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"Always First" Soldiers Build A New LZ from the Trident Newsletter for Sunday, July 20, 1969

Copy of publication provided by George V. Ellis

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In a mid-morning combat assault, elements of A Company, 3-1 swept across a sorching coastal plain recently to secure the new battalion firebase atop a hill seven miles west of Quang Ngai City on the edge of a mountain.

The hill, holding a commanding view of the surrounding area, sits on the edge of the battalion's new area of operation, and will be the staging area for intensive pressure against local-force Viet Cong.

As the "Always First" soldiers struggled up the stocky, brush-covered slope, they encountered numerous mines and booby traps all along the crest of the hill.  Deploying a minesweeping device commonly used by Combat Engineers to clear roads, the soldiers found booby trapped grenades, 2.75-inch rockets, and a cannister full of napalm with a firing device planted in the ground.

"My men had to watch every step they made," said 2LT John F. Baxter (Gainesville, Fla.), first platoon leader.  "It seemed as if there were a booby trap under every bush."

CPT Robert K. Tyson (McKees Rock, Pa.) CO of A Company, commented on the mission of the firebase.  "We intend to make maximum use of our firepower and sweeping operations to root out the Viet Cong in this area."

The official name of the firebase is LZ 4-11, representing the cooperation between the 4th ARVN Regiment and the men of the 11th Brigade, who have been working closely together against the VC.

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