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Days of Valor: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months by Robert L. Tonsetic

By Robert L. Tonsetic

The 199th gentle Infantry Brigade used to be made out of 3 U.S. infantry battalions of lengthy lineage as a quick response strength to put in Vietnam. because the ebook starts, in December 1967, the brigade has been at struggle for a yr, and lots of of its battered 12-month males are returning domestic. The Communists appear to be in a lull, and the brigade commander requests a move to a extra energetic area, simply above Saigon. via January the battalions experience expanding enemy power, NVA body of workers now combined with Viet Cong devices. however the enemy is mendacity low, and a truce has even been declared for the Vietnamese New yr, the vacation referred to as Tet. On January 30, 1968, the hurricane broke free, as Saigon and approximately each provincial capital was once overrun by means of VC and NVA bursting in unforeseen power from their base camps. during this publication we examine the main intimate info of strive against, because the Communists struggle with rockets, mortars, chinese language claymores, mines, desktop weapons and AK-47s. The battles evolve into an enemy favoring the cloak of evening, the jungle―both city and natural―and subterranean fortifications, opposed to U.S. forces favoring direct confrontational conflict supported by way of air and artillery. while the traces are just 25 yards aside, besides the fact that, there's little technique to distinguish among the firepower or braveness of the assailants and the defenders, or perhaps who's who at any given second, as each side have the opposite in direct sight. Days of Valor covers the peak of the Vietnam struggle, from the apprehensive interval prior to Tet, throughout the defeat of that offensive, to the hugely underwritten but both bloody NVA counteroffensive introduced in may perhaps 1968. It ends with a quick word concerning the 199th LIB being deactivated in spring 1970, furling its colours after anguish 753 lifeless and a few 5,000 wounded. The brigade had simply been a brief production, meant for one function, and even though its heroism is now a question of heritage, it's going to stay a resource of satisfaction for all americans.

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Extra resources for Days of Valor: An Inside Account of the Bloodiest Six Months of the Vietnam War

Example text

As the battalion radio operator, Specialist Pancho Ramirez, took the casualty reports from the rifle companies, Schroeder huddled with his S-3 Operations Officer, Major Ed King, and his S-2 Intelligence Officer, Captain Stone, readjusting the rifle company missions for the day. The officers had no inkling that 6 December 1967 would be the bloodiest day of the war for the Warrior battalion, and a prelude for the nationwide carnage to come. CHAPTER 1 WHAT CAME BEFORE The 4/12th Infantry was assigned to the 199th Light Infantry Brigade (LIB).

Schroeder’s pilot tilted the blade toward the bank to separate the vegetation and expose the VC to the Charlie Company grunts standing above. 45 caliber pistol downward at one of the VC, killing him. Taking their cue from their commander, the grunts fired down the bank at the VC positions. Anxious to finish the fight, Pittman leapt down the15-foot drop, landing beside the river’s edge, and began spraying the bushes with his M16. After finishing off two VC, he looked up at Schroeder’s helicopter still hovering 25 to 30 feet above, and moved his hand across his throat to signal that the VC were dead.

Once Schroeder’s “Warriors” established a fire base in the area, they would be followed by LTC Gibler’s 3/7th Infantry. The 2/3d Infantry under the command of LTC Poage was to remain in the Nha Be District south of Saigon until mid-December, when the 199th LIB would complete the final phase of Operation Fairfax/Rang Dong. Forbes chose Schroeder’s battalion for the new mission because the battalion had significantly reduced enemy activity in Thu Duc District. He was also impressed with Schroeder’s calm, imperturbable manner and his professionalism.

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