From: "Alan Allen" To: "Brad Modisette"

Sent: Sunday, June 15, 2003 12:15 PM

Subject: Task Force Miracle (Tet Offensive, 1968)

Brad: I've got a tiny homepage that has some photos of my Vietnam days. I think you should be able to click-and-drag them onto your computer if you wish. AA Here's the article from Johnston's website, and I'll try to send you one that appeared in Stars And Stripes, an Army tabloid, and maybe one other one. AA ============================ I thought you might be interested in an article by a former Army lieutenant, Wayne Johnston, who went to Vietnam after I did, but who was in the same brigade. He's been nice enough to research some of the things that happened during the time I was there--1967-68, the years we lost the most men in Vietnam. Over 16,000 died in 1968, the year I got wounded the third time. In 1967 and 1969 we lost over 11,000 each year. The next closest year was 1970, and we lost over 6,000.

His article is about Task Force Miracle, and includes info about one of the worst battles I was in, an ambush in a rice paddy at the village of Lo Giang, southwest of Da Nang. Don't read it if you don't want to. It won't hurt my feelings a bit.

To see a few photos of some guys I was with, go to (the home page for the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry) and click on "photos" (top of page) then click on "albums" (left side page, I think), then click on "Kaiser" (left side page). The photos should be there. My Co. A had about 100 guys in the paddy, and in a very short time we had 19 dead and 34 wounded. Other companies in our 198th Light Infantry Brigade were shot up too, and our Co. A and a couple of other companies in the 198th ended up being awarded the Army's Valorous Unit Award for Lo Giang and the fighting we did in the few days following. I knew Lo Giang had vicious fighting, but I was somewhat astonished at Johnston's comment at the end of his article, to wit:

"Note: as a historical comparison, the loss of 34 KIA in only a few hours by a battalion sized unit is a tragedy comparable to the 36 KIA suffered by the 3rd Bn 187th Inf, 101st Abn Div, in ten days of combat at the infamous battle for "Hamburger Hill" (Dong Ap Bia) during 10-20 May 1969. Other Army and Marine units also suffered greatly during the Vietnam war, but the ferocity at Lo Giang was seldom matched."

I don't think he made an over-statement either. We found several of our guys dead in the paddy with their hands tied behind their back and shot in the head. In gathering the bodies of our dead we realized that two of our guys were missing, apparently carried off by the North Vietnamese. We carried the corpses back to our night camp--which happened to be in a graveyard--piled the bodies in the center of our perimeter and spent the night with our dead friends because only the wounded could be choppered out. We knew the next day we were going into Lo Giang, and the place was going to be plenty spooky. The next day the bodies of our missing men were found over a half-mile from the ambush site.

(Johnston's webpages at have other info on Co. A, including some on Sgt. Finnis McCleery, my old platoon sargeant, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor on Hill 352, west of Tam Ky, on 5/ 14/68.) AA --------------------

Here is Johnston's article: Tet 1968: Task Force Miracle... The Battle for Lo Giang and CAP Echo 4 This account of the battle was prepared by Wayne R. Johnston based on the following information: The 1st Bn 6th Inf Combat Action Report (Battle for Lo Giang) dated 23 February 1968 found at the USAIS Library, Ft. Benning GA; oral accounts by several survivors of the battle; an audio tape made in February 1968 by CPT Francis X. Brennan while he was recuperating from wounds; Mike Readinger's story of CAP Echo 4; the USMC publication US Marines in Vietnam, the Defining Year 1968, and the 198th Inf Bde Memorial Ceremony program (provided by Alan Allen, A/1-6 1967-68).

Background Information. In January 1968, the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (USMACV) totaled nearly 500,000 and had taken over much of the large scale unit warfare from the South Vietnamese. III MAF controlled allied military forces in the I Corps area of northern South Vietnam. The US 1st Marine Division and 51st ARVN Regiment provided protection for the Da Nang area. Enemy forces in the northern I Corps area were controlled directly by the North Vietnamese.

III MAF, the US Marine command in I Corps, emphasized the small unit war in the villages. Consequently they developed the Combined Action Program (CAP) that assigned a squad of US Marines to a village Vietnamese Popular Forces platoon. One of these units, CAP Echo 4, was located in the village of Lo Giang (1) several miles south of Da Nang. The objective of these and similar units was to create a bond with the local village population that would sever their relationship with the guerrillas and VC infrastructure.

