The replacements getting off the truck looked at the haggard faces around them and wondered what they were getting into. The firebase was still little more than a collection of muddy foxholes, men of the artillery battery trying to finish off the Basic Ammo and Supply bunker before the rain began again. Before the new draft had even had chance to be assigned to squads an even more sombre omen took their attention when a party carried a sagging body bag out to the waiting medevac chopper.
Once all the morning admin had been done, the men of 2nd and 3rd squads, 3rd Platoon saddled up and went out on ambush patrol in sector 2861. A likely trail hugging a stream was staked out and it wasn’t long before the enemy were spotted.
The Main Force VC moved cautiously down the stream bed, a scout leading. As he reached the little ford where the trail met the stream, a fusilade of shots from the US positions spun him to the ground wounded. The rest of the VC dropped to the floor, unable to see where the firing was coming from. Since only 2nd Squad was engaged, 3rd Squad started moving around to try to get a piece of the action.
With the wounded man screaming, the VC pushed forward another couple of men who were again spotted and fired upon. This time some poor shooting made one of them duck back from the LMG rounds and the other was knocked down from a near miss.
More VC ran forward, moving fast to try to cross the gap in the trees. Another fusilade of shots greeted their movement and another VC went down wounded although one of them made it across the gap. The US were having a whale of time, all the previous days of pain and losses were finally paying off, they had Charlie right where they wanted him.
With no reinforcements for the VC nor any heavy weapons and faced with a dug in enemy in good positions across a wide open killing ground and two casualties, the VC began to try to recover their wounded with a mind to breaking contact. Medic checks stabilised momentarily one of the casualties but the other immediately died. Another burst of firing as the duck back VC is wounded as well, and its all over, the VC are dragging their dead and wounded away, depriving the US of any body count. The US slip out of their positions and return to the FSB fully satisfied in a job well done.
Back in the FSB the rest of the Company were able to take some time to rest, clean weapons and write letters. The light rain continued to fall but air operations were possible and two missions were slated. The first, an aerial recon flight gained no intelligence from its flight over sectors 3062 and 2962.
The second was a resounding success. A hunter killer team consisting of a Loach and two Hogs over flew a line of sectors to the East of the FSB. In the first they saw nothing of note, but the second they destroyed a suspect Sampan on the river, in the third they found troops in the open, possibly forming for a probe on the Firebase itself that evening. With rockets and gunfire they scattered the enemy troops, counting 11 dead enemy bodies before they flew on. In the last sector they destroyed several camp structures in the jungle before their ammunition ran out and they had to turn for home.