his equipment, and rendered that particular NVA unit totally ineffective for immediate combat. This remarkable action served as the battalion announcement that this designated portion of South Vietnam was Pioneer territory and intruders would be regarded as encroaching upon our right of eminent domain.


Plaudits of praise were bestowed upon the Pioneers by all echelons of major commands to include that of the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General William C. Westmoreland. To mark the occasion, free beer and barbecue was made available to all hands and then it was back into the AO to literally look for a fight.


To contain and preclude enemy utilization of the 1/11 area of operations, the maximum amount of troops available were sent to the field to seek and destroy the enemy wherever he could be found. Hunter-killer teams were deployed, ambushes established, air observers sent aloft, and continual pressure applied via patrols throughout the AO. Initial signs of success were forthcoming as enemy shelling of fire bases diminished. The enemy could no longer move at will, his ability to mass was restricted and he resorted to utilization of 1-3 man patrols who found, to their chagrin, that any enemy movement would result in a fusillade of withering fire.


On 11 September 1968, Company D, supported by one platoon of tanks from Company C, 1/77th Armor, moved into the "Market Place", vicinity 130725, and again engaged the same enemy unit which they mauled previously. Apparently unconvinced that they were no longer in control of the area, the enemy struck with a dogged tenacity utilizing hedgerows, dikes, and heavy vegetation for concealment of his well fortified bunker complex. His defensive posture offered overlapping fire defense in depth, and field of fire that theoretically gave the battlefield advantage entirely to the enemy. However, theory did not materialize into fact, as Company D and the tanks attacked, bunker by bunker, in a systematic destructive effort that raised chaos within the enemy positions and when the smoke of battle cleared, forty-four (44) North Vietnamese Army Soldiers lay dead and seven (7) of their comrades were prisoners. One friendly wounded was sustained and the comparative results indicated, once again, a clear cut victory for the Pioneer forces.


Application of pressure continued throughout the AO as Company A supported by Company A, 4/12 Armored Cavalry, conducted a sweep out of A-3 towards the DMZ on 13 September 1968. Eight enemy NVA were killed and as in all previous battalion actions, enemy weapons and equipment were capture. Success breeds success and on the following day Company B, on routine patrol, killed nine (9) NVA.


On 17 September 1968, Company D, with a platoon of tanks in support, once again made contact with an enemy force of unknown size in the vicinity of the "Market Place". With the support of tactical air, Company D broke through the initial line of defense causing the enemy to break contact and leaving behind thirteen(13) dead. With their foe on the run, the Pioneers were expecting another smashing victory but were forced to stop and set up security for a downed medevac chopper. Friendly casualties were light as only seven (7) Pioneers received minor wounds.




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