While the Marines emphasized these small unit relations, the MACV forces were directed at defeating the enemy's main forces. The battle for Lo Giang conducted by the US Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion 6th Infantry and the attempted relief and eventual extraction of the Marines at CAP Echo 4 demonstrated the relationship between these two very different approaches to the war.

The 1968 TET Offensive begins. On 27 Jan 68, the Communists announced their seven-day cease fire for Tet 1968. Several days later, however, they launched the largest offensive of the war.

Attacks began in the Da Nang area on 30 Jan 68. At 0230 sappers attacked the III MAF compound in Da Nang. About one hour later, enemy forces attacked the I Corps headquarters complex in Hoa Vang.

An extract from the official US Marine Corps history shows the following: "Under cover of darkness, elements of the VC R-20th and V-25th Battalions had crossed the Cau Do River. With covering fire provided by 81mm and 82mm mortars, about a reinforced company reached the I Corps headquarters compound actually located within the city of Da Nang just outside the northern perimeter of the main airbase. The fighting within the compound continued until daylight. After 2. their breaching of the outer defenses, the enemy squad fired B-40 rockets at the headquarters building, but then fought a delaying action, waiting for reinforcements.

These reinforcements never came. The bulk of the enemy attack force remained in Hoa Vang Village bogged down in a firefight with local PF and Regional Force troops reinforced by a Combined Action platoon, E-3."

"At Da Nang, on the 30th, the fighting did not subside with the coming of daylight. Elements of the VC R-20th and local force units which participated in the attack on Hoa Vang and I Corps headquarters attempted to escape the dragnet of Marine and ARVN forces. While the 1st MP Battalion supported by the 1st Tank Battalion established blocking positions north of the Cau Do River, the ARVN 3d Battalion, 51st Regiment swept the sector south of the river. Caught east of the Cam La Bridge and Route l, on a small island formed by the convergence of the Cau Do, a small tributary of the river, and the Vien Dien River, the VC turned to fight.

A Combined Action platoon at 0830 saw a number of VC attempting to swim across the Cau Do to the island." In the fighting that followed, the 3rd Battalion , 5th Marines and ARVN force managed to kill 102 NVA and VC by use of artillery and tactical air strikes in the vicinity of Lo Giang (2) on 30 Jan 68. Many of the enemy were killed as they attempted to cross the Cau Do River.

[PHOTO: Looking south at the ferry crossing vic BT 033733 on the Cau Do River east of Hoa Vang, approximately 2 km. southeast of the Da Nang airfield. This 1968 photo was taken by Mike "Tiny" Readinger (CAP Echo 2 and HQ) several months before the TET offensive and is almost a shot of the exact path taken by the NVA. The village of Lo Giang and CAP Echo 4 were located about 2 km south of the river.]

On 31 Jan 68, Communist forces launched major attacks in 39 province capitals throughout the country, and in Saigon and Hue. On the night of 2-3 Feb 68, twenty-eight 122mm rockets fell on Da Nang. Elsewhere in I Corps, ground attacks on the Marine garrison at Khe Sanh began on 5 Feb 68. On 7 Feb 68, the daring and successful attack by NVA forces at the Lang Vei Special Forces camp west of Khe Sanh captured world wide media attention.

That attack featured the use of NVA PT 76 light armored tanks. The Marines at Khe Sanh refused to come to the aid of US Special Forces soldiers who were being overrun by the enemy armor.

On 7 Feb 68, the MACV commander, General Westmoreland, called for a meeting with the III MAF commander, General Cushman. Concerned that III MAF had not reacted properly to the Lang Vei episode and that inadequate precautions had been taken to defend Da Nang, General Westmoreland ordered the Americal Division to supply several infantry battalions to bolster the defenses south of Da Nang.

3. III MAF planners decided to utilize a two-battalion Army task force in the northern sector of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines near highway QL1 just south of the Cau Do River.

Task Force Miracle, as the force came to be named, was formed by the 1st Bn 6th Inf (198th Lt Inf Bde) and 2nd Bn 1st Inf (196th Lt Inf Bde) from the Americal Division.

The 1st Battalion 6th Infnatry, 198th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division moves north.

