Route 4 to Hill 52

Early Morning Road Sweep – Route 4

Tuesday, May 21, 1968

The road to Hill 52 (Route 4) was being swept daily by a platoon from India Company.  Combat Engineers with sensitive detectors would scan the road, and if a mine was found, it would be blown up with an explosive charge.

Another unit (Charlie Company 1/7) would sweep from Hill 52, and the two units would meet halfway.  Route 4 between the two hills was usually cleared by 0900, and then convoys could make supply/ammo runs.  The road was given the nickname, “Ambush Road.”  It was a narrow 8-mile stretch with heavy growth of foliage.  There were places where only one vehicle could pass, and all traffic was monitored to prevent congestion.  It was a passage no one wanted to travel.

Four of our guns were now in place on Hill 52, and our two guns on Hill 65 were joined by a pair of 8-inch Howitzwers.  The gun crews were competitive, and the fire missions were coordinated by one FDC.  All of this was under the command of our XO Lieutenant Martin (Captain Cavagnol was on Hill 52).

There were many new faces, and our temporary guests were pleasantly surprised by our food.  Reb’s to-go window was a success and seemed to have a following of Southern boys.

The biggest difference of opinion Reb and I ever had was over the issue of a small Confederate flag he wanted to place above his to-go window.  I had been to North Carolina and knew its significance.  He gave his best argument, but in the end I said, “NO, wrong war; this is Vietnam, not the South.”  He wasn’t happy with my decision and pouted for a day.

Explosive Device – “Fire in the Hole” – Road Sweep Engineer

Next Edition:  Massive Build-Up

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