The month of October, the 2/12th fought several running battles from the 7th through the 11th. Bravo
Company fought the first battle with the help of the 101st Airborne. Then it was Alpha's turn. A, B and D
companies are located at FSB Pershing while C Co. Is located at FSB Stuart the entire month.
1 OCT 68
Don Dien Sinna (Sinna Plantation)
[upper Ho Bo Woods area]
Alpha company air assaults into the Don Dien Sinna rubber plantation two miles south of the Mushroom,
XT589277 conducts a RIF and returns to the NL.
Bravo company air assaults into the same area at XT589277 and gets into a firefight (supported by gunships)
resulting in 11 VC captured, 5 VC POW, 6 VC POW MIA's, 12 VC KIA (BC), 6 by gunships and 6 by SA fire. Bravo
has one wounded in action and is evacuated.
Delta company was flown in to support Bravo and they established a night defensive position (NDP) on the
landing zones at (XT589274). The next day they searched around the area of Bravo's contact. But, other than
sniper fire, there was no contact.
Meanwhile, Charlie Co operating around FSB Stuart engage 3 VC with 81MM fire with negative results.
"On 1 October while combat assaulting into the northern Ho Bo Woods, B and D Companies, 2-12 Infantry,
observed five VC running into two tunnels and engaged with organic weapons, LFT, and CS gas. After killing 14
VC and taking 11 VC (POW), Co B, 2-12 Inf, located a huge cache of the 7th Cu Chi Battalion Rear Detachment.
The cache partially camouflaged, was located vic XT589277 and contained 87 x 82mm rds, 29 cases of RPG-2
rds, 30 cases of AK ammo, 73 Bangalore torpedoes, 15 cases 60mm ammo, 7 pistols of assorted types, 1x60mm
mortar, 5 lbs of documents, 66,000 VN piasters, and 1 complete surgical kit."
2 OCT 68
As Delta and Bravo searched the area around X. Tu Duan; Charlie riffed one klick north of Stuart to X. Rung Cay
where they engaged an estimated three VC with SA and AW. VC returned fire with AW, negative casualties.
Later at XT516196, Charlie Company moved southeast to the vic of Ap An Binh where they received sniper
fire. They engaged the enemy with organic weapons, results 1 VC KIA (BC).
B & C Co.'s set up a night defensive position at Xa [village] Tu Duan.
Alpha's Night Laager was at Pershing. Charlie was at FSB Stuart near Trang Bang.
3 OCT 68
A Co. riffed around Dry Lake and returned to NL XT5082258. B & D Co.'s returned to NL in mid-afternoon after
patrolling around Don Dien Sinna. C Co. riffed up to the village of Bao Me two klicks north of Trang Bang and
engaged an estimated five VC with SA, AW and the support of gunships from Diamondhead - resulting in a
two VC body count. They then returned to Trang Bang.
Bravo company machine gunner Paul "Jocko" Duncan bitten by a snake and evacuated.
It is on this day that the Battalion moves their NL from XT508258 to XT513260 and starts to establish FSB
Pershing. This moves the Battalion inland from 6 Alpha 500 meters and out into the open rice paddies of the
area giving the unit a greater field of fire.
4 OCT 68
Bravo company remained at Pershing for the day as Co. A air assaulted into an area south of the Boi Loi's
where they found a VC body killed earlier by artillery. They then returned to base.
Co. C riffed northwest of Trang Bang to the vicinity of the hamlet [Ap] of Gai Lam near the cemetery off Six
Alpha road. There was a lot of movement detected by radar near Trang Bang that evening and the VC were
engaged by organic 81mm mortars from FSB Stuart with unknown results.
5 OCT 68
A Co. moved out of Pershing, riffing north of Dry Lake to the village of Cha Ray. From there they moved to the
rice fields west of Suoi Sup, and on to the rubber plantation between Bo Heo and Ong Dam. Then back to
B Co. remained at Pershing for the day.
C Co. left FSB Stuart to form a blocking force just south of the bridge.
DCo. riffed NW out of Pershing across Six Alpha and the stream before turning northeast to a checkpoint one
klick north of Square Lake. They passed near Square Lake on their way back to Pershing.
BATTLE OF TAM DINH
7 OCT 68
B Co. KIA's:
PFC Aaron F. Ferguson (20) of Provo, Ut
SGT Nathaniel Kelley (23) of Stockbridge, GA
PFC Roy R. Koening (21) of Rosedale, NY
PFC Walter G. Rice, Jr. (18) of Bristolville, OH
SP4William C. Shuman (21) of Waldoboro, ME
PFC Kenneth H. Sills (20) of Spokane, WA
Medic PFC Ramon A. Flores (18), Bravo Co, of San Antonio, TX perished in Hua Nghia Province.
SP4 Larry Fontana was acting as a sergeant that day -- a 'acting-jack' sergeant -- and was on point with Bravo
companies' 2nd platoon, when they entered the village of Tam Dinh; "The biggest fight we were in was 4
klicks east of Pershing October 7, 1968. Bravo and Alpha went out to make contact with a large force of NVA
spotted there the past evening," recalled Fontana. "Good as gold Alpha abreast to our left." "My platoon
made initial contact in the middle of a village and did some damage - but we got a bloody nose," said
Fontana. Bravo beat back the NVA first, and then "we could have got out without a scratch.... "there was a
window of opportunity after blooding their noses, but [a officer] made us stay." "Fought off and on all day
and dug in that night with two companies from the 101st Airborne Division," said Fontana. In addition to the
Airborne, there were the two companies of the 2-12th -- Alpha and Bravo. "NVA hit us with the kitchen sinks
and came charging in. We were fighting from open foxholes and one strand of concertina. Fontana continues,
"No food or water, but plenty of CLAYMORE MINES!!! Saved our bacon without a doubt. We had (claymores)
all over the place and broke up [the North Vietnamese Army's 101st Regiment] after three charges against us"
stated Fontana. "Probably lasted and hour, but seemed like eternity."
7-8 OCT 68 ~ Tam Dinh and Night Laager Site (XT52248)
After a day long battle in and around Tam Dinh on the seventh, companies B and D, with two companies of
the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry (101st Air Assault Division), coiled into a night defensive position north-
west of the village.