At 1515 hours on 7 Feb 68, the 1st Bn 6th Inf was ordered to provide two infantry companies and a command element as soon as possible to III MAF in Da Nang. Alpha Company, 1st Bn, 6th Inf (A/1-6) previously had been designated as the "sixty minute alert company," tasked with reinforcing units elsewhere in Vietnam. By 1630 hours they were at LZ Gator south of Chu Lai and ready to move to Da Nang. At 1735 the 131 men of Alpha company under the command of CPT Francis X. Brennan arrived at LZ 410, located at AT 991678.

They were greeted by the commander of the marine unit at that location who was under the operational control of the 1st Marine Division. The move had happened so rapidly that "their presence left [the commander and staff of LZ 410] at a loss." Only sketchy information about enemy activity was available. The 1st Bn 6th Inf commander, LTC William J. Baxley Jr. evaluated the situation and ordered his two available infantry companies to move into locations just south of the Cau Do River.

A/1-6 received their orders and moved out at 2200 hours. By 080155 Feb 68 they had arrived at their night defensive position (NDP) BT 022714 approximately 400 m. East of the Cam Le Bridge.

The 128 men of Co. C. 1st Bn 6th Inf (C/1-6) under CPT Max D. Bradley were only hours behind, and closed on their NDP at BT 005694 by 080215 Feb 68. The plan was for both companies to move from their NDPs to the bridge at BT 025719 and then to conduct search and destroy missions on the island formed by the Cau Do, a tributary of the river, and the Vien Dien River with center of mass for the operations at BT 035725.

[PHOTO: View of the Da Nang airfield and base complex looking northward across the Cau Do River. Highway QL1 is visible as it approaches the Cam Le Bridge at the left of the photo. The island in the Cau Do River near the center of the photo provided a fording site for the VC during their attack on 30 Jan 68. The tree line just visible along the extreme bottom edge of the photo directly below the Cam Le Bridge concealed large numbers of NVA troops as A/1-6 Inf moved south across the rice paddy area toward Lo Giang village on 8 Feb 68. This photo, taken from about 4,000 ft almost directly above Lo Giang, was provided by Mike Readinger.]

The Battle for Lo Giang and CAP Echo 4.

4. Enemy activity began anew early the morning of 8 Feb 68. At 0345 hours, enemy mortar rounds fell into the CAP Echo 4 compound vic BT 028704 near Lo Giang. By daylight, enemy ground forces surrounded the marines in the CAP hamlet. At 0602 hours, the 14 men at the location under the command of SGT B. Keith Cossey received heavy small arms fire from BT 027699. Four NVA killed in the action were found to be armed with CS grenades. All friendly units in the area were alerted of the enemy gas attack capabilities.

The defenders at CAP Echo 4 had expended most of their ammunition, but rearmed themselves with enemy weapons and ammunition. In view of the attack on the Marines, C/1-6 was ordered to move from its NDP and to advance on Lo Giang village at BT 025725.

As daylight arrived over the area, a OV-1 "bird dog" aircraft detected approximately 400 persons on the ground in the vicinity of Lo Giang. The aerial observer could not determine whether the soldiers were enemy or friendly before they disappeared under the canopy of trees in the area. Such brazen daylight moves by large enemy forces were a rarity.

The information about the large number of suspected enemy soldiers was not communicated to the 1st Bn 6th Inf soldiers in the vicinity of Lo Giang.

Because of the size of the attack against CAP Echo 4, Marines from adjacent CAP units and the CAP headquarters north of the Cao Do formed a reaction force under CPT Howard L. Joselane to come to their aid. One of the Marine volunteers in the force, SGT Dennis W. Hammond, had less than three weeks to go before returning to the States, but stated that this was his "last chance" to accomplish something. The relief force was taken by truck across the Cam Le Bridge and south on QL1 to the vic BT 016698 where they started toward Echo 4.

At 0826 hours, A/1-6 received small arms fire from BT 026705. They observed large numbers of civilians fleeing to the northeast from Lo Giang village. Having received the proper clearance, they began firing 81mm mortar rounds into the outskirts of the village.

As C/1-6 crossed highway QL1 near BT 016698 at 0940 hours, they received automatic weapons from enemy soldiers located in the pagoda at BT 022724 that increased in intensity as they advanced.

