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Americal News Sheet, 20 Jul 69
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Americal News Sheet (Vol 3 No 201)
Sunday July 20, 1969

Tomorrows forecast: Partly to mostly cloudy with rain over the mountains and isolated along the coast. Winds light and variable NE at 3 to 10 knots. Temperature high 94 low 79. Humidity high 90 low 50.

Heavy fighting flared in the Americal Division's Operation Iron Mountain area yesterday, as 11th Inf. Bde. Soldiers killed 15 NVA and one VC and captured four weapons, two of which were crew-served.


At 0900 hours yesterday, D Co., 3-1, while sweeping an area six miles west of Duc Pho, came under a heavy barrage of mortar fire.

D Co. returned fire on the enemy position and killed two NVA soldiers.

The "Always First" soldiers soon learned that this encounter was to be the first of several contacts made in this jungle covered area in the next eleven hours.

A sister company, B Co., was soon deployed to the area, as were "Shark" gunships from the 174th AHC, "Warlords" from B Co., 123rd Avn. Bn., and air strikes guided by Air Force FACS.

At 1240, a door gunner on the command and control helicopter for 3-1, killed a lone NVA soldier. About the same time, B Co. found the body of another NVA who had been killed by air strikes.

While moving westward towards D Co., B Co. engaged and killed two NVA and captured one AK-50 rifle.

A scout dog and handler from the 59th Scout Dog Plt., were working the area when the dog uncovered an NVA.

The NVA managed to shoot the dog, but the handler, wounded from the fire dropped the insurgent.

CPT John S. Walker (Wakefield, R.I.), battalion S-3, described the enemy situation. "The NVA were in a trench line between two open fields with bamboo vegetation around the trenches."

The hard fought battle continued as the two companies of "Always First" soldiers faced a well entrenched enemy.

Finally, at 1915 hours, the men were able to sweep through the enemy infested area. D Co. killed five NVA and B Co. killed two more during the sweep.

All tolled, the "Always First" soldiers, with the help of timely air support, killed 14 NVA soldiers and captured three AK-47's, an AK-50, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launcher, and a 7.62 light machinegun.