A Brave Act
In our historical text on the
Battle of Tam Quan, we state that in the
afternoon of 19 December 1967, our battalion had surrounded an enemy
battalion in the village of An Nghiep. We also state that one enemy NVA
soldier attempting to break out of the encirclement was so surprised when he
stumbled into one of our positions that he dropped his weapon and fled.
Although this is not an complete description of what actually took place, it
did prompt this incredible story and we all sincerely hope that one day “our
man” will be identified.
Ray Bono’s story:
I was reading the story about the battle of Tam Quan and thought you might be interested in what happened concerning the NVA soldier who “stumbled into one of our positions”. He stumbled into the sector of Cheyenne platoon and I was there when it happened.
I was on the perimeter helping with guard duty that night and had dug a shallow foxhole next to the guard position. It was a one man hole about 12 inches deep. And six feet long. I don't remember the name of the trooper who was replacing me on guard duty, but I had just woken him up and he got out of the foxhole and propped his M16 against a coconut tree while he stretched. I lay down in the foxhole and placed my M16 on my left side and on the rim of the foxhole. A few minutes later someone appeared out of the dark, walked up to us and started talking in Vietnamese. He was an NVA soldier armed with an AK-47, and his foot was within inches of my rifle. The position of the enemy soldier was between our man on guard and his M16. Our man stood very still with his hands at his sides and didn’t say anything. Apparently our NVA visitor thought we were his comrades and I knew that he would have the advantage over me if I reached for my rifle. Suddenly our man reached out with both hands and grabbed the AK47 with such force that the shocked NVA soldier let go of it and ran away. At the same time, I grabbed my rifle but decided not to shoot along the perimeter for fear of hitting one of our men. So there we stood with a captured NVA rifle and an unbelieveable story. Our man said how are we going to explain this to the Captain, he is never going to believe this. I don't remember what we reported but when I saw this posted on the eargerarms web site I wanted to record what actually happened that night.
Prepared by Ray Bono.
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