7 June - 8
Captain Mick Battle
While B and D Companies were busy in Binh Ba, C Company
was reacted to Hoa Long on the 1ATF southern perimeter. It had been reported by a prisoner
captured by the Vietnamese Regional Forces that there were up to two hundred Viet Cong
occupying the north-western sector of the village. This force had successfully resisted
artillery and Regional Force efforts to dislodge them.
With a troop of tanks and a troop of APC's, C Company crossed their
start line at 1630 hours
(2.30 pm.) It soon became obvious that the village people ( mainly women and children) had
remained in the enemy held sector. At about 1700 hours the right flank came under heavy
RPG fire from a group of enemy in houses. Sniper fire from trees was directed at the
advancing troops, particularly at the HQ group. Vicious fire exchanges continued until
dark and C Company was told to stay in Hoa Long overnight as the enemy were expected to
return under cover of darkness to recover his bodies and weapons. Consequently the company
occupied the area of twenty three enemy fighting pits and although some torch movement was
seen during the night, no contact was made. The enemy had escaped by hiding their weapons
and mingling with the fleeing civilians.
On the morning of 8 June, a further search was conducted
and assorted enemy ammunition was found. The time allowed only superficial searches of the
houses. In one instance, the RF (Regional Forces) captured after C Company had moved out, four VC in a well
inside the night position of the company.
Again the initial estimate of the enemy strength had proved
a little optimistic. A more realistic figure for the enemy strength was fifty. The enemy
force was identified by captured documents as the Chau Duc District Unit Company.
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