Saber Article Index


Mike Bodnar
13010 N. Lakeforest Dr.
Sun City, AZ 85351-3250
(623) 972-4395

I was forwarded another View of the night battle at FSB David in Cambodia, June 1970. Email from: <> , Carlisle, PA. Si, 1-5 Cav & CO, Echo Company 1-5 Cave at FSB David who served 20 1969-19 Feb 1971. Comments: For Mike Bodnar: "Your comments about FSB David after the BOE HQ left are pretty much on the mark. A couple of minor points: first, the recoilless fire we took was from a 75mm RR. Our S2, an unhappy but superb reserve CPT recalled to duty to serve in Vietnam, identified them as 75mm and noted that the only NVA units with them were NVA regiments. We (1-5 Cav. I think) did lose one Soldier in a hammock. after the Troops had been repeatedly told by our NCOs to dig in and NOT to use a hammock. Within about 20-30 minutes we had a 'Pink Team' (Cobra and OH--0) overhead. and then not too Jong later we beard the 4-engine drone of anAC-130.calledeither SHADOW or SPECTER. not PUFF.theAC-47. The AC-130 sprayed the area from where we calculated the RR fire bad come, and he got at least one secondary explosion. A couple of hours later, another AC-130 showed up and the first left. We had AC-130 coverage through the night because there was concern that, having been attacked on 14 June 1970, they would mount a regimental assault on FSB David, which had far fewer men defending the same size perimeter.

"As for the attack on FSB David, with no supporting artillery in range and no air support because of the weather, our Direct Support Artillery Battery (C 2-19) and our own Echo Company mortars played a critical role in our defense. I heard one report that C 2-19 was down to less than 50 rounds remaining before the emergency ammo resupply arrived. My Echo Company bad all the 1-5 Cav mortars, and I think I had 11 or 12 tubes manned that night. The 81mm crews fired about 640 rounds of illumination and nearly 1550 rounds of HE, never pulling one HE round inside the berm, while working under fire. At an E 1 -5 Cav reunion a few years ago, I pointed out to the 11C mortar men what a critical role they played that night. Many of them had felt that they bad 'not done much' while serving in Vietnam. I think I was able to correct that misperception. I en1oy reading your accounts. especially from the safety of my living room! God Bless. Mike Crutcher".

I received an email with an image from'67-'68 MEDEVAC 21 Art Jacobs who said: "Mike: A guy I know at Fort Campbell came across this homemade looking patch and has no idea regarding its origin.
"It could be vintage 1965 when the Cav went to Vietnam. or it could be another Air Ambulance organization and was an
individual pilot's callsign number. You may want to
publish this in the next Saber and see if recognize it. Art" If anyone recognizes it, please let us know.

If you missed it there was mention in the last Saber·LRRP Ranger\News about receiving email from MEDEVAC 8 Monty Halcomb. He is trying to contact LRRP personnel whom he had extracted around LZ Mace in1970. Then MEDEVAC 8 made the decision to override policy orders to only extract wounded when he heard on the radio about some LRRPs who were surrounded and had no other immediate way to get extracted.

Apparently. MEDEVAC 8 already had an almost full helicopter but helping the LRRPs was also needed, so they did. Monty Halcomb gives <> for information.

I received the following as snail mail from Ron Snub: "Hi Mike. thanks for doing such a great job with the Saber. We hardly ever hear from anyone from A, B, or C Company, so thought I'd put in my two cents. My adventure started on the night of 28 July 65 in our barracks at Fort Benning. I was a PFC medic in Company C, 11th Medical Bn., 11th Air Assault Division. We were listening to the radio because pres. Johnson was going to vgive a mjor talk concerning Vietnam. He said, ' the situation in Vietnam is worsening. I have todayordered the Army's Air Assault Divion to Vietnam.' We were the only Air Assault Unit in the Army. The next morning formation our 1st Sgt told us were were now Company C, 15th Medical Bn, 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile and we would be leaving for Vietnam in two weeks.

'"The Company would be spending one month going over on old Navy ships. Five of us medics would be flown over on Air Force C-130's with the Advance Party of the 8th Engineers. I do have bragging rights. I was not only on the first plane to land there. but also the very first medic from the 15th Med Bn to set foot in Vietnam because l was sitting in the last cargo net next to the off ramp on 20 Aug 65. I have a copy of the 'Daily Staff Journal' dated 21 Aug 65 showing that PFC Johnson. PFC Tommie Cole, and myself arrived at Nha rang on 20 Aug 65. Three others from C 15th Med arrived on 21Aug 65.

''Tommie Cole and I put our poncho's together and that was our home for that first week. As each C-130 landed the three of us PFCs would give everyone two shots of gamma globulin in their rear ends. I still remember the first one. This Major walked up to me, an E-3 and I said, 'Major, turn around and drop your pants.' When I put that first needle in his ass, we both jumped a couple of inches. After another 20 or so Soldiers it got very easy, at least for me. After one week we all flew up to our new Base Camp near An Khe. Tommie Cole shared the pup tent with me until the day the rest of Company C arrived the day before my 20th birthday. 17 Sept 65. And from there, the adventures continued. Ron Strub. 423 E. Madison St. Caledonia, MN. 55921 <> "PS: Mike. feel free to give my name & address out with the story. Thank you. my friend.

FIRST TEAM! Garryowen

Mike Bodnar 2\7 '69 MEDEVAC 1-7\70


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