8 OCT 68
A Co WIA:
Spc4 Danny A. Smith
Co. A at FSB Pershing
Co. C at FSB Stuart and Trang Bang bridge
Co.'s B & D (along with Co.'s B & D 3-187th Inf) in night laager (XT552248) in vicinity of yesterdays contact.
"We had a 147 body count, but I KNOW we got more in those charges," Larry Fontana wrote. "There were
oxcart tracks going back and forth all over the fields when daylight hit. These guys knew how to clean a
battlefield. Even so, I saw a big pile of AKs and RPGs before we left to patrol that morning after." Fontana
continues, "the whole thing was, we fought a major engagement from simple foxholes and not a hard spot
like other famous fights in the 25th."
"Bravo pulled out after two days - we pretty much had the casualties - and then Alpha and the rest of the
battalion fought them on the run 'till the 11th. It was during these battles that Alpha got their MIA. Funny, I
never knew that happened, losing a guy. Stuff like that spreads like wildfire, but we never heard about it."
OFFICIAL US ARMY RECORDS:
[The following extract courtesy of Co. B's Allen Suydam.
COMMANDING GENERAL, 25TH INF DIV
Ground Commander's SITREP
080001H October to 082400H October 1968
2-12Inf (-) (XT513260): Co A, at Bn (-) NL [Pershing. - bh], while Co C provided night location security FSB Stuart
and Trang Bang Bridge vic XT501194. Co's B and D 3-187 Inf remain OPCON to 2-12 Inf. Co's B and D 2-12 Inf along
with Co's B and D 3-187 Inf maintained NL in area of contact vic XT552248. At first light, Co's A and B established
block psns from vic XT538225 to XT545238. Co C cdt extensive RIF from NL into block psns. Meanwhile, Co D
remained at NL providing local security and acting as Bn RRF along with Co's B and D 3-187 Inf. Later, Co's B and D
3-187 rejoined parent unit and cdt move to Cu Chi BC. At the end of the day, Co's A, B and D returned to Bn (-) NL,
while Co C returned to NL on Trang Bang Bridge. (Delayed Entry: Ref 25th Div SITREP 7 Oct 68, contact
commencing at 0850H. Add 18 NVA KIA; 21 AK47, 9 RPG-2 RLs, 1 1/2 lbs documents, 1 82mm mortar sight, 2 lbs
med supplies cptr, and 18 82mm ammo, 500 rds SA ammo, 8 [unintelligable], 200 rds M60 ammo dest.)
At 0050H vic XT552248 Co's A and B 2-12 Inf along with Co's B and D 3-187 Inf received unk no rds SA, AW, M79,
RPG fire and 35 rds 82mm mortar fire resulting in 7 US WIA (2 evac). Returned fire with SA, AW, M79, Arty, LFT,
and mortar fire resulting in 72 NVA KIA; 1 NVA PW, 1 82mm mortar, 18 AK47, 1 SKS carbine, 2 RPD LMGs,
1 radio and 3 lbs of documents cptr. At 1020H vic XT514208 Co C apprehended 1 detainee. At 1030H vic XT515205
Co C engaged 3 NVA with SA and AW fire resulting in 1 NVA KIA; 1 NVA PW, 1 AK47 and 1/2 lb documents cptr.
At 1650H vic XT513207 Co C engaged 3 NVA wih SA and AW resulting in 2 NVA PW. Night: 4 sqd size and 3 plat size
APs; 12 Lps.
9 OCT 68
Co.'s A, B and D at Fire Support Base Pershing
Co. C at FSB Stuart and the Trang Bang bridge
Co. A combat assaulted (CA) by air to:
LZ (XT550283), 4 klicks NE of Pershing (and
south of the Ho Bo woods),
LZ (XT565215) 6 klicks SE near X. Tan Han,
and to XT566303, another LZ near the Ho Bo's.
After a day of patrolling they returned to the Battalion
Night Laager at Pershing.
Co. B CA from Pershing to:
LZ (XT567283) south of the Ho Bo's and some 1 1/2 klicks east of Alpha's LZ.
LZ (XT565215), with Co. A at Tan Han.
Co. C, at Stuart, performed a ground Reconnaissance In Force (RIF) to:
XT504196 otherside of TB river at Cau Chua, then moved NE 1 1/2 klicks to an oxcart road at
XT521204 where Co. C rec'd 2 rds of RPG fire; negative results; rtn w/organic wpns/81mm; results unk,
where they moved south along the road through An Binh towards Hwy 1 and returned to Stuart. Co. D
during the day RIF'd north and east of Pershing; moving down the "entrance road" to its intersection with
6A, then swinging NE to a check point at XT516267, Thus south-east 1/2 klick to XT531263, then south-
southwest to XT527250 and back to Pershing. During this rif around Dry Lake, Delta had 2 detainees at
THE BATTLE OF LAM VO (1)
MISSING IN ACTION
Eugene Allen Handrahan October 10, 1968
10 OCT 68
A Co. KIAs:
SP4 Sanley G. Denisowski, DSC (21) of Utica, NY;
CPL Michael E. Evans (20) of Greensboro, GA;
SGT Baynes B. McSwain, Jr. DSC (22) of San Marcos, TX; and
CPL Michael E. Randall, Sr., DSC (21) of Noblesville, IN perished in Hua Nghia Province.
[CPL Randall, SGT McSwain and SP4 Denisowski were awarded the nations second highest award for valor -
the Distinguished Service Cross.]
A Co. MIA:
SP4 Eugene A. Handrahan (21) of St. Paul, MN was listed as Missing in Action after this battle.
C Co. 2/27 Inf (Wolfhounds) 1st Platoon KIA:
SGT Ronnie Blair (20),
PFC Angel L. Ramos (20) of Jersey City, NJ, and
SP4 Waymon L. Triggs (21) of Houston, TX persihed in Hua Nghia Province.
[A Co. 2/12th Inf]
During a series of running battles that started on the 7th, Alpha company was approaching a hedgerow
when an enemy machine gun opened up on them. Grenadier Handrahan, who was walking point left-
flank,and two others were hit. The two other GIs were under arial observation and determined to be dead.
