6thofthe31st.com's Timeline

Archive for May, 1968

May 2, 1968

CO change D Company

“Captain Robert F. Stephens, Jr., D Company’s commander, was wounded by a booby trap. He was replaced by Captain Grady A. Smith.”

May 3, 1968

May 3, 1968

D 6/31st Found small cache containing hand grenades, small arms ammo, and mortar ammo. No contact with the enemy.

May 5, 1968

Bruce Swander

“On this day, the NVA began their initial assualt that will be known as the Cholon battle. The Bn was under heavy mortar attack, with 22 soldiers wounded. D Co would have it’s first casualty, SP4 Arnold Stewart, and 6 others from the Co would be wounded.”

May 6, 1968

Bruce Swander

Pfc Bobby Childs had been hit and subsequently dies before being dusted off. He is the first casualty of A Co in-country.

May 7, 1968

A&B companies

“Just after noon, A and B Companies were flown in from Firebase Smoke. They reinforced six rifle companies of the 3-39th and 5-60th Infantry,”

May 7, 1968

C Company

C Company’s 2nd Platoon was flown in to reinforce RVN rangers and police at a nearby bridge on Route 5.

May 7, 1968

Bruce Swander

The NVA Offensive continues with their push into Cholon.  One platoon of Charlie Company goes opcon to 3/39 and another goes opcon to 5/60

May 8, 1968

B Company

“Just after daybreak, B Company, attached to Lieutenant Colonel Joe DeLuca’s 3-39th Infantry, moved to DeLuca’s command post (CP) aboard A/5-60th tracks.”

May 8, 1968

C Company

“That evening, C Company was flown back to Fire Base Smoke from a fruitless night operation in nearby Long An Province.”

May 9, 1968

Bruce Swander

“6/31 is sent in to reinforce 3/39.   By early afternoon, A/C Co’s have contact.  By 1600h, A has the northern part of the Y-Bridge secured and C has the southern side secured.  At 1610h, C has 3 WIA’s  and A has 1 WIA.  Contact continues after dark. Gunships called in.”

May 10, 1968

A and C Companies

“Earlier that morning (May 10), A/5-60th Infantry was ambushed on National Route 5A while moving through the village of Xom Tan Liem. Their company commander had been killed and most of the American dead still lay alongside he road. A and C Companies of the 6-31st were picked up on Route 230 and flown in [...]

May 11, 1968

Bruce Swander

“At 0800h, A/C go opcon to the RFPF’s for a sweep of the area, B Co is still opcon to 3/39.  At 1715h, C has 3 WIA, and 1 KIA:Sgt(+) Gregory Russell  C Co. He would subsequently be awarded the DSC posthumously.”

May 11, 1968

C Company

“C Company proceeded down Highway 5A, leaving the road south of Xom Tan Liem to cautiously cross open paddies to reach what was left of Da Phuoc.”

May 11, 1968

Rach Giu

C company 3rd platoon moving toward a river NE of Rach Giu comes under fire.  Greg Russell KIA earning DSC at stream crossing.

May 11, 1968

B Company

Contact at Y Bridge.

May 12, 1968

B Company

B company continues heavy contact near Y bridge.

May 12, 1968

Bruce Swander

Two more men KIA: Cpl Lyle Hansen  B Co. SP4 Dennis Jones  B Co. Jones also would be awarded the DSC posthumously.

May 13, 1968

May 13, 1968

From Jim MacMasters timeline. B 6/31st.  was in contact with the enemy while OPCON to 3/39 resultinjg in 14 VC killed.   FSB Smoke receives 5 rounds of 82mm and 107 artillery fire.  No US casualties.

May 14, 1968

Battle comes to a close

Third Brigade reports 876 enemy killed in the defense of Saigon.  Brigade soldiers killed in action 43.  Brigade wounded 253.

May 16, 1968

B Company

“When Captain John DeVore took command of B Company on the afternoon of May 16, less than a full-strength platoon remained.”

May 16, 1968

Outcome of Cholon

“For its part in the battle, the 6th Battalion 31st Infantry earned its first Valorous Unit Award and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Sixteen Bearcats had earned medals for valor in the battalion’s first major battle.”

May 25, 1968

May 25, 1968

FSB Smoke took 18, 82mm mortar rounds with no US casualties

May 30, 1968

May 30, 1968

FSB Smoke.  Abortive VC mortar attack.  Some 20 rounds of 82mm fire were directed ast the FSB with all rounds landing substantially short.

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