QuarterHorse Bulletin Board
BATTLE of BONG TRANG, 26 Aug 66
as experianced by Hank Stewart
One platoon of A troop made it in to the main battle area on 26 August. We
were the only platoon able to cross a river to the rear of the battle. The
other platoon turned around and proceeded to a blocking position near the
village of Phouc Cuong. My platoon continued on.
We were ambushed about 700-800 hundred meters from where the heavy fighting
had been going on. Our lead tank was hit with RPG and Platoon Sgt Richey was
wounded. My driver, Roy Weakland and TC, SGT "Ski" were also wounded as were
a large number of infantry we had been transporting. Sgt Robles took over as
TC on my track and SP4 Schaller took over as driver. I was the machine gunner.
The VC broke contact after about 20 minutes and we moved forward after the
We encountered heavy fire in the main battle area. 2 tracks from C Troop had
been knocked out by RPG and 57 recoiless. The crews were all dead. We took up
forward positions and our one tank began fireing cannister into the base camp.
We returned fire with .50 cal and M60s. The platoon leaders TC, Sammy Larkin
was killed. Lt. Klippen shouted over the radio to "burn the piss out of those
treetops". He was killed right after that. SP4 Stempel was the only crew member
left alive. I left my track and went to 16 and took over the .50. Our two tracks
were full of dead and wounded and we were ordered to and LZ to have them evacuated.
We were supposed to return to the battle but some officer ordered us to provide
perimeter security for the LZ. This was about dark and we remained there all night.
The one tank from our platoon and 2 other ACAVS remained in the main battle area
all night. In addition to the Air Force chopper, one of our dust-offs was also shot
down as it tried to evac wounded from the main battle. This happened about 30
minutes after we arrived.
Sp4 Schaller was wounded the next morning by spent 20mm cartridges from our
air force. They were firing into the base camp well before they came over our
positions. Thats how close we were.
There was also a unit of LRRPS that first encountered the camp. They were
trapped inside the base camp for the entire battle. They took several KIA and
wounded. SP4 Larkin and Lt Klippen received the Silver Star posthumously. The
rest of us got chicken salad sandwiches after the battle. Lt. Daley took over
the platoon until a new Plt Ldr was assigned.
This Page Modified 10 Feb 2017
Mail Comments to Alan Benoit
This page was last updated on 4 Feb 2017