September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Jerry White toured various sites in Vietnam of historic importance to the 6/31st.
Feel free to post additional new posts about Vietnam then and now or comment on anything posted. Check out the same photos in the album with comments by Jerry under each image. http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19416
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September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:40 am

Bollman, Trotter, Pruitt, Borczynski, Hayes, Rance. A day that Delta guys who were there and still live will always remember. Jerry White has found the site and taken some photos as the place is now over 42 years later.

The story is in Karl Lowe's history. http://31stinfantry.org/Documents/Chapter%2018.pdf
Go to page 40.

I will have to send these pictures in a couple of emails...I can add comments in Robert's album.

The one picture of special note is one of a woman standing in front of her house. This is the lady who said that the ambush occurred right behind (West of) her house. The picture that follows her picture is of the field(s) that she is referring to. I attempted to take pictures of all of the canals and tree lines in close proximity to this/these fields. If you have specific questions let me know. I started taking pictures as we entered Cai Lay on the way to the ambush site. The first "canal" picture is where the Kinh So Muoi canal (right side of triangle) crosses the road. The next picture or so is of the watermelon and rice fields along the road. The next pictures of canals/fields/tree lines were taken at or near the ambush site. I took pictures of each "triangle" canal as well as each East/West canal that 3rd platoon crossed. I even had to walk across one of those single log bridges to get to one side of one East/West canal. The last "canal" picture is of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal that runs East/West at the bottom of the "triangle". The last shots of a town are pictures of My Phuoc Tay as my son and I returned to Vinh Kim.

Jerry


Note: All photos in this string now are in the Album and Jerry has made comments under each photo.

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=20600

From an earlier email.

I just returned after a 5 hour round-trip to the site (Northwest of Cai Lay) of the 9/26/68 ambush of 3rd platoon, Delta Company where 3rd platoon lost 5 KIA and several others wounded. . With the help of the map from Karl Lowe's 6/31st history (attached link), along with additional maps from both Karl and Robert Stewart, one of my Vietnamese sons and I were able to locate the site.

Map on page 41 of the following link
http://31stinfantry.org/Documents/Chapter%2018.pdf

I am sure that much has changed since 9/26/68. Today there is a paved, two lane, road (865..not 847 as Google Earth shows) running parallel to the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal that is shown running East to West at the bottom on Karl's map. Alongside the road, just to the North, another canal runs parallel to the road.The present road is approximately 200m North of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal. Looking at Karl's map, it appears that 3rd platoon was inserted by helicopter approximately 100m - 200m West of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal (canal on far left of Karl's map) which runs North/South, basically on top of where the paved road now stands. All along the road 865 are fields overflowing with watermelons, with a few rice fields still remaining. There were thousands of watermelons being loaded into trucks for shipment all across Vietnam for the upcoming Tet celebrations.

Karl referred to the overall 9/26/68 insertion area as the "triangle of canals" with the Kinh Tong Loc Doc forming the bottom of the "triangle", the Kinh Phu Huyen forming the left side of the "triangle" and the Kinh So Muoi forming the right side of the "triangle".

The Kinh So Muoi was easy to locate since it has retained it's name; however, since the war, they have changed the name of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal. We found what we believed to be the canal, but we had to locate an older person who was there during the "war years" to verify that this was, in fact, the Kinh Phu Huyen canal. We got lucky because this man was also there on 9/26/68 and remembered the battle. I asked him if any of the local VC who might have fought that day were still in the area. He told us that they were all dead...I doubt it. Who knows, he asked if they were my friends, and then said he was just "a citizen" during the war....the same answer I received from several other older men in the area. They may have been, in fact, local VC but did not want to talk. He did point us in the right direction, because I stopped to take pictures 100m - 200m West of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal and encountered a woman who remembers the battle quite well. She told us that it occurred directly to the West of her house which is approximately 500m North of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal, and just West of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal. She described how the American soldiers landed in helicopters, between two small canals (running east/west), and after walking north toward what is now a third canal/tree line, the VC ambushed them from the North/West/East. One VC location (the East location) must have been right behind her present house. She said that five American soldiers were killed. She also said that during the war, American soldiers used to stop at her house and "shook her hand".

