Armor, Mech Units Take Job Seriously

VOL. II, NO.7 31 MARCH 1969

AN KHE- An NVA unit recently discovered that the troopers of 1st Battalion (Mech), 50th Infantry and 1st Battalion, 69th Armor, 173d Airborne Brigade take their job of securing Highway 19 near An Khe very seriously.

Conducting their regular morning road clearing and mine sweep mission along the vital supply link, APCs (Armored Personnel Carriers) of the 1/50th and Tanks of the 1/69th found that the NVA had been busy during the night. As the troopers removed the road block of sand bags, rocks, and logs, they found numerous propaganda leaflets signed by the South Vietnam National Liberation Front. Anticipating trouble, the steel machines moved on line and rolled slowly down the highway only to be met with rockets, machine gun and automatic weapons fire.

"They must have crawled right out of the dirt," reported SGT Alan Solberg of Charlie Company, 1/50th. "We were right on top of them when they started firing." Describing the action, SGT Solberg of Fosston Mn, continued, "The NVA were well camouflaged, but my track commander (Webmaster's note: the track commander was George Fiedler of Hudson, WI) spotted one with a rocket launcher and fired him up with his 50 cal machine gun."

Tons of steel churned the soft ground and the APC's and Tanks soon had the enemy surrounded and cut loose with all available firepower. The startled NVA sought refuge in the tall grass only to be followed by streams of hot lead. When the firing subsided, a sweep of the area produced two dead NVA, one RPG rocket launcher and one AK47. Nearby, APC's of Alpha Company and the Scout Platoon of the 1/50th received rocket and 82mm mortar fire. In the brief battle that followed, three NVA lost their lives as well as two RPG rocket launchers and one B-40 rocket.

In short, the road was kept open to traffic and those 'Caissons kept rolling along.'