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.
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
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