Dai Phu Ambush

Saturday, May 4, 1968

Sumo prepared another Asian masterpiece for dinner.  The sharpened chopsticks were used as skewers, and we threaded the shrimp and scallops (three each) intertwined with red bell pepper strips.  They were charbroiled on the BBQ and served over a bed of yellow (turmeric) ginger rice.  For the seafood naysayers, we had beef brochette with the same accompaniments.

As we were cleaning up after dinner, Lieutenant Nowicki approached me and wanted to use the dining room as a staging area for a pre-ambush/patrol.  I told him it was OK, but there are no lights.  He was surprised and asked why.  I told him all of the power from the generators was dedicated to FDC, the Exec Pit and the Comm Center.

The staging was to be at 2200, and I joined Reb in the bakery to listen in on the briefing.  Apparently there was “Intelligence” regarding a planned assault on Hill 65, and the mission was to kill or capture Captain Robb.  As a precaution, Robb had been relocated to Hill 37, and this ambush was meant to intercept and surprise the enemy at our doorstep.

There were 20 Marines fully loaded with an array of weapons.  Nowicki gave his instructions by candlelight.  Everyone was to be on 100% alert and remain completely quiet as the ambush was in position.  It was timed with the setting of the first quarter moon, just before midnight.

At 2300 the troops saddled up and moved down the road to the base of the hill, setting up next to the Dai Phu schoolyard, facing east.  The enemy was expected to approach Hill 65 on the road from Dai Loc.

Next Edition:  Coordinated Attacks

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