The men of Bravo Company rose from their overnight positions before dawn, two flights of Hueys bringing in much needed ammo, water and chow. As the clatter of the rotors diminished the troops began to start moving into platoon ambush positions. Mist and light rain surrounded them as they split into 4 main ambush positions and waited for Charles to show himself. They didn’t have long to wait.
Contact was made when two squads of the VC Main Force ran into the 3rd platoon’s position. Unfortunately for the American’s, the first fusillade of shots was about the only bright point of the whole action. Spotting the enemy point man at long range, two members of 3rd Squad opened fire, the scout going down bleeding heavily in the middle of the trail. The rest of the VC scattered into the jungle either side of the trail and began working their way forward.
As they moved, further members of 3rd Squad spotted them and opened fire, but the return fire from one of the VC’s Kalashnikov was accurate and a rifleman went down, killed outright and another went down wounded. The platoon commander sent the medic to start treating the wounded man as the 3rd Squad tried to get their M60 into a position to start firing.
1st Squad in the meantime sat and watched tracer fire crisscross their front and waited in vain for the enemy to move into range of the claymore they’d so carefully positioned which was meant to trigger the ambush.
The VC continued filtering through the jungle, their second squad interpenetrating the first and an RPG is sent flying across the paddy fields, falling short of the 3rd Squad positions but close to the so far hidden platoon commander and his RTO. Continued small arms fire into the 3rd Squad position keeps their heads down and prevents them from laying any effective fire at all at the enemy and then suddenly the M60 gunner is shot through the head as he pokes above the paddy dike he’d crawled along to get into a better firing position. Now the US have three men down and the enemy are proving increasingly confident and elusive.
Finally, 2nd Squad start moving from their positions hidden from the trail and start to encircle the enemy. As they approach the tail of the VC patrol, they open up wounding one of the enemy and driving several more back into the trees. An optimistic grenade is thrown and bouncing around in the jungle lands almost at the throwers feet. The US take cover from the blast and they’ve lost the initiative.
Meanwhile the RTO is trying desperately to call in a medevac and a gunship to deal with the wounded and the enemy respectively. Unfortunately the atmospherics and rain aren’t helping and he’s rolling against a modified Rep of 2. It’s going to be some time until the men of 3rd Platoon get some relief, especially when the LT decides to try to take on an RPG gunner but only succeeds in getting himself and his RTO outgunned.
Still unable to take any direct part, the men of 1st Squad watch as the 3rd Squad leader picks up the M60 from his fallen gunner and is immediately shot by the same enemy obviously waiting for such an attempt. As his body slumps down the paddy dike it’s clear he’s dead but the medic has managed to patch up the previously wounded trooper and together they start trying to haul the dead back towards the rear of the platoon position where paddy fields provide a suitable LZ for a medevac bird should one arrive.
As the VC realise that 2nd Squad are in prime position to work down their flank and their casualties are mounting, they decide to start moving into a hidden tunnel entrance. The firing tapers off as the VC slip into the jungle, leaving their wounded behind. Several of 2nd Squad are bloodied in hand to hand combat, while others are lucky to see an RPG flash amongst them but too close to arm properly it buries itself into a tree and doesn’t explode.