As the CAP relief force under CPT Joselane that had been attempting to reinforce CAP Echo 4 approached the tree line on the west end of Lo Giang, they suddenly came under intense fire at close range. Shortly after the attack began, they were overwhelmed by large numbers of VC and NVA. They radioed for help and then a short time later announced that they were being overrun. Capt Joselane's last words over the radio were "they're all over way out. Don't send anyone else in here...tell my wife I love her." Thirteen marines in the relief force were killed by the enemy. Some of the Marines were bayoneted as they lay wounded.

Three Marines, including SGT Hammond, were captured by the NVA as POWs, but 5. one later managed to escape. Hammond later died in captivity. One Marine, although badly wounded, miracleously survived due to the magnanimity of a NVA radio operator who spared his life. The Marine had befriended the NVA soldier earlier while on a CAP mission. The NVA soldier had pretended to be a Vietnamese peasant who needed food and medical attention.

[NOTE: The harrowing nature of the ordeal suffered by the Marines in the relief force and their incredible bravery has been spelled out in detail in an excellent story prepared by Mike "Tiny" Readinger that can be found on the Marine CAP web site. Those few brave Marines in the aborted relief effort did not stand a chance against a numerically superior NVA force that would practically overrun two platoons of A Co/1-6 Inf only a short time later. Their efforts, however, provided hope to the beleaguered CAP defenders and forced the NVA to shift their attention away from CAP Echo 4.]

In the meantime, C/1-6 was pinned down in the rice paddy area northwest of Lo Giang. By 1015 two soldiers were wounded, and four more were wounded at 1100 hours. All six soldiers were dusted off by Marine helicopters, and the accompanying gun ships remained to provided additional fire support. Marine gunships and intense return fire from C/1-6 blunted the enemy efforts.

The NVA next concentrated their fire on A/1-6 on the north side of Lo Giang. At 1132 hours, those soldiers began receiving heavy automatic weapons fire from BT 025706.

Meanwhile, the enemy attack on CAP Echo 4 continued in earnest. The marines in the small fortified position near the village of Lo Giang (1) reported that they were under heavy attack by large numbers of NVA soldiers. Although badly outnumbered, the CAP Echo 4 defenders were fortified with bunkers and wire entanglements.

[PHOTO from 1968 of the southern portion of the perimeter at CAP Echo 4 provided by Mike "Tiny" Readinger, who was at the CAP Echo headquarters as an RTO during the battle. His story on the CAP web site contains detailed information about the incredible difficulties faced by the CAP Marines.]

Because of the intense automatic weapons fire and mortar rounds from the enemy that inflicted many casualties, C/1-6 was unable to advance toward Lo Giang.

In the meantime, Company B, 1st Bn 6th Inf, under the command of CPT Dan A. Prather, had been flown north from LZ Gator near Chu Lai and had arrived south of Da Nang at LZ 410 at 1050 hours. At 1132 hours they were ordered to move by truck to BT 015695 and to link up with the Marines under attack at CAP Echo 4.

Company G, 2nd Bn 3rd Marines, from LZ 410, was on the right flank of B/1-6 Inf as they moved toward CAP Echo 4. The Marines killed 7 NVA as they advanced.

At 081510 Feb however, they were released to their parent unit and moved to the east of the Vinh Diem River to search for a reported 1,000 man NVA force. (The 6. next day Companies G and F of 2nd Bn 3rd Marines killed 107 NVA at BT 031698).

Approximately 1500 meters to the northeast, the combat action near A/1-6 was increasing. A/1-6 reported receiving additional automatic weapons fire at 1136 hours. Mortar fire from 4th platoon into the village paid off with secondary explosions. At 1233 hours,CPT Brennan decided to "check out the village" and told his forward observer to have a fire mission "laid on the village" as they prepared to attack. In an audio tape he prepared in Feb 68, CPT Brennan described the action in his own words:

"I put two of my rifle platoons on a skirmish line, followed by the CP group centered on the two platoons and a platoon held in reserve trailing the CP group by 100 meters. ...The two platoons on line covered a width of approximately 200 meters. The configuration was 2nd Platoon on the left (East) side and 3rd Platoon on the right (West) side and the 1st Platoon trailing in reserve. The weapons (4th) platoon went into action [from the cover of the NDP position in the graveyard at BT 023710]."