Gene yelled that he was hit, and repeated attempts were made to get to him. After a soldier was killed
tying to get to him, the squad was ordered back in order that the hedgerow could be bombed. The
commander on site made that call late in the day. It wasn't untill the next day that the company went back
in. They found the bodies of the two GIs, but no trace of Gene Handrahan was found. A large bomb crater
was at Gene's last known location.
SGT Baynes Ballew McSwain was a (12 Feb68) graduate of the Non-commisioned Officer Course (NCOC)
Class 9-68 at the Main Base of Ft. Benning.
OFFICIAL US ARMY REPORT:
".... 101440H Co's A and C/4-9 Inf OPCON to 2-12 Inf. Effective 101500H Co's B and C/2-27 Inf rtn to Bn
control. At 0750H Co A/2-12 Inf cdt airmobile cbt aslt fm NL to LZ vic XT530224. At 1125H Co's A and
D/2-12 Inf cdt airmobile cbt aslt fm NL to LZ vic XT530226. B/2-12 Inf at 0735H cdt airmobile cbt aslt fm NL to
LZ vic XT517217. Co C/2-12 cbt RIF aslt fm vic XT513213 to LZ vic XT530226. At 2034H radar on the Trang Bang
Bridge spotted 4 VC; engaged w/81mm resulting in 4 VC KIA (poss). Co C vic XT501194 on Trang Bang Bridge
picked up movement and engaged w/81mm: negative results. Co A vic XT531224 rec'd SA fire fm an unk
number of VC resulting in 12 US WIA (evac), 2 US KIA (evac) and 3 US MIA; rtn fire w/SA/AW and arty
resulting in 2 VC KIA (BC) and 15 VC KBA (poss). Co C vic XT506191 engaged 3 VC w/SA and AW; VC rtn
w/AK47; negative results; VC losses unk."
--Texas Tech Univ Vietnam Archives <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu> ]
"On 10 Oct 68, units from the 2-12 Inf, 2-27 Inf and 4-9 Inf made contact with an estimated battalion sized
enemy unit vicinity XT531224 and continued contact until 2000 hrs, resulting in 26 VC KIA and 85 VC KIA
10 OCT 68 BATTLE SITE...... Xa Ong Dam (Vicinty of XT 5322) - X. Lam Vo
Approx. 3 kicks southeast of FSB Pershing, 6 klicks NE of Trang Bang, 6 klicks NW of Trung Lap.
3 DSC CITATIONS:
SP4 DENISOWSKI DSC
"The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Stanley George Denisowski, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S.
Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed
hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, 2d
Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Specialist Four Denisowski distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous
actions on 10 October 1968 as a team leader during a reconnaissance-in-force mission near Cu Chi. Specialist
Denisowski's company came under heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from a fortified Viet Cong
base camp. During the initial barrage the point man was wounded in an open, unprotected field. Specialist
Denisowski quickly deployed his fire team to a location from which effective covering fire could be rendered
while his squad leader attempted to rescue the wounded man. Ignoring a hail of bullets, he then
maneuvered across the field and placed accurate and effective fire on the communists which permitted his
stricken comrade to be evacuated. Wounded in the leg during the exchange of fire, Specialist Denisowski
ignored shouts from his comrades to withdraw and continued to defend his position, inflicting heavy
casualties on the Viet Cong until he was mortally wounded by the hostile fusillade. Specialist Four
Denisowski's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the
highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States
General Orders No. 420 February 6, 1969
SGT McSWAIN DSC
"The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Baynes Bailew McSwain, Jr., Sergeant, U.S. Army, for
extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in
the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry
Sergeant McSwain distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 10 October 1968 as squad
leader during a reconnaissance-in-force mission. His company came under heavy small arms and automatic
weapons fire from a fortified Viet Cong base camp. Sergeant McSwain's platoon was pinned down and the
point man lay wounded in an open field completely exposed to the communists' barrage. Though wounded
in the leg by the initial volley, he immediately deployed his men to provide covering fire and disregarding his
safety, crawled further into the enemy line of fire to help his stricken comrade. Shelding the man with his
body, he quickly administered first aid and was pulling him to safety when he was mortally wounded by the
hostile fusilade. Sergeant McSwain's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were
in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit,
and the United States Army."
General Orders No. 404 February 5, 1969
PFC RANDALL DSC
"The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Michael Eugene Randall, Sr., Private First Class, U.S. Army,
for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile
force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company A, 2d Battalion, 12th Infantry, 25th Infantry
Division. Private First Class Randall distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 10 October
1968 while serving as a machine gunner during a reconnaissance-in-force mission. Private Randall's company
came under heavy small arms and automatic weapons fire from a fortified Viet Cong base camp. His platoon
was pinned down and his squad leader and point man lay wounded in an open field, entirely exposed to the
enemy barrage. With complete disregard for his safety, he advanced through the communists cross fire to the
front of the platoon and kept a steady fusillade on the enemy positions, allowing his comrades to excuate
the wounded men. Continuing his one-man assault, Private Randall concentrated his fire directly into the
hostile bunker's gun port until another concealed enemy position opened fire, wounding him and damaging
his machine gun. After returning to his platoon to secure a rifle, he advanced on the second Viet Cong
fortification, killing the two occupants. Although suffering from his wounds, he took grenades from his
ammunition pouches and ran across an open area toward an enemy machine gun position that hd his platoon
pinned down. As Private Randall was tossing a grenade into the enemy bunker, the Viet Cong opened fire
and he was mortally wounded. Private First Class Randall's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at
the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit
upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."
General Orders No. 409 February 5, 1969
Alpha company's Bud Cauley wrote "[Bruce Reiter] was the best. Bruce was one of three guys who survived an
air strike called directly in on their position. [Ken] White, Reiter and Brown crawled into a bomb crater and
watched the whole process take place. When they walked out, no one knew they were still alive. I was one of
the guys who replaced [the WIA's and KIA's].
The 25th Division Artillery Quarterly Operation Report 16 NOV 1968 had this to say; ".... on 10 October ...the
2/12 Inf received sniper fire in grid XT5322. During the day, 3,107 rounds of artillery were fired into the target
areas despite frequent and prolonged check-fires for gun-ships and air-strikes. During the night, 3,000 more
rounds were fired. When maneuver elements swept the area on 11 October, 26 enemy bodies were located;
13 of these were officially credited to artillery." And the report further stated "on 11 October, D/3/13 (8"
Howitzer) moved from Cu Chi to FSB Stuart III (XT4919)...."