So, in summary, today walking North from the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal, on a paved path alongside the West bank of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal, one would encounter/cross the following to reach the ambush point:

(1) Road/Hwy 865.
(2) A canal running east/west (north of and alongside) the road (865)....this canal was probably not there on 9/26/68.
(3) Another small canal running east/west (in between this canal and the canal that runs beside the road are large fields several hundred meters wide). This canal "was" there during the war.
(4) Another small canal running east/west (in between this canal and the previous canal are also large fields several hundred meters wide). This canal was also there during the war. This is where the lady said that the Americans were ambushed. Somewhere in the middle of what are presently watermelon and rice fields. She kept pointing and saying "o do" (over there) which means somewhere between "o day" (here) and "o kia" (way over there). My "guess" is that she meant 100m - 200m West of the Kinh Phu Huyen canal????

Note: Each North/South and East/West canal is heavily lined with trees and bushes. Several hundred meters across the fields from the lady's house was what also appeared to be another tree lined canal that ran North/South, parallel to the Kinh Phu Huyen canal.

I will be providing the pictures to both Karl and Robert. Robert will post them on his 6/31st website and I will add comments to the album that Robert has set up on his website.

That's all for now...please let me know if you have any questions.

Take Care My Brothers
Jerry
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Re: September 26, 1968 ...The location today

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:52 am

Second batch of photos of three.
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Re: September 26, 1968 ...The location today

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:59 am

The last batch.
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Re: September 26, 1968 ...The location today

Postby Niner Alpha » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:23 pm

The photos may be viewed as a slide show in Jerry's album created to contain photos from this 2011 journey. The particular sub album is here:

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=20600
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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Delta75 » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:58 am

Taking another look at Karl's insertion map, the "yellow splash" is shown approximately 300m - 500m North of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal. On the map I do not see any small canals branching off to the West from the Kinh Phu Huyen canal; however, I did find these canals at the site. The first of these "West" canals is 200m North of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc, the second is 600m from the Kinh Tong Loc Doc and the third is 1,000 from the Kinh Tong Loc Doc. Note: The first canal, next to the road, may not have been there during the war. The lady that we talked to said that the Americans were ambushed between what is now the second and the third canal. If correct, that would put the ambush point somewhere between 600m - 1000 meters North of the Kinh Tong Loc Doc canal.....and not 300m - 500m.

Since my children in Vietnam speak no English and since my Vietnamese is not very good, I had to wait for my wife to ask my son the following question:

Did the old man (he is 100 years old...his family has owned the land that 3rd platoon was inserted upon for several hundred years) and the lady we talked to mention if the VC were aware that American soldiers were going to be inserted? We assumed that they were since the ambush appeared to be well planned.

The answer was "Yes", the VC (as we suspected) were aware and had told the people to stay away or take cover in their bunkers because they were going to attack the American soldiers once they landed. One of the numerous warnings passed on by the ARVN VC.

Jerry
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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:50 am

Goole Earth. Jerry sent this to help understanding the locations.

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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Hutch » Tue Sep 25, 2012 10:56 am

Jerry thank you for picture of the area of the events from 9-26-68. I was the gunner on helicopter pg.43 of time line.
My Pilot Lt. Jim Clary Vol. for the Evac mission- No medivac could enter area. I hope all lived we tried to pick up? Jim and I was hit that day. Jim was sent home. He lives in Fl. I return to D Troop 3rd of 5th Cav. as my wound was not that bad. -- We worked with 6/31 a lot as we were a small recon unit attached to the 9th Div. A-B-C- Troops were up North in I corp Attached to the 5th Mech. Div. - Take care-
Johnny hutcherson
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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:19 am

Thanks for posting Johnny. I followed your link to your story. I post the link so that others can read it too.

http://www.lighthorseaircav.com/s-21-your-on-fire.html
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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Delta75 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:20 pm

Thanks Hutch from another Texas boy. We really appreciated all that you guys did for us.

Take Care
Jerry White
Originally from Houston...also worked in Arlington and Austin...now retired south of Kerrville.
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Re: September 26, 1968 ... and today.. Jerry White

Postby Hutch » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:22 am

Jerry I live in Fredericksburgs-
Delta75 wrote:Thanks Hutch from another Texas boy. We really appreciated all that you guys did for us.

Take Care
Jerry White
Originally from Houston...also worked in Arlington and Austin...now retired south of Kerrville.

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