Cai Nua - 1/12/69

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
User avatar
Delta75
Gobal Moderator and Site sponsor 2012
Posts: 850
Joined: Fri Aug 02, 2002 3:59 pm

Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Delta75 » Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:31 pm

Hello All,

Well....I believe that we are "beating a dead horse" and that we are as close...or as far away...from reaching agreement as to the accuracy of the platoon locations on Mac's map as we were two weeks ago; therefore, tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Feb 8 in Vietnam) I will be off to the Cai Nua area to take pictures and hopefully to have my wife interview a few local VC for me. I am hopeful that we can locate a VC who was there that night/day, and that he/they can tell us how many VC were involved that night.

On the way we will be taking the "river" road (runs just north of and parallel to the Mekong River) which passes thru "Snoopy's Nose" on the way to Cai Be. I will stop at Snoopy's Nose to take pictures of where another 9th Infantry ambush/firefight occurred. At Cai Be, we will turn North to intersect with old QL04 then turn West toward Cai Nua.

Hope to provide all of the pictures and the "further adventures of Jerry" to Robert as soon as we return to Vinh Kim Tuesday evening.



Jerry

Now all photos in this string are in the album with comments by Jerry under them

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19623
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:43 am

February 2011 and the trip has been made. Several sets of photos will follow. This first set is a general view of Cai Nua today.

The main report and overview reads as follows:

All (Delta Company, blind-copied),

Well we are back from our 8 hour round trip to Cai Nua, and I will send this verbiage before sending the pictures to Robert for posting.

Boy what an unbelievably productive trip, and things certainly sound different from the other side.

I will start by saying that we found all three locations, and took pictures of all three. We actually found people at each location that remember the firefights very well They were all very, very friendly and helpful and said that I was the first person to ever come back and ask about the firefights that occurred that night. Note: All three families that we asked have lived in this area all of their lives. One older man is over 90 years old and lived in the area of the 2nd platoon position. The person from the 1st platoon position is the policeman for his village (remember villages are usually small and apparently our 3 locations were actually in two separate "villages"...1st platoon was in one village and 2nd/HQ were in a different village).

Additionally, let me say that all of these people responded to my questions in a polite and respectful manner...even those that we suspect were actually VC and there that night/morning.

The first of many questions that I had for the people applied to all three positions:

Question: Was the force that Delta Company fought that night/morning the 261 VC?
Answer: No, all the VC were local VC.

Question: Had the 261 VC ever operated in this area?
Answer: No, not that anyone could remember.

Question: Did the VC know that we were coming?
Answer: The VC, and the remaining people, were not pre-warned by ARVN VC (as happened on 9/26/68); however, some helicopter activity occurred a day or so before, thus the people knew that the Americans were coming, and were moving out of the area, because they knew the the local VC would respond.


Now for questions specific to 1st platoon: These questions were answered by the local village policeman and his wife. Like at the 9/26/68 location the people say that all of the VC who were involved are now dead. Funny, usually you have to be former VC to be a village policeman, and there are lots of VC still living around Vinh Kim; thus, because he knew so much about the battle (which occurred next door to his house), my wife and I believe that we had, in fact, been there that night on the side of the VC. Note: The policeman's house is on the same side of the small canal as the 1st platoon's northeastern most position. (Reference Mac's map).
Location Conclusion: Mac's map is correct as to 1st platoon's position.

Question: Did 200 VC from the 261st hit first platoon?
Answer: No, there were ~20 local VC from that village that hit 1st platoon.

Question: Was there an 261 VC officer killed the evening before?
Answer: There was an officer killed and they could not retrieve the body in time to keep it away from the Americans. He was, however, a local VC officer who had lived on the other side of the canal. Yes...he was in his officer's uniform...most local VC wore no uniform.

Question: Did the old man who was wounded, and the young boy who was with him "scout" the 1st platoon position when he asked for medical aid?
Answer: Yes, the old man lived on the other side of the canal, and informed the VC as to the 1st platoon positions. (Note: He even showed me the location where the old man and boy landed.)

Question: Did ARVN VC refuse the approval of the requested artillery?
Answer: As far as he knew, No the VC had nothing to do with the denial of artillery approval.

