Operation Lewis & Clark
This was a 2nd Brigade Ground Reconnaissance operation assigned to1/5th Cav and B 1/77th FA. It began at Plateau Gi, Kontum Province and ended at Camp Radcliff, An Khe, the 1st Air Cav base camp, a distance of approximately 120 miles, and ran from 3 to16 May 1966. This was the hardest mission the unit encountered during my tour as B Battery Commander! We literally had to cut our own Landing Zone’s (LZ’s) in the jungle.
To provide continuous and overlapping support, the Battery was employed in two3-gunsections and leapfrogged from LZ to LZ so all of the Infantry units were provided fire support. A sniper followed us and wounded several personnel to include my Btry XO. The sniper was ‘dispatched’ by a few well-placed direct fire rounds into the jungle. We had no major enemy contact until we were about ten miles from our base camp in An Khe. Close to dark, the 1-5 th Cav ran into a reinforced North Vietnamese Regular Army Regiment.
Defensive positions were quickly organized, as it was too late in the day for any kind of attack. To protect the 1/5th Cav during the night, B 1/77th FA fired continuous high angle fire all night long, firing a round about every 30 seconds. Re-supply became a major problem but CH-47 & CH-54 (Flying Crane) deliveries sustained the unit overnight. The next day additional Infantry and Artillery support were brought up to reinforce the 1-5 Cav. Two days later we were in base camp, being relieved and replaced by a ‘fresh’ unit.