The terrain to the front of A/1-6 was flat and was covered by rice crops about one-foot tall. To their front and along a northeast-southwest line running from BT 029708 to a pagoda at BT 021704 was a tree line. It was along this tree line that the enemy was thought to be deployed.

Unknown to them the NVA had low-crawled out into the paddy about 100 meters north of the treeline and spread out, paralleling the trees along a small dirt berm that, along with the rice, and the banana leaves strapped to their backs, helped obscure them.

[PHOTO by Mike "Tiny" Readinger probably was taken in late December 1967, looking northeast toward the village of Lo Giang. The structure visible on the right edge of the photo is believed to be the pagoda in the vic BT 021704 that sheltered enemy troops as they fired on C/1-6 as they attempted to advance toward Lo Giang. Soldiers from A/1-6 Inf advanced from the trees on the left behind the sign and crossed the rice fields in the distance toward the far side (i.e. north side) of the tree line visible on the right side of photo. Enemy mortars near the pagoda shelled them in the open as the attempted to advance across the area. Marble Mountain is in the distance. CAP Echo 4 is located down the path to the right about 800m through the village. The bodies of the valiant Marine relief force were found to the right of this photo, just short of the tree line].

As the soldiers of A/1-6 Inf neared the berm they suddenly came under a tremendous volume of enemy rocket, machine gun, RPG, grenade, and rifle fire from immediately in front, as well as motar fire. A furious fight developed as the NVA enemy charged over the berm. The officers and men of A/1-6 later reported that the enemy leaders were easily identifiable as they were moving behind groups of seven to ten men using hand and arm signals to direct their units.

In CPT Brennan's words: "A Company was flanked on both sides by at least an NVA company on each 7. side and was sustaining a frontal assault by another NVA company. The enemy assault element was on line, advancing in a crouched firing position from the northwest woodline at the village. The flank enemy elements were attempting to link up at our rear, thus encircling [the unit]."

In a matter of seconds A Co. and two companies of a unit positively identified as the 60th Main Force Viet Cong Battalion (60% to 70% NVA soldiers), First NVA Regiment 2nd NVA Division with the 370th Hqs Company, were in a hand to hand battle in the rice paddies immediately northwest of Lo Giang. During the initial heavy contact, A Co. killed 78 NVA soldiers and suffered 10 KHA and 22 WHA.

The second platoon leader, 2LT Bowman, was killed in the fight, but subsequently received the nation's second highest decoration for valor--the Distinguished Service Cross. At one point, CPT Brennan received a call from the second platoon radio telephone operator (RTO) who thought 2LT Bowman was dead:

"The second platoon RTO called in a state of near panic. He said the enemy were crawling directly to his rear and each flank."

CPT Brennan observed that "The proximity of the enemy fire was approximately ten to twenty meters at times. The enemy was attempting to intermingle with my troops having cut off our route of withdrawal." He concluded that the "only hope left for the company was to pull back to the mortar position and to reorganize."

At 1415 hours, eight sorties of tactical air support arrived from the 1st Marine Air Wing. The bombs and other mixed ordnance blunted the continuing NVA attack. After the air strikes, the NVA resumed their assault, but the defenses of A/1-6 held.

Seventy four additional NVA were killed in the open. At 1500 hours, CPT Brennan was wounded, along with his two RTOs. Both radios were destroyed and communications were lost with battalion headquarters.

Not all the combat action had been confined to A/1-6. C/1-6 continued to be attacked. At 1320 hours they came under heavy automatic weapons fire, and at 1530 hours were subjected to an intense mortar attack at BT 018698. By late afternoon they had suffered 2 KIA and 28 WHA (including all officers) as they attacked toward Lo Giang.

Company B, 1st Bn 6th Inf also ran into significant enemy resistance. As they tried to move toward the CAP Echo 4 location at 1450 hours, they came under small arms fire at BT 022694. At 1532 hours they were subjected to a heavy enemy mortar barrage. By 1615 hours they finally located the enemy mortar position, and pounded it with their own mortars. They attacked and overran the enemy mortar position at BT023697 and killed 30 NVA at a loss of only 2 soldiers WHA.

Fortunately, the marines at CAP Echo 4 did not have to wait on the arrival of B/1-6 Inf. According to the official Marine historical accounts, they had managed "to hold out against overwhelming odds." At 1550 hours they were extracted by air.

