Firefight in Dai Phu

dai phu
Dai Phu, Village – School – Orphanage

Friday, December 13, 1968

In the early morning hours we were awakened by automatic weapons fire.  It was close enough that we were on alert status.  Fernando and I went to the OP; Sumo and Reb were manning the bunker.

We relied on sound because there were no tracers and the firefight was below our position, near the orphanage in Dai Phu.  There were a few explosions and a series of single shots fired . . . then quiet.

After some time passed, we secured and tried to sleep before getting up to start breakfast.  Once awake in these situations, we rarely got any rest because adrenaline is a sleep inhibitor.

Later in the morning a small procession of Vietnamese, with a woman on a stretcher and a bundled infant, paraded toward the Battery Med Station.  Doc Wayne did what he could for the woman, but it was too late for the baby who was already dead.  They were loaded onto a truck and returned to the village.

Friendly fire tragedies happened on both sides of the war.  This firefight was a mix-up between a squad of young NVA soldiers and some local VC.  The VC were defending their families in Dai Phu and killed four NVA, but not before losing two of their own.  The woman and child were just innocent victims.

Next Edition:  An Intimate Letter

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