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Bruce Stewart

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sp4, RTO and recon SGT Vietnam Feb 1966 to Oct 1967

On 27 June 1967, I was with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division, serving as a recon sergeant in the Artillery Forward Observer section. We air assaulted into a mountain at Dak To in Kontum Provence. Shortly thereafter, we walked into a deserted North Vietnamese base camp. With camp fires still smoking and weapons lying everywhere, we called in an engineer unit that cut a landing zone and we evacuated all the rice and weapons we had captured. That night we were bracketed by mortar fire. The next morning on patrol, we walked straight into an ambush. I was located on the point third man down the trail. Everybody on the point was hit except me. After I called in the artillery, the firefight subsided and we evacuated our dead and wounded. Three of B Co, 2-12th CAV lost their lives that morning.

After evacuating our dead and wounded, we pushed on down the trail to hook up with Alpha Company, 2-12th CAV, who had also been ambushed and suffered heavy casualties. The mountains in that area were very steep, and as it began to rain, we had to hold on to trees and bushes to get up the mountains. I fell several times and slid all the way back down the mountain. We finally reinforced Alpha Company and retreated back to the hill where we had set up. With the rain coming down heavily, we took our shirts off to tie them together to get the wounded down the mountain. We were slipping down a lot and it was very difficult in the mud. We had cut a small area in the jungle to allow helicopter slings to be dropped so we could get out the dead soldiers. A plane dropped flares all night as we were being probed from the enemy.

I sat against a tree in the rain and thought, “This must be Hell; I have died and gone to Hell.” I didn’t sleep at all that night and the next day I was evacuated off the mountain and sent back to An Khe. In all, the 12th CAV lost 10 men that day, three from Bravo Company and seven from Alpha Company. I am telling you this because I want you to know what these men did for their country.

KIA Alpha Company

CPT Graham Norris Lowden Jr – Company Commander
1Lt Geoffrey Lawrence Ham – Ivyland, Pennsylvania
SP4 Rodger Thomas Gross – Godfrey, Illinois
PFC Rodger Lee Blake – Baltimore, Maryland
PFC Thomas Edward Broome – Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
PFC Walter Norvel Locher – Lame Deer, Montana
PFC Kenneth Michael Wright – Alton, Illinois

KIA Bravo Company

PFC Walter Przybylowic Jr – Detroit, Michigan
PFC Dennis Lee Hall – Burlington, North Carolina
PFC Bob Raymond Layne – Lewiston, Utah

WIA

Robert Edward Wazak – Rochester, New York