16 OCT 68
Medic PFC Richard N. "Doc" DeAngelis (32), Alpha Co, of Wallingford, Connecticut perished in Hau Nghia
18 OCT 68
Co C is on a RIF east of Stuart at XT510182 when it receives SA, AW and RPG's from a squad of 8-10 VC. We
return fire with organic weapons and artillery. The enemy withdraws and we have negative casualties. VC
losses are unknown. At 1220H we receive more sniper fire, but do not engage. The company returns to the NL.
21 OCT 68
Co C leaves Stuart and heads out toward XT513213 where they make contact again with a estimated squad of
VC. The VC engage with Claymore, RPG's and SA's. "We are in some heavy hedgerow area working our way
back to our NL when we are hit and engage with organic weapons. My squad is in the lead and Wales is on
point. I take my squad forward ahead of the company and we work the hedgerow with SA and M79's fire. We
clear the zone for 100 meters to our front and return to the company. Ken Christianson and Steve Ward are
both hit in the legs (Steve is hit in the shoulder too) by the fire and require a medevac back to Cu Chi. We call
in for a gunship to cover the extraction and wait for the medevac to arrive. We radio that the LZ is secure and
not hot. That will be the last time we will see these guys. Both are sent to Japan and then home for
reassignment after they recover. I catch up with Ken at Ft Ord in April, 1969 when we both are assigned to the
AIT Committee Group. He seems his old self." Arnold Krause
23 OCT 68
C Co WIA:
PFC Edward A. Wales
"We were patrolling east of Pershing out near Round Lake on a RIF. If memory serves me correctly, according
to Wales, who was in my squad, as he was walking through a hedgerow area, he stepped into a punji pit and
scratched the side of his leg from a bamboo stake. He was lucky he missed the middle of the pit. When 3rd
Plt. had the column point, it was usually 3rd squad at the front." -- Arnold Krause
24-26 OCT 68
Co C is in stand down at Cu Chi
25 OCT 68
D Co. KIA:
1LT Edward E. Golder III (24) of Baltimore, MD perished in Hua Nghia Province.
At 0905H B Co does a 10 ship lift from Pershing east to XT 559265 and conducts a RIF. At p915H a 10 ship lift of
D Co assaults from their NL to XT 556265 just south of B Co. Both lifts have two Lz's, 5 ships each. At 1050H vic
of XT562268 D Co receives sniper fire and engage 4 NVA with SA and grenade fire. According to 1LT James
Ellis, C.O., D Co (two platoons) was up against a woodline that was not possible to enter. A plt under LT Ed
Golder who was in FSB Pershing is airlifted out to D Co.'s location in support. Working with D Co is a element
of ARVN. Ellis instructs Golder to set up on the opposite of this wooded area and when the ARVN move to
enter the woods, he is to follow along and keep up. Golder hesitates for some reason, then orders his
platoon to assault the woods. As the platoon advances toward the woods, a single shot is heard. LT Ed Golder
is hit in the head and falls to the ground dead. Ellis says that Golder looked "good in a uniform, and packing a
pistol that Ellis had loaned him, must have made him stand out too much". Earlier, some VC had been
spotted and killed in a rice paddy area and several AK-47's were recovered. Results: 1 US KIA, 1VC POW and 3
NVA KIA'd. At 1230H vic XT565263, a gunship observed a man running into the tree line and engages with AW.
Results 1 VC KIA.
26 OCT 68
D Co. KIA:
SP4 William G. Smith (19) of Oklahoma City, OK perished in Hua Nghia Province.
E Co. KIA:
SP4 Donald L. Perry (20) of Taft, CA perished in Binh Duong Province.
31 OCT 68
B Co KIA:
SGT James Alan Cox, of Hollis, NY, Co. B 2nd platoon, perished in Hua Nghia province.
According to Larry Fontana; "[SGT Cox] was killed by a Chicom grenade while walking point east of Stuart."
According to PFC "Tony" Chliek it was a claymore in a tree near the village of Ap An Binh (XT513197) - 1 1/2
klicks NEE of FSB Stuart. Sergeant Cox was the platoon sergeant of the 2nd platoon
In November a squad from Alpha company was caught "sandbagging" an ambush and according to Larry
Fontana "every one of those twelve guys got a Article 15 and busted down a rank."
"'Sandbagging' is GI slang for not doing what you were supposed to do - in this case pulling an ambush.
Ambush locations were determined by officers at headquarters at base and they didn't always make sense -
common or otherwise. WE DID OUR JOBS.... but not one of us was fool enough to put ourselves in mortal
danger of being wiped out by setting up at a bad ambush location when we had some control over it. The
Major who thought these things up didn't have to go. WE DID! And we did our best to keep ourselves alive -
even if it meant sandbagging an ambush or two."]
1 NOV 68
Charlie Co moves into FSB Pershing after spending the month of October in FSB Stuart conducting bridge
security and riffing out of that location. Co C conducts a CA to XT520228 to XT534222 where it received a burst
of AW. We apprehend a male suspect who was fleeing the area.
2 NOV 68
3 NOV 68
E Co. KIA:
SP4 Joe L. Mascarenas (21) of Pueblo, CO perished in Binh Duong Province.
Co A goes on stand down in Cu Chi.
Co B conducts a airmobile CA to LZ at XT591266 and RIF's the area around XT604229 and returns to NL.
Meanwhile Co C conducts CA to LZ at XT574266, then takes a second hop to LZ XT578280 and RIF's the area.
At 1315H Co C performs a third CA to LZ at XT520282, sweeps the area and returns to NL. Co D also
performs three CA in the same area to the northeast of C Co at XT595255.
6 NOV 68
Co C maintains security for Trang Bang bridge on the 5th and 6th. Co D conducts a CA out to XT 642291 with
negative results. One platoon from C Co conducts security for the mine sweepers on 6 Alpha. Later that
afternoon, 3rd platoon is sent out to XT543172 to provide security for the 3/4 Cav. They have one M48 stuck off
the road about a half mile buried down to the turret. They are awaiting the arrival of several M88 tank
retrievers to help get the Patton's back on the MRS. We arrive around 1400H and immediately start taking
sniper fire from a hedgerow about two hundred meters away. We return fire with organic weapons. The rest
of the day and night is quiet.
