2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment 1967-68

Company B, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Bravo Company, 2nd Bn, 8th Cav Regt. 1st Cavalry Division Bravo, 2-8th Cav - Co B, 2-8th Cav Regt. - B Co, 2-8 Cav Co B, 2/8 Cav Regt. - Co B, 2-8 Cav, 1st Cav Div - B/2-8, 1st Cavalry Div - B 2/8, 1st Cav Div


This event occurred during the Battle of Tam Quan and we had just completed a combat assault south of a hamlet called An Nghiep, in the late afternoon of 19 Dec 1967. Our battalion was in the process of surrounding a NVA battalion in this hamlet and tactical fighter aircraft had just completed their bombing missions on NVA positions. I was one of the new guys who joined Bravo in late November and apart from a few sniper rounds, I had never been involved in a firefight.

As my platoon moved across an open area toward a treeline with palms and shrub bushes, we proceeded to swing slightly to the right as if in a flanking maneuver. We hadn't moved very far toward the right when my squad was told to take defensive positions and wait for the order to continue our advance toward entrenched NVA positions. My squad was deployed roughly in a "V" formation and I found myself at the apex of the "V" facing the direction of advancement. There was gunfire to our front but I couldn't see any enemy soldiers or fortifications such as bunkers. Suddenly one of my squad members who was located on my right rear, yelled "C'MON, LET'S GO!" I thought he meant "CHARGE", so I gripped my M16 firmly and ran towards our objective just like we learned during advanced infantry training. I remember running through the palm trees and low plants scattered about and with the sound of bullets whizzing by as the gunfire seemed to increase. The bullets passed me with a "snap", something like a micro sonic boom, and more rounds were hitting the palm fronds with a "splat" and the tree trunks with a "thunk", and leaf debris was falling like rain about me. After 50-60 meters, I stopped and turned around only to see that I was all alone. I don't remember my exact thoughts but I think it was something like "Oh God! What do I do now?" Within a few seconds the guy who had yelled "C'MON, LET'S GO", caught up with me screaming "What the hell are YOU doing? We're pulling back!". I think I felt even worse now, not only was I being shot at, but I was also in deep trouble with my squad leader. We returned to the area where we had set up a defensive position and my platoon leader was standing there with a scowl on his face and as I approached him, he shook his head and muttered something like "Stupid FNG!!!"

The 2nd Bn, 8th Cav Regt had encircled an NVA battalion in the village of An Nghiep and later that night while serving my watch, I was sitting with my boots dangling at the edge of my foxhole which was slowly filling with water. I watched the brilliant arc of parachute flares from the continuous artillery illumination and it seemed like a new one was popping off every 30 seconds or so. I was thinking about the absolutely dumb thing I had done that day with my solo charge. But I also felt a new sense of confidence....in myself. This was my first confrontation with enemy bullets fired in anger and I must admit that I was extremely proud that I had passed the test with flying colors. This was the most challenging test of my lifetime and it is one that every combat trooper has to take on the battlefield. (Prepared by Jim Beck)



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