At 1615 hours, radio contact was reestablished with A/1-6. The soldiers had consolidated their position in the cover of the cemetery at BT 022713. Nineteen of the approximately 66 in 2nd and 3rd platoons had been killed, and another 35 wounded. 1st platoon, held on a skirmish line 100 meters to the rear, and the weapons platoon, shooting mortars from the cemetary, were relatively unscathed.

Because of their reduced strength. Co E, 1st Bn 6th Inf was ordered to move from LZ 410 to help consolidate their defenses with A/1-6 Inf at BT 022712. Co C also moved into their position at BT 014697. The confirmed enemy body count at that time: A - 207; B - 37; C-14; G - 8. Ninety percent of the enemy had full web gear, including combat packs. Over 100 enemy weapons were counted by A Co alone.

It should be noted that until 081430 Feb 68 the 1st Bn 6th Inf commander did not have a command and control (C&C) helicopter at his disposal. When it finally arrived it was used for two hours for medivac and resupply.

A/1-6 had 28 WIA and C/1-6 had 17 WIA.

The C&C helicopter pilots were WO1 Edward A. Fitzsimmons and 1LT David R. Ewing of the "Minutemen", 176th Assault Helicopter Company. They flew 21 sorties into the battlefield, evacuated 31 wounded, and resupplied all companies. To quote the official After Action Report "without the courage and skill of Mr. Fitzsimmons and LT Ewing it is doubtful if all the wounded would have been evacuated prior to darkness on the night of 8 Feb 1968."

The aftermath.

From 082011 to 090705 Feb 68, all elements of 1st Bn 6th Inf reported no nighttime enemy activity on the battlefield. Unfortunately this was not true for the lone remaining survivor of the CAP 4 relief force. He was searched, and kicked several times while he played dead from his multiple wounds. He was discovered alive the next morning by Marines from the CAPs near Hoa Vang.

[MAP: Red numbers on the map show approximate locations where NVA equipment, supplies, and bodies were found.]

The next morning Co A and E began conducting a sweep of the Lo Giang area.

While moving through the battlefield Co E/1-6 Inf continually reported evidence of blood trails and paths through the rice where the NVA dragged away their dead and wounded.

1 Near a pagoda at BT 022704 Co A/1-6 found 43 NVA bodies with web gear and packs that had not previously been counted.

2 At the same location they found 52 Chicom grenades, 1500 rounds of ammunition, and the two damaged PRC-25 radios that had captured from A/1-6 9. the previous day. Co A/1-6 had pounded the area near the pagoda with mortar and automatic weapons fire the previous afternoon.

[PHOTP:1968, of the path leading through Lo Giang to CAP Echo 4 provided by Mike "Tiny" Readinger (CAP Echo 1968) [] The dense vegetation in and around Lo Giang and CAP Echo 4 provided ample concealment for the NVA as shown in the photo above. Search and destroy sweeps by 1-6 Inf troops after the battle revealed that large numbers of NVA troops had occupied practically every portion of the cover.]

At 0930 hours C/1-6 Inf found three LAWs, one M60 MG and a box of documents at BT 022688.4 At the same time, B/1-6 found a missing soldier from C Co and the remains of another MIA. 5

At BT 025706 Company A and E/1-6 found two large piles of mixed NVA and American equipment. The piles were approximately four feet high and twelve feet in diameter.6 Most of the equipment was NVA. At 1210 hours, C/1-6 Inf found the bodies of seven NVA soldiers with web gear and green uniforms from the 370th Hqs Co of the 1st NVA Regiment.

At 1025 E/1-6 reported from Lo Giang that they found the remains of four soldiers from A/1-6 who had been reported as MIA the previous day.7

At 1230 hours, B/1-6 found the bodies of four NVA soldiers from the 60th Bn, 1st NVA Regiment, 2nd NVA Division at BT 027699.8 At 1435 E/1-6 located 1 M-1 rifle, two M-1 carbines, one RPG MG, 50 Chicom grenades, several sets of NVA web gear, and one NVA gas mask at BT 025705. It was obvious that the enemy had been soundly defeated as it was unlike the NVA or VC to abandon bodies, weapons, and equipment on the battlefield.

The 1st Bn 6th Inf units continued to search the battlefield for signs of the enemy on 10 and 11 Feb 68.

