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Summary - September 1967

 With the Vietnamese national elections scheduled to take place on September 3, 1967, it was expected that the Communist forces would make very strong and serious attempts to intimidate the populace and interfere with the conduct of the polling.  Therefore during the first part of September,  C Company, along with other U.S. and allied units, was tasked to help provide a secure environment for the voting.  Many of the Cav units in the area around Bong Son were pulled in from the western mountains and deployed near population centers to provide a sense of security.  On election day itself, American forces were strictly held out of the towns where polling was taking place in order not to give any suggestion of U.S. interference with the electoral process.  C Company was set up near Bong Son and there was no trouble or major problems.

Comanche_Old_Positions_in_Nui_Mieu_Sept_1967_from_Burington.jpg (26139 bytes)
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Courtesy Ken Burington

Old positions built by other units were common in the Nui Mieu Mountains

Having kept the lowlands of Binh Dinh Province quiet during the first several days of September, the Cav then took the war back into the mountains along the coast.  From September 6 through September 13, as part of Operation Join Hands, companies from 2/5 Cav, the 1/5, 1/8, and 2/12 Cav as well as the 1st Battalion, 40th ARVN Regiment searched for the NVA and VC hiding places in the Nui Mieu Mountains and the nearby Rockpile, resulting in 392 enemy KIA and 74 prisoners.  At the same time, on September 6,  the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion conducted an air assault using forty-eight Huey slicks and eight Chinooks to land elements of five different infantry battalions on and around the Cay Giep Mountain to pin down an NVA regimental headquarters and support units.


About the middle of September C Company next moved into a relatively quiet period of providing security for an Engineer unit clearing ground for a new LZ  near Route 1 and a couple of miles north of LZ Uplift.  It was to be named LZ Ichibon and was planned to be the base for the 1/50th Mechanized Infantry which was then on it's way to Vietnam ("Ichibon" means "First" or "Number One" in Japanese).  One of the duties was to "walk shotgun" for bulldozer operators since they were not able to hear the sound of gunfire over the noise of their machines.  The Engineers used their equipment to dig positions on C Company's perimeter.  During the day platoon-sized patrols went out, usually west toward the mountains, and ambush patrols and LP's were set out at night.  The week passed relatively quietly with one incident being the confiscation of about two pounds of C4 from a young girl who was carrying it in a basket.

Comanche_Bulldozer_at_LZ_Ichibon_from_Burington.jpg (31129 bytes)
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Courtesy Ken Burington

Bulldozer clearing area for LZ Ichibon


Comanche_Duster_Hill_near_LZ_Uplift_Fall_1967_from_Burington.jpg (20671 bytes)
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Courtesy Ken Burington

With the completion of the clearing work at LZ Ichibon C Company was moved to LZ Uplift on September 21 to provide security, with part of the 2nd Platoon being positioned on top of Duster Hill where tracked vehicles ("Dusters") with twin 40-mm gun mounts were stationed.  They were assigned to C Battery, 4th Battalion, 60th Artillery and were often used to fire harassment and interdiction missions into the mountains around Uplift. 

This security interlude did not last long - C Company was back out on the beach on September 24 and spent the balance of the month performing cordon and search missions in the villages located along the coast.

The 1/50th Mechanized Infantry began moving into their new home on September 27 and were permanently assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division.  They would stay at LZ Ichibon less than two weeks; finding the location "unsuitable" and difficult to defend, they moved to LZ Uplift on October 9 and made that their base.  (Sources:  Operational Report-Lessons Learned, HQ 1st Cav Div period ending 31Jan68, dated 13May68;  2nd Brigade Combat Operations After Action Report-Operation Pershing, dated 4Feb68;   The History Of The Second Battalion Fifth Cavalry Calendar Year 1967; and  Unit History 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion - 1967)

2003 Kenneth D. Burington

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September 4

SGT Walter Buie, SGT Larry Beal, SGT Willie Davis, SGT Larry Evans, SP4 Christopher Gadsden, SP4 Max Johnson, SP4 Robert King, SP4 Charles McCoy, SP4 Nathaniel Sims, and SP4 Roger Sapp were all awarded the Army Commendation Medal per 1st Cavalry Division General Order 5156.

 

 

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Documents_1st_Cav_Div_GO_5156_dtd_4_Sept_67.jpg (225115 bytes)
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Courtesy Larry Evans


September 5

The following men were appointed Acting Sergeant on C 2/5 Cav Unit Order 33

Robert Parker Eddie Stevens
Eugene Boone William Taylor
Hubert Sadler Dewey Smith
Milton James Jose Lopez
Willie Artley James Redmond
Thomas Rutten

Webmaster Note:  The troops referred to "Acting Sergeants" as an "Acting Jack."  They had the authority and wore the stripes of a Sergeant E5, but did not get the pay for it.  Such promotions were often made because the person was already serving in the position of an NCO, such as a Squad Leader, or an NCO in the Rear Detachment.  The appointment came with the tacit agreement that the person would be made a "real" Sergeant as soon as the next allocation of slots came down from division.

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September  20

This article about SP4 Monte Zierke appeared in "The Cavalair", the 1st Cav's own newspaper.

Volume 2, Number 43

 

 

 

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Comanche_Cavalair_Sept_20_67_re_Monte_Zierke.jpg (53388 bytes)
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Courtesy Don Jensen


September 24

Ken Burington and several other men were "pinned" with their CIB's in a company awards ceremony out on the beach.  (Courtesy Ken Burington)

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September - Exact Dates Unknown

Ken Burington wrote this email message:  "The . . . picture I selected for an eerie beauty I felt the day I took the picture.  The location is on the southeastern edge of the Dam Tra O (lake) about CR000815, Map 6837-4.  The camera is pointed northwest.  This was about the second week of September 1967. "

Comanche_Church_Near_Dam_Tra_O_Lake_Burington_Sept_69.jpg (11576 bytes)
Click on photos to see larger versions.

Both Courtesy Ken Burington

About the same period of time in September, the company was at the tiny village of Xuan Thanh on the coast of the South China sea, not far from Dam Tra O.  Ken took this  picture looking towards the northwest, in the direction of Dam Tra O.

Comanche_Xuan_Thanh_Village_on_Binh_Dinh_Coast_1967_from_Burington.jpg (21967 bytes)

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Fall 1967 - Exact Date Unknown

This picture could have been taken in many places in Vietnam - at just about any time during the war.  The Bong Son Plains were one of the best rice growing areas of Central Vietnam.  That was one of the reasons the Viet Cong fought for it so fiercely.  Larry Wood was an RTO.  Notice the map being held on the knee of the person next to Larry - probably the "Old Man."  

Comanche_Rice_Paddies_from_Bird_1968_from_Wood.jpg (21216 bytes)
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Courtesy Larry Wood


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Updated September 11, 2006