Monday, September 23, 1968
Hill 52 was abandoned during Typhoon Bess. The strategic significance of this location was its proximity to Charlie Ridge. It also completed the third vertex of a triangle (Hill 65 and An Hoa were the other two). Arizona Territory filled the area in the middle of this triangle.
After breakfast a convoy was assembled and two 8″ guns were towed with their crews to Hill 52. India Company provided security to the halfway point, and Mike Company escorted them the last few miles. Kilo Battery trucks carried ammo and supplies and returned to Hill 65 in time for dinner. Surprisingly, there were no incidents.
The village of Ha Nha was at the base of Hill 52 and adjacent to the Song Vu Gia River. This was a hostile location and difficult to supply. I had walked the 9 miles on this road in June. *
This activity had all the indications of a new “Named Operation.” “Mameluke Thrust” ** had started this way and eventually ended with Kilo Battery in Thuong Duc.
The secrecy around these troop movements caused havoc in the mess hall. We had no idea how many people to feed and nowhere to store any leftovers (they were thrown out). Today we only served 100 meals at lunch, and dinner was down to 200. It was normal for us to prepare food for 400 Marines . . . we weren’t sure what to do for breakfast in the morning.
* See previous blog, “The Long Walk to Thuong Duc” June 13, 1968
** See previous blog, “Operation Mameluke Thrust” May 19, 1968