiration to his men and were directly responsible for saving the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. Maj. Dunagan's extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the U.S. Army."[1]
                Attached Files
                Last edited by MontanaKid; 10 Oct 12, 12:47.
                No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                Comment


                • #9
                  One small correction on the field strengths prior to the battle recorded the night of May 12, after consulting the Staff Duty Journal. (There is no count reported for May 13.) Alpha Company had 62 men and officers. Echo/Recon had 26. Charlie Company had 75. This would be a total of 164.

                  There is no count in the journal for May 13, but it is possible that these numbers were reduced slightly by evacuated heat casualties. I had none in my platoon, but I seem to recall an evacuation of at least one from one of the other platoons of Charlie Company.

                  I also have strengths reported on the night of May 14, after the battle, in the Staff Duty Journal. Alpha had 37, Echo/Recon had 10. Charlie Company is listed as unknown, but with six killed and three WIA evacuated in my personal memory, all but one from my platoon, the count should be 67. 114 total. Subtracting the 16 battalion members killed (No. 17 was a helicopter pilot) we have 148. That leaves 34 who were WIA over the two days (one or two might be heat casualties evacuated from Charlie prior to becoming involved in the battle).
                  No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MontanaKid View Post
                    I know little about his fate, other than what I said in the earlier post. I know he was taken to LZ Professional. That is probably where he gave the name of his PAVN unit. We did not happen to have an interpreter with us in Charlie Company that day. So LZ Professional is the first place he would have been interviewed.

                    Since his unit information is reported in the staff daily journal of the battalion S-3 officer, I expect an interpreter for the battalion's intelligence (S-2) interviewed him. From there, I can only presume he was transferred to a POW facility, probably in Chu Lai, the Americal Division's main basecamp. But of course I was a medic in a line company, so I am not a witness as to what happened to him after I was directly involved with him. There may be something on it in the National Archives, kept near Washington D.C.. But I don't have those materials readily available to me in Montana.
                    One correction on the source of information on the PAVN unit at the battle; After reviewing my copies of the SDJ and the affidavits supporting Captain Dunagan's MOH, the PAVN unit is disclosed in the overall narrative of the battle provided by the Cpt. Jesse Sellers, then the battalion's S-1 officer. It is not mentioned in the SDJ, nor does the journal reflect the actual capture by Charlie Company. I am working to see how to get whatever records were created, including, hopefully, the actual name of the POW.
                    No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MontanaKid View Post

                      You do have the map right. The red circle was LZ Professional. The battle took place about four kilometers from LZ Professional, west of where you see the name Thanh Phuoc.
                      13 May 1969, your company location is vicinity Thanh Phuoc (4) - Thanh Phuoc (2) - Thanh Phuoc (5) in the map. NDP of your company is vicinity Thanh Phuoc (5).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rongxanh View Post
                        13 May 1969, your company location is vicinity Thanh Phuoc (4) - Thanh Phuoc (2) - Thanh Phuoc (5) in the map. NDP of your company is vicinity Thanh Phuoc (5).
                        Yes, that position would be right for us. We had been moving with Bravo Company along the ridgeline, but elected to go down to the valley floor for faster travel to our objective, which was the foothills immediately south of LZ Professional. That particular night laager of May 13, was in a copse of coconut and bamboo trees, just out from the base of the foothills. The next morning, we moved along the foothills toward our objective. At about 11 a.m., we were ordered to double back to help Alpha Company and Recon break out from their position.
                        No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          May 12, 1969

                          img008.jpg

                          img009.jpg

                          img010.jpg

                          img011.jpg

                          img012.jpg

                          This is the SDJ for May 12, 1969, detailing the attack on LZ Professional.
                          No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Continue from
                            http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...128496&page=15

                            More pic from Tien Lap - Tien Phuoc - Quang Nam

                            #1 - LZ Professional from SW (Please note pole of traw (Cy rơm) is in middle right edge of picture)



                            #2 - Closer (Please note pole of traw (Cy rơm) is in middle right edge of picture #1)



                            # 3- A veteran of 12nd battalion of 2nd division (mortar battalion) is in jouney to Tien Lap - Tien Phuoc. He was participated battle on early morning 12/5/1969. His unit was fired mortar to LZ Proffessional (Sorry about my english )

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              He was in his house, 25/8/2012, and map of Tien Phuoc - Quang Nam dicstrict.

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