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D Troop 1st Squadron 10th Cavalry

(Shamrock)

Newspaper Articles

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BISONS WIPE OUT NVA ARMS DEPOT

KONTUM — Working 12 kilometers northeast of Kontum, Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry discovered a well-established enemy base camp and found a variety of enemy belongings.

The find was triggered when Delta Troop’s LOH6 scout helicopters spotted clothing drying along the bank of a stream. Subsequent observation passes at tree-top level revealed three or four hootches nestled under the jungle canopy.

The remainder of Delta Troop went into action. Lift ships inserted the aero-rifle platoon (ARP), led by First Lieutenant Robert Stockinger of Arlington,Tex., for a ground-level recon naissance of the area.

“The ensuing search resulted in two enemy deaths and the capture or destruction of a wide assortment of enemy equipment,” commented Major Jack Glenn of Summerville, Ga., Delta Troop commander.

Included in the haul were: 18 bamboo huts, each containing two hardwood double beds; a hospital complex; group messing facilities as well as individual mess equipment; 120 sets of NVA uniforms, many of which were brand new.

Also 17 light weapons, including eight AK47s and two 9mm Russian pistols; more than 3,460 rounds of assorted ammunition; 17 B40 rockets and 40 rocket booster charges miscellaneous explosives, blasting caps, primers and mines.

Other discovered items included: heavy-duty wire cutters; assorted woodworking tools and two work tables; rope and communications wire; miscellaneous personal effects, including currency, family photographs, ID cards and toilet articles, poncho liners, sandals and gas masks

Also large, heavy-duty tunnel covers; several NVA flags; pens containing 30 pigs; various photographs of Ho Chi Minh, some personally autographed and numerous documents.

As approaching darkness forced evacuation of the area, the ARP used demolitions to destroy the articles that had to be left behind.

Sweep Outlying Areas

Convinced, however, that more work remained at the site, the ARP was again inserted on the following day to sweep the outlying areas of the camp.

More vivid evidence of enemy presence was discovered — inc1uding automatic weapons fire from six to eight NVA soldiers wearing khaki uniforms. The ARP engagedthe enemy, killing one.

Their mission completed, the Delta troopers moved toward their landing zone. But the enmy was waiting.

“We started receiving fire from everywhere,” recalled Private First Class Bowler Delany of Richmond, Va. “There was fire from our front, automatic fire from the left flank, and Chicom grenades raining down on us from the hilltop.”

“We could hear the fuses pop,” added Sergeant First Class Robert Cope of Muncie, Ind. “Thankfully they were duds.”

The ARP put in a call for gunships and popped smoke for cover. As the smoke cleared, snarling Delta Troop gunships raked the NVA infested hillside with mini-guns and rockets.

Enemy fire turned toward the gunships and the ARP scurried toward the LZ. There they were greeted by incoming Delta lift-ships and two NVA bodies lying near the clearing.

Still without a causality, the men of Delta Troop scrambled onto their slicks and were whisked from the area.

         
 

 

BOOTY – A Russian flag and two new Russion made 9mm semi-automatic pistols were part of a large enemy cache found at an NVA base camp in the mountains northeast of Kontum. (USA Photo by SGT Ron Johnston)

GOING IN HOT  – Enemy small arms fire warmed-up this 4th Division landing zone northeast of Kontum as a ‘Shamrocks of the Sky’ chopper rushed in with the aero-rifle platoon from Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry. Door gunner SP4 Richard Luitweiler laid a cover of machine gun fire on the LZ to protect the emerging cavmen. (USA Photo by SGT Ron Johnston)

         
 
 

FIRE FROM ABOVE--Specialist 4 Harvey Mulock cradles his M60 machine gun in anticipation as an element of the 4th Division’s 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry came under attack northeast of Kontum. Two enemy soldiers died in the battle that followed. (USA Photo by SGT Ron Johnston)

ALWAYS ALERT – Private First Class Alfred Asberry keeps searching the jungle as he steps over a fallen limb in the mountains northeast of Kontum. PFC Asberry, a member of the Aero-Rifle Platoon, Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, was in an element of 4th Division soldiers who killed two Viet Cong only moments before this picture was taken.  (USA Photo by SGT Ron Johnston)

         
 

    IN THE FIGHT – Specialist 4 Kenneth G. Pickler searches a nearby hillside with his weapon at the ready. Specialist Pickler and his unit, the 4th Division’s Delta Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry, were in a fire fight when this picture was taken.  (USA Photo by SGT Ron Johnston)  
         
   
 

January 27, 1969

    THE ARMY REPORTER
         
  Cav rides to rescue of ambushed patrol
         
 

CAMP ENARI — A mission had ended for the men of D Troop, 1st Squadron, 10th Cav. All that remained was a solemn chopper ride back to camp.

But as Lt. Robert Stockinger, aero-rifle platoon leader, monitored the radio, his thoughts suddenly turned from the comforts of an evening in base camp to the tense anticipation of a hair-raising rescue mission.

A Long Range Patrol (LRP) team from the 4th Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade had been hit 10 miles east of Kontum and needed evacuation.

Responding to the call, D Troop slick platoon pilots, led by Lt. Gary Stanley, pointed their choppers toward the area. The final curtain of darkness had already fallen. But the show was just beginning.

The landing zone was treacherous — ”The worst I’d ever seen” Stanley recalled. Far overfueled for such an insertion, the helicopters took turns hovering at 800 feet and “corkscrewing” into the LZ.

By 7:30 P.M., 26 men had scrambled from the slicks.

“I consolidated my people, appointed a point squad and we started searching,” related Stockinger. “We had radio contact with the men, but darkness and the fact that we were in an entirely strange area without a map complicated things. Normally our scout platoon recons before we insert, but we went into this one cold.”

The search party trudged onward, fearful for the lives of the men they were seeking. But the suspense shattered as Lt. Steven Wood, using landing lights on his LOH6 light helicopter and assisted by Lt. Phillip E. Richey, the Highlander LRP platoon leader who went along as guide, spotted the LRP team and hovered, dangerously low and lit like a Times Square marquee, above them.

“I left a machine gun and radio at the base of the hill.— in case Chuck was after us,” elaborated Stockinger, “and we headed for the LRPs as fast as we could.”

Before long Spec. 4 Larry Young and Spec. 5 Andrew Carasco, the platoon medics, were tending the wounded. Flares were scarce; with the help of a cigarette lighter, Young applied first aid to one man while Carasco tended another.

Wood set Hornet Double Deuce down in the tight LZ. With lights destroying his cover of darkness and the motor gulping precious fuel, he radioed an offer to stay and light the LZ for a second evacuation ship.

As the second LOH, piloted by CWO Billy Linker approached, two LRP members were dusted off in the straining Double Deuce. Linker negotiated the treacherous LZ, picked up the two remaining casualties, and whisked them toward medical care.

“We had created a lot of commotion,” related Stockinger, “and this was perfect Charlie country. We were anxious to get out of there.”

It was decided, however, not to risk an extraction. The pick-up ships would have to wait until daylight.

“They never would have gone in there in the first place,” D Troop commander Maj. Jack Glenn of Summerville, Ga., commented afterward, “if there hadn’t been men who needed help.”

But the aero-rifle platoon was never alone. Using weary eyesight and aching limbs to guide ships that desperately needed servicing, the troop slick pilots spent the night pulling two-hour vigils as radio relays, circling the area in case Charlie attacked.         

Fortunately he didn’t.

Morning brought comforting daylight and welcome pick-up choppers, a hot breakfast and some much-needed rest.

And then Delta Troop was back on 24-hour alert – just in case someone else out there should need them.

         
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