Recon Mission in Cambodia


Danger on The Ho Chi Minh Trail

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It was May 23, 1970, and we were walking single file (spaced about six feet apart) down what appeared to be a truck route in Cambodia. Most of these roads or paths were not visible from the air but our guys flying Scouts spotted this one and wanted the Blues to check it out.

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Dave Roger, Dave Parkhurst & Larry Pruett

The following is a first-hand account of that mission by Sgt. Larry Pruett, Charlie Troop 1/9th (Blues) 1969-70:

We were in Cambodia on a wide trail. I was walking point that day, and we had a Cambodian scout with us. As we moved forward, we saw a VC running ahead of us. We moved up and saw a bunker up the hill, and shot the front of the bunker up with M16, M60 & M79 fire. We moved up to the bunker and stuck an M16 in and sprayed 20 rounds. One of the guys got on his knees and looked in but saw no one.

After about ten minutes or so we decided to move on down the trail. As I walked back in front of the same bunker that was supposed to be clear, I got shot with an AK47 from ten feet away. One round went through the armpit the other through my shoulder coming out the back knocking me down and my M16 out of my hands. I crawled up the hill away from the front of the bunker everyone else went down the hill.

There was a brief firefight then my guys tried to throw grenades in from 30 feet away and got shrapnel from the grenades. I had to wave them off and yelled I’ll do it. I crawled up to the bunker, leaned over and threw in a grenade. I don’t know if it hit the bamboo in front or the VC threw it out. I did hear someone yell he threw it out. I crawled up again, and this one went in and blew up the bunker, and I jumped up and ran down the hill to my guys and Doc Hipple. We humped to the nearest open LZ and got out.

Sgt. Pruett received the Silver Star and Purple Heart, and a number of Blues were awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “V” for that day.

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