Fire Fight to Remember
By Ricky D. Kester
They called us snipers. We would set up night and some daylight ambushes. I was a sniper between 10-1-69 and 6-15-70 after being transferred from a “Zippo”.
Back in the first part of the 70’s, the sniper squad was as follows: Serge from Georgia. He was the man in charge, one fearless fighting fool. Peabody our crazy radioman Big Brother from New York, if I’m not mistaken.
Carman from York, PA. He was also transferred from the same Zippo, a good man. 2nd Lt. Another good man. He had just replaced a guy from Hawaii SP4 Ricky Kester . me, the one with all the hair.
On this particular night, we were to set up our ambush only 75 meters in front of the companies NDP. We were told to dig in deep and when we hear them coming, give them Hell! Then get down because HHT (3/11) was going to open up with everything they had in our direction except the M79 grenade launcher.
We were briefed and at dusk went out and dug in. We had already set up our trip flares and claymores. It was another very hot night. We were dirty and sweaty. The mosquito’s seemed especially frisky this particular night. As all 11th Brothers know, this was just another tropical night in the bush.
About two hours later, Serge heard them coming in. In another minute we all heard them. Then they started to dig in. We know that’s their only chance to survive and still cause damage. They never got the chance. We opened up with all we had. Then HHT opened up with all they had! Needless to say, the VC never got off a shot. The six of us were as far down in our holes as we could get and that wasn’t far enough!. Being on the receiving end of an entire Troops firepower was something to behold. It was awesome! We were scared s***less. If we would have lifted a finger out of that hole, it would have been gone. Dirt from the 50’s and 60’s hitting the ground was raining in on us. We were hoping they would remember where we were and not accidentally use the M79’s! We knew they wouldn’t, but the thought did cross our minds (not a very pleasant thought).
I don’t recall how long, but the first firefight seemed like hours. The VC started moving out fast. The six of us opened up again trying to get them before they got away! HHT also opened up again with full weapons. After this second cease fire, we heard nothing. We thought since they knew we were out there, they might return and try and get us. We stayed tuned the rest of this long steamy night.
They had had enough and were gone! The next morning we searched the AO. As usual, they carried off their dead and wounded. We collected lots of AK’s, SKS’s, RPG’s and grenades. There were no bodies anywhere.
Just being on the other end of the 11th ACR’s mighty firepower is something we will never forget! No wonder we kept the VC and NVA across the border.
I take pride in that we might have saved a life or two of our fellow Troopers by catching the enemy early before they had a chance to dig in and cause some real damage.
This firefight took place in the fishhook area on one of the trails coming in from Cambodia. If anyone can remember this particular firefight, write me and say hello.