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Company Roster - March 1969


Summary - March 1969

The company began the month still located in Area of Operation Navajo Warhorse (where it had been since February 25th) and saw numerous contacts until moving back to the jungle areas on March 28th.  This area near the Angel's Wing was very near the Cambodian border in southern Tay Ninh Province and northern Hau Nghia Province and was mostly rice paddies.  Our mission was to intercept small units of enemy troops infiltrating into South Vietnam.  The end of March saw the company return to War Zone C and heavy contact as LZ Jess was built.


March 2

Jim "Tree" Machin had a little time in Cu Chi to have some pictures taken.  The left picture shows him with some of the local kids.  Supposedly, the day was so hot, Arizona 6 (the Battalion Commander) told everyone to take a day off and stay in the shade.  At right, Tree looks a little big for this small Vietnamese boat.  (Source: James Machin)

Comanche_Machin_with_Kids_Cu_Chi_from_Machin.jpg (23105 bytes)

Comanche_Jim_Machine_Boat_March_69.jpg (23556 bytes)

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Courtesy James Machin


March 8

The 2/5th Cav, along with the 1/8th Cav worked out of LZ Terry in an area known as "The Angel's Wing."  The area was extremely close to the Cambodian border, and known to be home to the 9th Viet Cong Division.  (The name was a misnomer because the division was manned by North Vietnamese troops.)  There area was mostly rice paddies, with the usual occasional tree lines along canals.  

Comanche_LZ_Terry_from_Czyscon.jpg (29705 bytes)
LZ Terry

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Courtesy Larry Czyscon

Company D, 2/5th Cav (known by the radio call sign Ready Navajo) was engaged in a major firefight.  (Source: Combat After Action Report - Battle of the Angel's Wing, dtd 10 April 1969)  Comanche was CA'd into the area at 10 AM to make a sweep of the contact area.  C 2/5 Cav went into a Night Defensive Position (NDP) with the expectation of contact during the night. (Source: Tactical Journal of 1SG Richard Soloway).  Because Company D had made contact, and because the terrain was so open, all units of 2/5th Cav were instructed to receive their "log" (resupply helicopter) in the late afternoon, then wait until dark and move into the NDP.  This would deny the enemy the chance to know the exact location of the company, and increase our chances of intercepting infiltrators.

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March 9

Company B, 2/5th Cav (radio call sign Ridge Runner) had split into three separate NDPs.  Approximately 2 AM, the 1st and 2nd platoons of B 2/5 were attacked by a very large enemy force, with heavy casualties.

0430 hrs.  1/6 elements of Ridgerunner under heavy attack.  Company minus 2/6  moved to their relief.  6 US KIAs, 14 US WIAs, all from Ridgerunner Company. 02 NVA KIA, 01 WIA-POW taken. 2 AK-47.  0900 Company moved south on sweep. (Source: Tactical Journal of 1SG Richard Soloway).

SP5 Jay Phillips was the Squad Leader for 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, C 2/5 Cav that night.  Please read his story THE BATTLE OF THE ANGELíS WING: A CHARLIE COMPANY EPILOGUE.  His account is moving, particularly as he describes finding the few survivors of B Company.

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March 20

A lot of promotions!!

To Staff Sergeant E6:

  • Jimmie Stevens

  • Jimmie Cox 

 

 

 

 

 

To Sergeant E5:

  • Kenneth Lorenz

  • Lindberg Moore

  • Tommy Powell

  • Jose Rusario

  • Gary Turner

  • Wayne Warner

  • Jack White

  • Robert Hutton

  • Michael Harmon

  • Arthur Shy

  • Sherman Olson

To Specialist Four

  • William Hudson

  • James Menicucci

  • Rolan Molina

  • Irvin Shelton

  • Michael Kader

  • Edward Amoreno

 

 

 

(Source:  DA Form 1 Morning Report dtd 9 April 1969)

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March 28

C 2/5 left the Navajo Warhorse area of operations near the Angel's Wing border area.  After a 7:30 Huey lift out of the field to LZ Terry, Comanche then flew by Chinook to the big Cu Chi base, then flew by C-130 Air Force transport plane to Tay Ninh.  BY late afternoon, the company had arrived at LZ Barbara by Hook.  After walking out of Barbara, the company established an NDP nearby.  (Source: Tactical Journal of 1SG Richard Soloway)