Question: Did the force that hit 1st platoon actually have two 51cal machine guns.
Answer: He said, no way. 51cal machine guns were much too large and heavy to be dragging around the rice paddies.

Question: Did the VC have two smaller machine guns comparable to our M-60?
Answer: The local VC had nothing but AK47s, B40's, and a few M1 carbines that they had taken from the local RF/PF forces.

Question: Were as many as 80 VC killed that night?
Answer: No way. There were only ~20 VC. There were several killed, but he didn't know how many...either that he or didn't want to say how many.

Question: Did the Americans not moving after dark permit the VC to know where everyone was?
Answer: Yes, along with what the old man told the VC, the VC knew exactly where everyone was.

Question: After the battle, did the 1st platoon position have 80 unexploded Chi Com grenades within their position.
Answer: He said...no way. The local VC had only a few grenades and certainly not that many...and...certainly not that many that would have failed.

HQ position: These responses were made by a middle-aged man who said that the HQ position was behind his house..in some rice paddies...approximately 100 yards southeast of the intersection of two small rivers (reference Mac's map). Location Conclusion: Mac's map is correct as to HQ platoon's position.

Question: Do you remember the occurrence that I am asking about?
Answer: Yes.

Question: Please tell me what you remember.
Answer: The "local" VC were firing at where they thought the Americans were located (apparently HQ had changed positions after dark); however, the Americans did not fire back, and since the VC did not know where they were, after awhile, the VC left.

Question: How many VC attacked this position?
Answer: I am not sure. It could not have been too many, because our local village VC numbered only 14, and some were over at another American position (2nd platoon's) further to the East.

2nd platoon position: This account is from the 90+ year old man...in surprisingly excellent shape. He lived not far from the 2nd platoon "actual" position. Let me expand on this somewhat. The man who gave us the account of the HQ position took us to talk to this old man, because he knew basically the whole history of this village. I showed him what we were showing as the 2nd platoon position between a trail that went from north from QL04 to the Kinh Hai Muoi Tam canal (that 1st platoon was on)....and the Song Tra Lot River to the East. He told us that 2nd platoon never made it that far. He took us to an area further to the southwest..back toward the HQ position. He pointed at a swampy marsh area (he said that it was worse during the war), and said that the Americans stopped there, and that later that night/morning to VC started shooting from the tree lined dikes (I didn't cross the paddies to confirm, but it appeared as though several...maybe all....contained a small canal).....that were pretty much all around the Americans. (Note: Peter, this seems to be aligning to what you have told me; that is, you were not at the position noted on Mac's map because it was intended to be your nighttime location; however, you never made it there. Did you guys move to your "actual" position after dark...or...were you in that same position during the daylight hours?). Location Conclusion: Mac's map is apparently incorrect as to 2nd platoon's "actual" position.

Question: How many VC attacked 2nd platoon.
Answer: Same as the answer from the man describing the HQ position...he didn't know, but not too many since his village had only 14 VC.

Question: How many VC were killed?
Answer: I don't know.

Well...that's about all for now. I might have failed to record a few responses; therefore, if you have any questions, just let me know...and I will see if I have an answer.

As we can see....when compared to Mac's details....some are the same, and some are different. Who knows which is correct?

Take Care
Jerry



I have quite a few pictures; therefore, as in the past, I will send them in separate emails.

This first email will contain the pictures of our travel to Cai Be on the way to Cai Nua. We took the "road" that runs just north of the Mekong River. The "road" became more of a "paved" path once we reached the first ferry across the river at "Snoopy's Nose". Can't believe it...there is now a village and a ferry crossing directly in the middle of Snoopy's Nose. These pictures start with the ferry at "Snoopy's Nose" and end with the ferry at Cai Be.

Jerry
Attachments
Hwy 1A.jpg
1.jpg
2.jpg
3.jpg
4.jpg
5.jpg
6.jpg
7.jpg
8.jpg
9.jpg
10.jpg
11.jpg
12.jpg
13.jpg
14.jpg
15.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:52 am

Second set of photos.

More 1st platoon position pictures.