8 NOV 68
Seven members of Company B wounded by boobytrap on the northern outskirts of Trang Bang ( in Xa Gia
Co C third platoon makes it back to FSB Stuart this afternoon. It took all day to get the tanks out because they
kept throwing tracks in the heavy mud of the rice paddies. We get back in time to catch a 10 ship lift at 1405H
to an LZ at XT377373 and set up a blocking position from XT377372 to XT365371.
15 NOV 68
It is somewhere in mid November that we loose our platoon leader 1LT David Riggs to battalion and we get
1LT James A Merrett from Phoenix, AZ., fresh out of OCS. He's a likeable guy who just got engaged (like a lot
of us) before he left the U.S. We spend time with him getting to know him a bit.
22 NOV 68
At vicinity of XT608314, Co C trips a booby trapped grenade with trip wire set across a hedgerow resulting in 3
WIA's requiring a dustoff.
24 NOV 68
[NOTE: Fire Support Base Pershing was a short helicopter minutes from Saigon and became a favorite place of
VIP's visiting Vietnam who wanted to see it in "the real field." The reason that all the VIP's were given a 105
Howitzer demo was that the artillery unit stationed at Pershing - 1/8th FA - had invented a new (deadly)
artillery air burst called "the Killer Junior" for base defense and the generals wanted to show it off.]
28 NOV 68
Co C moves to Cu Chi for a 72 hour stand down
The battalion continues to assault the eastern area of our AO looking for the VC. Contact is frequent we find
ourselves taking fire almost every day. "December started with a large cache discovery by the 2d Battalion,
12th Infantry, vicinity XT613292." [Bravo was in the area on the 1st & 3rd. "The cache contained 128x82mm
rds, 43 cans of charges, 30 RPG-7 rds and 54 RPG-2 boosters."
The Battalion is hit hard this month, losing 21 men. All the companies endure heavy contact with the enemy.
1 DEC 68
Co.'s B, C, D at FSB Pershing - the battalion's home base (2/12th "Forward") and location of HHC, Co. E, and the
supporting 1/8th Field Artillery.
Co. A at FSB Stuart - a fire support base that the 2/12th had operational responsibility for at this time. FSB
Stuart sat aside Highway 1 - the Mail Supply Line (MSL) between Cu Chi and Tay Ninh (Divisional) Base Camps.
It helped protect the market town of Trang Bang and the nearby Hwy 1 bridge. The 2/12th company
responcible for Stuart's defense also posted a single platoon at the bridge day and night. Since FSB Stuart was
astride HWY-1 it regularly hosted mechanized forces at night for additional security. On 1DEC68 one platoon
of the 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry (Mechanized) - better known as "the First of the Fifth" or "Bobcats" - night
laagered at FSB Stuart.
Besides the one platoon stationed at the Trang Bang Bridge, at least one other platoon from FSB Stuart and
one platoon from FSB Pershing patrolled the (dirt road) TL-6A (Six Alpha). This meant that on any given day
that the 2/12th had responsibility for Stuart, three platoons were tied up protecting the 2/12th lines of
supply and not available for offensive operations.
Co. A(-) with a platoon of Vietnamese Ruff Puffs (RF/PF or Regional Forces / Popular Forces) riffed one klick
due north of Stuart to a check point (vic XT5020) - just north of cemetary near the two pagodas - and returned
Co.'s B(-) and D conducted an air assault north-east from Pershing to a Landing Zone(LZ) east of 'the
Mushroom' near the village of Ho Bo (vic XT6129). As Bravo was landing one of the lift's helicopters setoff a
mine on a pole resulting in 2 US WIA's (evacuated). B Co. then moved off the landing zone to a check point a
klick north; turned and returned to the LZ. Meanwhile, Delta provided local security at the LZ. The two
platoons then flew back to base.
Co. C(-) riffed south out of Pershing [on the 1st] towards Trang Bang and set up an ambush/night laager north
of Xa Bao Tram (vic XT5023) east of, and off Hwy 6-A (near the area of Check Point Delta).
2 DEC 68
Co.'s B,C, D at FSB Peshing.
Co. A at FSB Stuart (with the mech coming in at night).
Co. A(-) performed road security along with one platoon of Bravo. [Generally, one platoon from Pershing
would patrol the norther part of TL-6A; while one platoon from Stuart would patrol the southern part of Six
1 platoon of Co. A and 1 plt. of RF/PF's returned to the same search area as yesterday - near the cemetary east
of 6-A; swung NW for a klick and started back to FSB Stuart. Shortly after noon in the vicinity of XT493208 they
received small arms fire. There were no friendly casualties and no results [enemy casualties].
1 plt. of Co. A working with one platoon of C/1/5th Inf (M), Bobcats, were sweeping along Highway 7-A just
east of Trung Lap village when at 9:45 am they engaged 3-7 VC in a hedgerow (XT597209) with no return fire
from the VC. Results: 1VC KIA (BC), 3 VC KIA (poss) [possibly].
MASSIVE CASUALTIES: One 'Dud Round' Wipes Out Charlie Company
3 DEC 68
C Co. KIA's:
PFC John R. Ausbern (20) of Sand Springs, OK;
SP4Don W. Bonner (24) of Hoxie, AR;
SGT Alex B. Conley (22) of Hampton, VA;
PFC James T. Sheffield (19) of Tallahassee, FL; and
SP4 Arthur L. Warner (20) of Charleston Heights, SC perished in Hua Nghia Province.
C Co WIA:
Co. A at FSB Stuart/Trang Bang Bridge.
Co.'s B, C & D at FSB Pershing.
1 platoon of Co. B on road security. 1 plt. of Co. A, out of Stuart, swept the paved Highway 1; were picked up
by The Mech and dropped off on Six Alpha where they went on road security.
Co. A conducted a riff east from Stuart into the hamlet of An Binh (vic XT5119); they swung north-west,
crossed the stream at An Thoi (vic XT5120); moved to Bao Me village (vic XT5021); swung west to yesterdays
contact area north of Trang Bang.