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March 29-30

At 9:15 AM, the company made a CA to coordinates XT186717 and linked up with Company A (Lean Apache), which was already in heavy contact with a bunker complex just inside the wood line from the LZ.  1st Platoon, under 1LT Mike Patacca,  was immediately attached to Company A.  Contact continued all day.  All told, Comanche suffered two KIAs, one of whom was SP4 Mack Donald Sharpe.  (Webmaster note:  We do not have all the records indicating the men who died that day.  If you recall the name of the other trooper, please forward it to the webmaster.) Ten more men were wounded, including Luke Morgan who was hit while trying to help WIAs from another company.   Contact was not broken until 7:00 PM when the company established an NDP.  (Sources:  Mike Patacca and the  Tactical Journal of 1SG Richard Soloway) 

On March 30th, the company moved back into the contact area.  While under enemy fire, no further casualties were suffered, but we did capture two POWs, 2 AK-47 rifles, 1 60mm mortar, a B-40 launcher, and a number of B-40 rockets.  Intelligence indicated we had been fighting the 101st Regiment of the NVA 1st Division.  (Sources: Tactical Journal of 1SG Richard Soloway and "Incursion". by J.D. Coleman)

LZ Jess was built on this field.

The battle for what was to become LZ Jess - 

Two POWs being escorted to waiting helicopters.  The NVA in the left picture was wounded by shrapnel to his penis, and is being carried by Mike Ruhter (left) and Robert Stanko (right), the 1st Platoon RTO. (Identified by Mike Patacca.)

Below, some of the men watch as the Air Force brings in an air strike on enemy positions.

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Comanche_POW_at_LZ_Jess_March_1969_from_Moore.jpg (24679 bytes)


Comanche_BW_Air_Strike_LZ_Jess_March_69_from_Moore.jpg (11473 bytes)
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Courtesy Chuck Moore

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March - Exact Date Unknown

While we don't know the name of the LZ (probably Jess), James "Rusty" Chaney shows the fine points of maintaining a sharp, gung-ho,  military appearance.

Comanche_James_Rusty_Chaney_March_69.jpg (21291 bytes)
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Courtesy James Machin


March - Exact Date Unknown

Meanwhile, back at the Tay Ninh base camp, where the living was good - near photo is SGT Tommy "Alabama" Powell, the company armorer.

Far photo:  1LT Ed Heitov (company executive officer), Samuel "Robbie" Robinson,  Joe "Frenchy" Wiltz, and Herbert St. Claire. 

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Comanche_Powell_1969_from_Wilkison.jpg (14713 bytes)
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Comanche_Hetov_Robbie_Frenchy_StClaire_Feb_69.jpg (23481 bytes)
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Courtesy Chuck Moore

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Here's Robbie again, shown far right with  with Chuck Moore.

Comanche_Samuel_Robinson_from_Wilkison.jpg (17191 bytes)
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Courtesy Mel Wilkison

Comanche_Chuck_Moore_and_Robbie_Tay_Ninh_Trains_Early_1969.jpg (29194 bytes)
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Courtesy Jim Machin

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March - Exact Date Unknown

Gaylord Russell out in the weeds.  Hey, Tex - I hope that toothbrush was for your M-16, not your teeth.

Comanche_Gaylord_Russell_March_1969.jpg (31230 bytes)
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Courtesy James Machin

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March - Exact Date Unknown

And - Charlie Company's very own "Chairborne Remington Raider", the company clerk, Larry Fitzgerald hard at work at Cu Chi.

But this is the guy who got us those R&R orders, and the DEROS orders, and all the rest of that "good stuff."

Comanche_Larry_Fitzgerald_from_Wilkison.jpg (29635 bytes)
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Courtesy Mel Wilkison

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March - Exact Date Unknown

The 1st Cav may have moved south in November, 1968, but some of the admin functions were still at An Khe in the north, and had not yet moved south to Bien Hoa.  This is the Division Training Center (known to many of us as "Charm School") at An Khe.  This picture was taken by Larry Czyscon as he was going through the week of training.  Note the communications towers on the hilltop behind the school.  Also notice the nice sheet metal privacy screen around the "piss tube" on the right.

Comanche_Larry_Czyscon_An_Khe_March_69.jpg (21730 bytes)
Click on Photos to See Larger Version

Courtesy Larry Czyscon

Larry shown waiting transportation to the weeds.  The picture on the left is on LZ Terry, and on the right is An Khe ( as you can tell by the wooden building.)  Anyone know the name of the trooper on Larry's left?  He may not be from C Company.

Comanche_Larry_Czyscon_on_LZ_Terry_1969.jpg (36866 bytes)

Comanche_Larry_Czyscon_March_69.jpg (20860 bytes)


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July 1969     August 1969     September 1969     October 1969     November 1969     December 1969

Updated February 15, 2007