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BATTLE OF AP TAU O-by 1SG Michael Pepe and SP5 William Kampfert


He is 76 years old and still manages to get around. A little slower now than he used to but he could still ramrod a Cavalry Troop if asked to. He retired from the army with 31 years service in 1974.
He doesn't have a computer and don't want one so if you want to talk with him you'll have to call him up or write him.(address and phone available from WebMaster) He was nearly mortally wounded at the battle of Ap Tau O, also known as Bench Mark 69. This was the action in which A Troop was sent out along Hwy 13 to deliberatly draw the VC/NVA out and into a fight. It was one of the fiercest of battles fought by the Quarterhorse and there were heavy losses, both in personnel and equipment. SP5 Kampfert remembers Pepe on one of the rear M60's firing it and an M-79 at the same time. Kampfert was in the TC position firing the 50 Cal. Their APC caught an RPG which penetrated the Gas Tank. The resulting explosion ejected Kampert from the APC, blew the rear hatch open, and and severily wounded 1SG Pepe. His right thigh was broken and he received multiple fragmentation wounds over his entire body. SP5 Kampfert went back into the burning APC and pulled Pepe out. Pepe lay there until he heard Vietnamese voices next to his vehicle. Fortunately The 2nd Platoon Sergeant, Oswaldo Medina rolled up about that time in a tank and eliminated the VC with two canister rounds. Pepe showed no vital signs upon examination so he was placed in a body bag and laid with the rest of the KIA. Another unit arrived later and a friend of Pepe's asked his whereabouts and was told that he was KIA. He asked to see the remains and upon opening the body bag discovered Pepe was breathing. Both 1SG Pepe and SP5 Kampfert were med evac'd to Japan for their wounds. 1SG Pepe was utimately sent to the USA to Letterman General Hospital in California where he was first placed in a body cast for 9 months and then spent 6 more months in rehabilitation. He remembers visiting Cpt's Sturgis and Hubbard at Ft. Knox, Kentucky in 1967. Otherwise he has not ran into any of the original group from A Troop. He would love hearing from you and has many fond memories of A Troop and it's Troopers.


Battle of Bong Trang - 26 Aug 66

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This page was last updated on 4 Feb 2017