The Saving of MACV by the 11th CAV!
Here is a story, and I do not know if it is really true, or true only in memory---
The 11th Armored Cav was sent to Lai Kai, Opconned? to the 1st Divisions--the 3/5th out of 9th Division was again babysitting at Base camp, dumping their short rounds and losing their ambush patrols--the nicest guys with a truly inept command system--the story was they had been
"in county" 9 months before their first KIA--they were practicing busting Jungle and a banana tree fell on the poor guy.
At any rate, we are at base camp, out of beer, out of soda, out of munitions, and two separate convoys were deployed to get resupplied, because everyone knew Tet was going to happen. I believe there were something like 250 people left in base camp, including the company of
Aussie Navy pulling Helicopter Maintenance, 4 Red Cross Girls, 6 Nurses, a couple surgeons, the Dentist, the CO's at the med unit, the units of 3/5th who were not outside the perimeter, and thus not firing on us,....some replacements, guys coming in from R&R--slim pickings--
One of the radio operators told me this story--I do not know for certain that it is true, but I believe it in my bones--he said he got the call from MACV that they needed 3 squads of armor to protect MACV headquarters in Long Binh.....The radio man said he DID try to clarify the call, but the voice on the other end was so sarcastically superior, and the 11th Cav had been in the weeds for over a month, that he just relayed the request for 3 Squads of Armor....--and 3 SQUADRONS of Armor, plus HQ, who wasn't going to miss a trip to a big PX--rolled out at a forced field march to Long Binh. In my version of the story, 1/3 of the men set down at the O club, broke in and went swimming and used the phones to call home including the Red Cross billet at Blackhorse, ..1/3 set down at the PX, broke in, set up cashiers, and bought stuff they'd been without for a long time--and called home, including the Red Cross billet at Blackhorse....the last 1/3, with no radio contact and no idea where they were supposed to go with all those vehicles, pulled into the landing field right in front of MACV headquarters----and when they came under fire, the Major left in command, so bummed out about not being at the O club or the PX said "Return Fire"---nailing about 2000 of
the NVA Regulars who were poised to Kidnap the Generals at MACV---that is the story I heard at Blackhorse in February of 68--how the Cav Saved Long Binh--I would like it confirmed or denied--it was long ago and far away--was this a true story or not?