At nearly 7:30 a.m. Co. B conducted an Eagle Flight east of Pershing to a LZ (vic XT5029), near the area they
had been in two days before. Bravo moved off the LZ one klick to the south-east. Shortly after noon Co. B
detonated two trip-wire rigged mortar rounds in the vicinity of the LZ (XT605299) resulting in 3 US WIA
(evacuated). At nearly 4 p.m. Bravo flew back to base.
Charlie company was picked up by the Slicks who had just dropped off Bravo and Co. C landed two klicks west
of Bravo (XT581297). Charlie company searched the area for three hours and were picked up just NW of their
LZ. Charlie company flew south towards Trung Lap and landed shortly before noon. They landed in the rice
paddies south of the Citadel at Xa Rang(1) (vic XT5722). At 2:12 ARVN's landed in the same spot. Fifteen
minutes latter supporting gunships three klicks west of the LZ engaged the enemy near Xa Trung Dai - future
site of PB Dees who would be built in May 1969. For eight hours, Co. C and a South Vietnamese Army unit
searched the area. At 8:20 p.m. Co. C detonated a booby trapped 8" artillery round near the landing zone
(XT577227) killing five US soldiers and wounding thirteen others.
"I remembered this day very well. We had stopped for a break and 1st platoon was to our front. I had
grabbed a spot on the ground and was taking a smoke break when someone triggered that round. The blast
was awesome and shrapnel was flying everywhere. I heard a piece go whizzing by me" - Arnold Krause
5 US KIA, 8 US WIA (dusted off). A very sad day for our brothers in Charlie Company.
4 DEC 68
Co. A at FSB Stuart with 1/C/1/5 [1 platoon, Co. C, 1st BN, 5th Inf (M).
Co. B, C, D at FSB Pershing.
Co.'s A & B conducted road security with on platoon each.
One platoon from Co. A, with the Ruff Puffs, patrolled north of the intersections of highways 19 & 6-A just
outside of Ap Loc Trac - a subburb of Trang Bang.
That evening an Alpha ambush site was mortared and received small arms fire (vic XT5118). Alpha fought
back with their organic weapons, 90mm recoiless rifle fire, and called in mortars. Negative casualties on
During the day, the RECON platoon riffed from Pershing to a check point north-east of Dry Lake; swung north
to 6-A and returned to base.
Co. D mirrored the Recon platoon's movemets stopping just short of Square Lake before returning to base.
Around 1 p.m. Delta was picked up at Pershing and flown to an LZ south of the Boi Loi woods (vic 5129).
Shortly after 8 p.m. two platoons of BRAVO company landed in the same LZ near the Boi Loi and conducted
local searches before both B and D returned to Pershing.
5 DEC 68
Co. A atStuart/Trang Bang Bridge.
Co. B, C, & D at Pershing.
Co.'s C & D had Road Security with one platoon each.
Co. A(-) with one platoon of RF/PF patrolled 2 klicks east of Trang Bang in the vic of XT5220.
Co. B(-) patrolled from FSB Pershing south-east towards Suoi. Half way from Pershing to the village, Bravo
had a claymore blown on them and received small arms fire from an estimatd four to six VC. Bravo sustained
2 US WIA (evac) and returned fire with organic wapons - unknown results. Bravo then continued the patrol to
a check point just west of Suoi Sup; swung south-west past Bo Heo to a check point north of "the little
rubber" [plantation]. (vic XT5323)
Co. D riffed north to search the area around Square Lake - where they and the Recon platoon had been the
day before. Charlie returned to base.
The RECON platoon established outposts; at the intersection of 6-A and the Pershing access road, and at a
location just south of "the Little Bridge" over the stream on Six Alpha.
At 10 p.m. FSB Stuart received eight to ten rounds of RPG fire and some small arms fire wounding one GI. 1 US
WIA (evacuated). The base contained the Second of the Twelfth's Co. A, and one platoon from Co. C, 1/5th
7 DEC 68
Co's B and C loc Bn NL FSB PERSHING vic XT512260.
Co D (-) NL loc vic XT499169. [South of Trang Bang.- bh]
Co A NL FSB STUART/Trang Bang Bridge.
1 plat Co A cdt RIF fm NL and established outposts at vic's XT492218, XT493225, XT495236, XT502247; 1 sqd
provided security for mine sweep and upon rtn of convoy to Cu Chi. Co A cdt RIF back to NL.
At 0945H Co B (-) cdt airmobile CA fm NL to LZ bic XT528313; cdt RIF to vic XT543310. At 1258 hrs Co B cdt
airmobile CA fm vic XT634308 to LZ vic XT529278; cdt local RIFs of LZ; upon completion elements rtn to NL.
At 1027H Co C (-) cdt airmobile CA fm NL to LZ vic XT543281; cdt local RIFs of LZ.
Co D (-), Recon plat cdt swept road for supply convoy fm NL to FSB STUART. At 0800 hours, 1 platoon Co D
went OPCON to 3/4 Cav. At 1540H vic XT 488179 Co D detonated 1 US booby trapped grenade resulting in 2 US
Recon plt cdt RIF fm NL and established outposts vic XT502252, XT508257, and XT513262; patrolled betweem
---Texas Tech Univ Vietnam Archives-- <http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu> ]
8 DEC 68
A Co. KIA:
SP4 Donald K. Cheek (20) of Robbins, NC perished in Hua Nghia Province.
12 DEC 68
C Co KIAs:
SP4 Robert L. Beltran (25) of Fremont, Calif.
1LT James A. Merrett (23) of Phoenix, AZ
SP4 Ronald S. Stepsie (21) of Boyertown, PA perished in Hua Nghia Province.
"Charlie Co. was assigned to road security on 6 Alpha this day. Third platoon was given the assignment. We
had a relatively new platoon leader, James Merrett, out of OCS school. The platoon was to use check points
at CP A, C and E where we were to create outposts and station part of a squad while the remainder of the
squads ran "loops" between the outposts. Beltran, Merrett and Stepsie were at CP A. when they were
overrun by a bunch of VC when the roving patrol had left the CP about 10 minutes earlier. CP A was located
near the ARVN compound outside of Trang Bang, but that did not stop the attack. The way we were
conducting this operation, there was nothing we could have done to react in time to prevent their position
from being overpowered. Ironically, Jesse Tostado from my squad took Stepsie's place to rove when Ron was
complaining about not feeling well. It was Jesse's lucky day. Working security on 6 Alpha always put you in
harms way. You were either subjected to sniper fire, ambush or booby traps." --Arnold Krause
13 DEC 68
A Co WIA:
SP4 Gilbert R. Wayman
B Co KIA:
PFC William E. Vanwey (24) of Pueblo, Colo. perished in Hua Nghia Province.