Jerry
Attachments
1st Plt 1.jpg
1st Plt 2.jpg
1st Plt 3.jpg
1st Plt 4.jpg
1st Plt 5.jpg
1st Plt 6.jpg
1st plt 7.jpg
1st Plt 8.jpg
1st Plt 9.jpg
1st Plt 10.jpg
1st Plt. 11.jpg
1st Plt. 12.jpg
1st Plt. 13.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:00 am

Final 1st platoon pictures.

Jerry
Attachments
1st Plt 14.jpg
1st Plt 15.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:06 am

HQ position pictures.

1. Pictures of the rivers next to HQ position.
2. Pictures around the HQ position.
3. Family at HQ position.

One of these rivers, the Rach Dip Tho Loc formed the western boundary of the Cai Nua operation.


Jerry

Attachments
HQ1.jpg
HQ2.jpg
HQ3.jpg
HQ4.jpg
HQ5.jpg
HQ6.jpg
HQ7.jpg
HQ8.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:12 am

2nd platoon position.

1. Roughly where 2nd platoon should have been...actually probably should have been a little further East toward the Song (Rach) Tra Loc River (the right border of the Cai Nua operation).
2. 2nd platoon's actual position.
3. Old man and his friends/family....he told us about the 2nd platoon position.

Jerry
Attachments
2nd Plt 1.jpg
2nd Plt 2.jpg
2nd Plt 3.jpg
2nd Plt 4.jpg
2nd Plt 5.jpg
2nd Plt 6.jpg
2nd Plt 7.jpg
2nd Plt 8.jpg
2nd Plt 9.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:19 am

Final Cai Nua pictures....Peter Barrett thinks that the Rach My Thien River might have formed the western boundary of the Cai Nua operation. These two pictures are of the Rach My Thien River, taken from the Hwy QL04 bridge....QL04 formed the southern boundary of the Cai Nua operation.

Take Care All

Jerry

Attachments
Rack My Thien 1.jpg
Rach My Thien 2.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:48 am

A new album has been made just for this particular stop on the journey. You can view it as a slide show and adjust the image size to get a good look at the images that Jerry has recorded.

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19623
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:10 pm


On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 5:10 AM, Jerry White <jerry.white1944@gmail.com> wrote:

These pictures will be of our crossing the Song (Rach) Tra Lot river, which forms the right side of what is referred to as the Cai Nua Operation. Note: Cai Nua is actually several miles northeast of where Delta Company was operating on 1/12/69. Guess they had to call it something.....so someone chose to name it the "Cai Nua" operation.
You will then see a paved path that runs north toward the Kinh Hai Muoi Tam canal. There is now a ferry, at the end of this path, that crosses the canal...and....there is a small paved road that runs along the north bank of the canal.
We then turn west along the south bank of the canal. This will take us to the man who told us about the 1st platoon location. It will also contain pictures of he and his family.
1. You will also see an old house where he and the lady living there say the 1st platoon position was around.
2. I will show the canal (per the people enlarged since the war) that was to the east of 1st platoon's position.
3. I will then show where the old man and boy asked for the medics help...while they "scouted" the positions.
4. Then a few shots of the canal.
5. Next the rice paddies that were to the south of 1st platoon's position.

If this turns out to be too many pictures....I will have to send a few in a separate email.

Jerry
Attachments
no1.jpg
no2.jpg
no3.jpg
no4.jpg
no5.jpg
no6.jpg
no7.jpg
no8.jpg
no9.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:12 pm


On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 5:10 AM, Jerry White <jerry.white1944@gmail.com> wrote:

These pictures will be of our crossing the Song (Rach) Tra Lot river, which forms the right side of what is referred to as the Cai Nua Operation. Note: Cai Nua is actually several miles northeast of where Delta Company was operating on 1/12/69. Guess they had to call it something.....so someone chose to name it the "Cai Nua" operation.
You will then see a paved path that runs north toward the Kinh Hai Muoi Tam canal. There is now a ferry, at the end of this path, that crosses the canal...and....there is a small paved road that runs along the north bank of the canal.
We then turn west along the south bank of the canal. This will take us to the man who told us about the 1st platoon location. It will also contain pictures of he and his family.
You will also see an old house where he and the lady living there say the 1st platoon position was around.
I will show the canal (per the people enlarged since the war) that was to the east of 1st platoon's position.
I will then show where the old man and boy asked for the medics help...while they "scouted" the positions.
Then a few shots of the canal.
Next the rice paddies that were to the south of 1st platoon's position.