At 100828 Feb 68, Co C/1-6 found eight NVA bodies soldiers with an AK47 rifle at BT 030706.9 One of the bodies, thought to be Chinese, was determined by MI personnel and a medical team to be ethnic Noung.

Cos E and A/1-6 moved into the Then Khue village area after CH47 aircraft came under fire from that area. They found two LAWs (light antitank weapons), one expended, at BT 035716. 10 Co C/1-6 found nine additional NVA bodies in brown uniforms with web gear and AK-47 magazines in the vicinity of BT 026703.11

By the evening of 10 Feb 68, it was evident that the TF Miracle area of operations was cleared of NVA and Main Force VC forces. Nevertheless, significant discoveries of weapons and ammunition continued.

At 111100 Feb 68, C/1-6 found four prepared mortar position and four 82mm mortar rounds in the hamlet of Co Man at BT 025687 that had been used to mortar 10. A Co during the battle for Lo Giang.12 Thirty minutes later they found a 4'x4' box of green uniforms, a brief case full of documents, and a trench system with fire lanes and fighting positions. 13

E/1-6 found two RPG MG, flares, 24 Chicom grenades, NVA pistol belts, canteens and a gas mask near BT 022709. 14

At BT 025694 C/1-6 found 29 Chicom grenades, 8 RPG rockets with boosters, 1 AK47 rifle with 4 magazines, and one Winchester 12 ga. shotgun. 15

At 111145 Feb 68, A/1-6 found a huge amount of ammunition on the eastern side of the Lo Giang hamlet. 16 This included 240 60mm mortar rounds, 48 M-26 grenades, 576 12 ga. shotgun shells, 50 claymore mines, 3,500 rounds of .45 cal. ammo, 847 cal 30 rounds, 2,000 rounds of AK-47 ammo and 200 Chicom grenades.

Although vast quantities of enemy weapons, ammunition and equipment were discovered in the days after the battle for Lo Giang, saturation patrolling located few live enemy soldiers. Ninety enemy bodies were found at BT 044704 by Marine patrols. The absence of any signs of fighting at the location indicated that the 60th Main Force VC Battalion had retreated to the east with their deadand wounded.

On 12 Feb 16, the 1st Bn 6th Inf had completed its mission as part of Task Force Miracle in the defense of Da Nang. That effort had been costly, as the 1st Bn 6th Inf lost 22 soldiers killed and 68 wounded in action. The Marine relief force lost 12 killed, three captured as POWs 9one later escaped while, the other 2 died in captivity), 1 wounded, and only 1 escaped back to CAP Echo 2.

[Note: as a historical comparison, the loss of 34 KIA in only a few hours by a battalion sized unit is a tragedy comparable to the 36 KIA suffered by the 3rd Bn 187th Inf, 101st Abn Div, in ten days of combat at the infamous battle for "Hamburger Hill" (Dong Ap Bia) during 10-20 May 1969. Other Army and Marine units also suffered greatly during the Vietnam war, but the ferocity at Lo Giang was seldom matched.]

At the end of the mission, the 1st Bn 6th Inf was extracted from the area and moved south to LZ Baldy, where they were place under the operational control of the 3rd Bde, 4th Infantry Division to participate in Operation Wheeler/Wallowa. In that operation Sgt. Finnis McCleery of San Angelo, Texas won the Congressional Medal of Honor on May 14, 1968, at Hill 352.

MEMORIAL: A memorial service was conducted in Vietnam by the 198th Infantry Brigade on 21 Sep 68 to honor those soldiers who had been killed during the first year (not just at Lo Giang) the unit served in Vietnam. Some of those killed include:

2LT Joseph B. Bowman, SGT Robert N. Carter, SP4 James S. Cerione, SP4 Ralph A. Dahm, PFC Amos H. Boutwell, PFC Robert L. Dykes, Jr., PFC John I. Haselbauer, PFC Brian F. Durr, PSG John R. Poso, SGT David L. McKinney, SP4 Denton A. Carrasquillo, SP4 George R. Denslow, SP4 Lanny E. Hale, SP4 Rodney P. Troyer, SP4 John L. Jervis III, PFC Walter R. Pratt, SSG Ramon H. Gonzales, SP4 James L. Lopp, SP4 James E. Parker, SP4 John A. Wilcox, SP4 Michael Pumillo, PFC Franklin Clovis, PFC Charles E. Hodge END