B Co WIA's:
SP4 Allen Suydam
SP4 George K. Van Meter
PFC James F. Saunders
PFC Joseph Trainor.
In this action, Sgt. Gary L. Francos was awarded the Silver Star.
14 DEC 68
C Co KIA:
SGT Richard J. Conlin (22) of Philadephia, PA perished in Hua Nghia Province.
Charlie Co was conducting a two platoon CA east of FSB Pershing. "Immediately after the AHC company had
dropped off the troops and as 3rd platoon began to move toward the hedgerow, the VC opened up on the
company with AW fire. 1st squad was in the lead and Conlin was taken down with the first opening fire.
Kuhnau and Big Jim McInvale was pinned down to our front. McInvale was hit by small arms fire, but
continued to fire his M-79 from his location in the rice paddy at the hedgerow. I was acting Plt Sgt after SGT
Partee was temp promoted to run the platoon. I had the remainder of the platoon move up to form a line of
suppressing fire into the bushes and trees to our front.
According to SGT Dennis Buckley, PSG Partee told him he wanted to bring in a CS gas drop on the area, but
Dennis told him he was crazy. We didn't have gas masks, so what would we accomplish?
4th squad was to my left and 3rd to my right. We continued to apply firepower to our front while the F.O.
called in for artillery fire. As he adjusted his fire, the rounds increasingly marched closer and closer to our
position. Before I knew it we were taking shrapnel. I had George Toto, my RTO radio to the C.O. to lift the
barrage, but to no avail. Finally, I jumped up and sprinted to the read, yelling at or C.O., who was David
Riggs, having taken over the company after McDaniel went down on the 10th. He appeared to be
overwhelmed by the situation. I finally got the F.O. to stop the artillery.
By then, after I had made my way back to the front of the line, the enemy fire had eased up. Price
continued to fire the M-60 into the hedgerow for a few minutes longer. Buckley, Tostado and someone else
went in and got McInvale and carried him out. Kuhnau was beside himself during this time, with all the
firing going on. We got a medevac for McInvale and Kuhanu. Conlin was down and dead. A single shot to the
chest. There were 4 VC KIA's (BC), 1 U.S. KIA, 2 WIA's" -- Arnold Krause
PERSHING MORTAR ATTACK
18 DEC 68
WIA: LT Jay Lundquist, SP4 Rivera, SP4 Byrnes and one unknown
1 platoon Co C from FSB STUART and 1 platoon Co B from FSB PERSHING outposted Hwy 6A at vic XT513262,
XT502254, XT498242; patrolled between outposts. At 0815, vicinity XT508259, the patrol was 30 meters off
the road and in the brush when the explosion occurred. Co B detonated an unknown booby trap device
resulting in 4 WIA: LT Jay Lundquist (reassigned to S4 after time in hospital), Rivera and Byrnes; both were
evacuated to Japan. Rivera was the RTO and Byrnes was the right flank/grenadier.
FSB Pershing mortared, resulting in 21 WIA.
WIA: Some of the WOUNDED; Co. B, 2-12 INF: SSG Art Van Puymbrouck. SP4 John Washington, PFC William
Whitmire, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 8th Field Artillery: SP4 Norman E. Medlin, PFC Juan A. Martinez,
Lawrence A. McNigal
20 DEC 68
Co.'s B & D move to area of 1/5th (M) Inf "Bobcat" contact 1 klick north of the intersection of Hwy's 1 and 7A.
22 DEC 68
A Co KIA:
PFC Edward A. Morrison (20) of Kenosha, Wisc. perished in Hua Nghia Province.
24 DEC 68
Co. A in early morning contact up near the Ho Bo. Co. B, about 2 klicks north of Pershing, awaiting pick-up to
reinforce Alpha. Co. C ambushed near 'the school house' on Hwy 6-A on Christmas eve. Co. D, 2nd platoon
(Lt. Toy Smith). had "road security." They had moved from FSB Pershing to Trang Bang and were moving
over "the Little Bridge" when they were hit behind them by a machine gun. The enemy had let them by
pass them and had set up at the bend of the road above the bridge. Part of Delta was over and past the
bridge and hit then with enemy fired straight right of the road. Delta machine gunner Bill Reid recalls
"Horton took a round through the arm...a rifle grenade had hit Dale [Potter] in the back of his leg , bouncing
off and exploded behind him; black and blue with lots of bruises and shrapnel." Reid moved to Horton and
patched him up with his 'field dressing.' "In all the commotion I forgot how to tie a shoestring knot. Here
comes Walter "Twink" Ferguson like he was sliding into second base - sliding to a stop, tied the knot and
was off." Reid rolled Hoton into the side of the road and the relatively safety. "I crawled back to where
Mike and the M-60 lay silent. Mike looked liked he had taken a hit in the neck or upper shoulder. I turned
my attention to the M-60..." Reid fired his M-60 machine gun until the barrel was cherry-red hot. He
changed to a new barrel with his hand - badly burning his hand. Reid spent Christmas 1968 in the hospital.
CHRISTMAS EVE FIREWORKS According to Sgt. Larry Fontana - the main instigator - the 2nd platoon of Bravo
company broke into the battalion armament conex at Pershing, and stole a BUNCH of flares which they set
off on Christmas eve in a spectacular pyrotechnic display.
27 December 68
Bob Hope USO Christmas Show Dick Albers, Ann Margaret, Linda Bennett, Les Brown (and his band of
renown), Elaine Dunn, the Gold diggers, Rosy Grier, the Honey, Ltd., Penelope Plummer and Roger Smith.
2/12 Inf participate in Operation HOLLY; 120 men from PERSHING moved via convoy to Cu Chi for show; 253
men secured PERSHING during the show and 96 men secure FSB STUART during the show.