If this turns out to be too many pictures....I will have to send a few in a separate email.

Jerry
Attachments
no10.jpg
no11.jpg
no12.jpg
no13.jpg
no14.jpg
no15.jpg
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:23 pm

Jerry is attaching comments to each picture. Check out the album and go to the bottom of each opened page. If his comments are more than the screen hit the full button to read all of the comment. ( You can adjust the photo image size by the choice in the top right of the Album screen as to pixel count once you open a photo from the thumbnail.)

http://www.6thofthe31st.com/gallery/mai ... emId=19623
User avatar
Niner Alpha
Site Admin
Posts: 3760
Joined: Sun May 05, 2002 7:48 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Cai Nua - 1/12/69

Postby Niner Alpha » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:24 am

From Google Earth.

Hi All,

I will attach a few images of Cai Nua with the locations marked. Jack Morrison was so kind as to convert the grid coordinates that we had to Google Earth long/lat. Robert, please post on the website. This may or may not help us arrive at 2nd platoon's actual position the night of 1/11_12/69.

Looking at the map and the 1/10_11_12/69 coordinates, it looks like the following "might" have occurred.

All three elements left QL04 after crossing the Song Tra Lot River on QL04 (Thus not leaving QL04 at the Song My Thien River).
1st platoon moved out first, possibly along the path that goes from the Ap Hoa Hao hamlet to the Kinh Hai Muoi Tam canal. 2nd platoon was next, and HQ was last.
Per coordinates on the Daily Log, all three elements had crossed, probably via the small bridge, the Rach Ba Xoai River by 1/10/69.
1st platoon: After crossing the Rach Ba Xoai River, 1st platoon continued north on the path where, per the Daily Log, they reported seeing a few VC to their NE. On 1/11/69 they moved NW toward their assigned 1/11_12/69 night location. Note: The locals say that they stopped a few hundred meters before reaching the site that we have defined as their assigned night time location.
2nd platoon: After crossing the Rach Ba Xoai River, 2nd platoon turned NW with the winding river to their left. At some point they turned back to the southeast, possibly where the Rach Dip Tho Luc river turns back to the north. At this point, after turning back to the SW, this would have had 2nd platoon walking east/southeast across a wide span of rice paddies (~1500 meters)...toward their assigned 1/11_12/69 night time location. At some point they encountered a swamp/marsh which prevented them from reaching their position. Peter: This seems to align fairly well to some of the things that you have told me..especially your walking with the winding river to your left that was ~40 feet wide, and turning back to the SE as the river (actually a different river after the intersection with the Rach Ba Xoai intersected with the Rach Dip Tho Luc) turned N/NW.
HQ: After crossing the Rach Ba Xoai River, HQ at some point crossed back over the Rach Ba Xoai. They could have followed 2nd platoon (which I would doubt) and then crossed later..possibly at the two bridges..one over the Rach Dip Tho Luc (after it's intersecton with the Rach Ba Xoai) to the west, then back over the Rach Dip Tho Luc once again to the east to move to their defined 1/11-12/69 position. The other possibily is that after first crossing the Rach Ba Xoai River on the path, they crossed back over south of the Rach Ba Xoai, then turned west toward their assigned 1/11_12/69 assigned position. Per the locals, they appear to be the only element that actually reached what have been defined as the "assigned" night time locations. 1st platoon appears to have been a few hundred meters east of their assigned location, and we still aren't sure where 2nd platoon was.
That's all for now.

Jerry




Click photos with mouse to make larger.
Attachments
Cai%20Nua1.jpg
1st Platoon 1/11/69
Cai%20Nua2.jpg
HQ 1/11/69
Cai%20Nua3.jpg
1st, 2nd Platoons and HQ 1/10/69
Cai%20Nua4.jpg
HQ 1/10/69
Cai%20Nua5.jpg
1st Platoon 1/11/69 according to locals
Cai%20Nua6.jpg
QL04

Return to “Jerry White Explores 6/31st Locations”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest