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11th Inf Bde stops sappers from the Southern Cross for June 26, 1970

Electronic copy of article provided by Leslie Hines

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By SP4 Mark Geiser

FSB 4-11 (11th INF BDE IO) — Without an enemy round being fired, "Jungle Warriors" of the 11th Infantry Brigade here recently nipped a midnight sapper attack in the bud, killing 10 VC soldiers and detaining two.

A large number of enemy weapons which included two rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, two AK-47's, one AK-50, one 9mm pistol, 76 CHICOM grenades, 10 RPG rounds, 11 B-40 rockets, and one five-pound satchel charge were seized in the aborted attack on this 3rd Battalion, 1st Infantry firebase.

Near midnight three enemy sappers had advanced through the perimeter wire when a fourth member of the party, with an RPG launcher slung over his shoulder, touched off a trip flare. "I looked in front of me and there were a dozen of them just frozen in place," recalled Specialist Four Jerry D. Parker, Hickory, N.C., of Company D.

With the enemy sighting, the bunker line opened up with rifle and machinegun fire. Hand grenade and claymore mine shrapnel showered the area. Constant illumination, intermingled with accurate mortar fire from the 81mm and 4.2 mortar sections, encircled the perimeter as the soldiers methodically dispatched the intruders in their sights.

After the ravaging fire subsided, the second platoon was called upon to make an on-line sweep of the area. As the infantrymen made their way to the wire, the bodies of two sappers armed with RPG launchers were discovered.

Uncovering no additional bodies or weapons, the search was discontinued until early morning.

Direct artillery fire from D Battery, 6th Battalion, 11th Artillery continued to suppress any further enemy activity. Two platoons from Company D continued their push outside the wire uncovering eight additional bodies.

The attacking force had consisted of 14 enemy sappers and supporting riflemen.

According to Captain Harry G. Sheppard, Palmetto, Fla., commanding officer of Company D, "The sapper squad was extremely well armed."

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The copy of this issue of the Southern Cross was a personal purchase from Carlisle Barracks Military History Institute by Leslie Hines. Sections that could be scanned were OCR scanned by Jay Roth (164th Regt.)

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