1968 ENDNOTES "During 1968 the enemy lost 289,000 men...
BACK INTO THE CITADEL: The Battles around Bo Heo and Soui Sup
10 DEC 68
C Co KIAs:
SP4 William A. Lowry (22) of Asheville, NC
SSG Donald F. McKenzie (22) of Lumberton, NC perished in Hua Nghia Province.
1LT R.W. "Bud" McDaniel, Charlie Co's C.O. is critically wounded in this engagement.
From Richard Wiggins, Alpha Co.'s C.O. "Roger W. Mc Daniel, we all called him Bud. He had been wounded a
day or two before he was shot during a mortar attack at Pershing. The day he was shot, the XO had the
company out and you (Charlie Co.) all ran into a hornets nest. The bullet that killed his RTO is the one that hit
him, going in his chest and out the back. His spinal cord wasn't severed, but the shock of the bullet is what
paralyzed him from the chest down. Once he was stabilized in country, he went to Japan, then back to the
states, winding up at a VA hospital in Richmond, VA that specialized in those type of injuries. I think it was in
Dec when he was shot, and he actually shouldn't have gone out but he wanted to be with the unit so the Bn
Cdr let him go. After he was wounded, they couldn't get a medevac in because of all that was going on. I was
monitoring him on the command net and it was like watching a movie in that his voice was strong and after
several hours just kept getting weaker and weaker. They finally got him out late that day or early evening" --
From Allen Wissinger, Bravo Co's C.O. "I do remember Bud and if my memory serves me right the day that C
Company ran into that hornets' nest, we were listening to the fire fight on the battalion command net. After
Bud was hit, his FO was on the radio asking for help. I went to the Battalion Commander and told him that B
Company wanted to go and assist C Company. He granted us the authority and gave us a nine ship lift. I
called for volunteers and the real problem was selecting those who would go - everyone wanted to but we
could only take 54 men. We air assaulted in at dusk and evacuated the wounded and I set up our defense
with the remnants of C Company and our guys. We had the incoming BN S3 with us. That night we were
attacked again and again. The firefight lasted hours and we had several wounded but beat back the enemy.
In the morning the BN CO and group came to our location to access the situation. The enemy had withdrawn.
We killed and wounded a hell of a lot of them, but I don't remember any body count statistics. I never did
pay much attention to body counts. As my memory fades, I still remember the battles of Oct, Nov, Dec 1968
clearly. They were burned into my mind. I know for sure that no commander could have been more proud of
the performance, dedication and patriotism of the soldiers of his unit, than I was of the gallant troopers of
Company B, 2d Battalion, 12th US Infantry Regiment. It broke my heart when I had to relinquish command in
late January 1969 to move to division headquarters."
December 10 (vic XT5423)
Co. C (two platoons), 2/12th Inf came under intense enemy fire and attacked NNE towards Bo Heo - where
by 6 p.m. they were just short of the village. Two platoons of Co.B, 2/12th Inf were flown in and Bravo and
Charlie established a night defensive position. They were attacked at 4:43 a.m. (the morning of the 11th) by
the Viet Cong / North Vietnamese Army and sustained numerous casualties. On the 11th, Bravo - reacting to
Alpha companies contact to the north - attacked through Bo Heo to just short of Soi Sup. SGT Craig
Schoonderwoerd, 1st Plt, C Co., is awarded the Silver Star.
11 DEC 68
A Co KIAs:
SGT Dennis E. Edge (20) of Rainer, OR
SP4 Willie L. Hall, Jr. (20) of New York
PFC Leroy H. Roming (23) of McClure, PA
PFC Charles E. Russell III (20) of Graham, NC perished in Hua Nghia Province.
B Co KIAs:
PFC Alfred J. Critelli (24) of Nutley, NJ
SP4 William J. Sugden (19) of Verona, PA perished in Hua Nghia Province.
E Co KIA:
SSG Dennis M. Wood (26) perished in Hua Nghia Province.
Co. B's Allen Suydam wounded on this date by grazing bullet.
DECEMBER 11 (vicinity) XT5525
Reaction to the previous days contacts was swift. Co. D, 2/27th Inf and Co. A, 2/14th Inf were landed NW of
Tam Dinh, and Co. A, 2/12th Inf was landed just NE - at XT557252. Meanwhile, Bravo was moving north
towards the village. Alpha moved SWW - white arrow - off the Landing Zone and met the enemy at
XT552250. In the ensuing firefight Alpha suffered two killed and six wounded. By evening all of the
companies had converged and they set up a defensive position at XT552251. Within the wire and claymore
barrier were: Co.'s A & B, 2/12th Inf (Warriors); Co. A, 2/14th Inf (Golden Dragons); and Co. D, 2/27th Inf
"Co B at 1410H cdt airmobile cbt aslt fm vic XT543246 to NL. Ref (change of entry) SITREP #281 for 061801-
071800H, 2-12 Co s A and B w/Co s B and D/3-187 Inf OPCON to 2-12 Inf at 0850H vic XT554247 received SA, AW
and RPG fire fm an estimated 120-150 NVA fm the 1st Bn of the 101st NVA Regt. Also observed 2 individuals
running into a hooch w/a mortar tube, resulting in the following: US casualties, 2-12 Co B sustained a total of
6 US KIA and 8 US WIA, Hq Co sustained a total of 1 US KIA (all casualties were evac, 1 of the US WIA was RTD).
Co B 3-187 Inf sustained a total of 1 US KIA and 5 US WIA, Co D sustained a total of 8 US WIA & Hq Co sustained
a total of 1 US WIA. All US WIA and KIA were evac, 5 US of the 9 US WIA were RTD. Change enemy losses to
read as follows: 55 NVA KIA (BC), 46 NVA KIA (POSS), 18 NVA KBA (BC), and 11 NVA KBA (POSS). At 08050H
Co s A and B/2-12 Inf and Co s B and D/3-187 Inf vic XT552248, received approx 35x82mm rds, RPG, M79, SA,
and AW fire fm an estimated 2 heavily reinforced Co w/th the following results: Rtn w/organic
spns/LFT/spooky/arty and counter mortar ship, 72 NVA KIA (BC), 26 NVA KIA (POSS), and 1 NVA POW (WIA)."
Daily jounal entry.
4/9th is OPCON'd to 2nd Bde from Oct 8th to Nov 18th.
1/5th Mech is OPCON'd on Nov 19th and later, 3/4 Cav joins