| On March 2, 1968, the men of
Company C, 4th Batalion, 9th Infantry "Manchus" walked into what was to become one of the worst single
encounter loss of life incidents in the history of the Vietnam war. Many
of the people who visit this site were members of C Company, members of
nearby units that assisted the survivors, or others whose lives have been
touched directly or indirectly by this action. This page is dedicated to
all Manchus killed in action in Vietnam, and dedicated on the 30th anniversary of the aforementioned event.|
March 2, 1968
| On March 2, 1968 48 members of Co C 4th/9th and 2 members of the
65th Engineers gave all they had to give in service to their country. Their loss occurred
during an ambush by a large communist force on Rt 248 north and east of Tan Son Nhut near
the small village of Quoi Xuan. In addition, Co C suffered 24 wounded while Co D suffered
casualties in the fighting to reach Co C.
On February 22, 1968 the Manchus closed the base at Katum which had served as the large
forward base for the 1st BDE near the Cambodian border during Operation Yellowstone.
After only one day at Tay Ninh to prepare, the Manchus moved out to Cu Chi and eventually
arrived north of Tan Son Nhut on February 25. The mission was to find and destroy rocket
sites that had been used to fire on Tan Son Nhut Air Base since the Tet Offensive began
nearly a month earlier. Numerous other infantry units were operating in the surrounding
areas, and the Manchus were dropped into the middle. Bravo lost two men killed in action
the first day.
Initially, various Manchu companies suffered casualties nearly every day. On February 27,
Bravo was pinned down nearly all day with a KIA. Attempts to recover the body resulted in
several more wounded and the death of the Bn Executive Officer, MAJ William Roush while
making his own brave recovery attempt. This same day Charlie company succeeded in
finding the rocket site - a major objective of the operation.
On March 1, Bravo was again pinned down by a significant communist force, suffering
several killed and wounded, and was eventually forced to withdraw with the assistance of
Alpha Co. Because of this action, the plan for March 2 was for air strikes and artillery into
this same area followed by an assault by companies A, C, and D with Co B in reserve. The
Bn was to move south down a section of Rt 248 believed to be relatively secure before
moving off the road toward the objective to the west. The order would be Charlie Co.
followed by Delta, and then Alpha.
At 9:00 AM, Charlie Co. came under heavy fire from a large enemy force concealed in
bunkers and spider holes along Rt 248. The initial barrage lasted
approximately 8 minutes, but sniper fire by rear guard elements hindered movement by Delta,
Alpha, and Bravo for much of the day. For courageous action during the battle, SP4 Nicholas
J. Cutinha of Charlie Co. was to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of
Manchu Alpha, Bravo, and Delta continued operations in this area and took many more
casualties until finally leaving on March 11, 1968. Rocket sites had been destroyed, and a
formidable communist force had been weakened, if not destroyed. But, it had come at a great
cost to the Manchus and particularly the courageous men of Charlie Company.|
~~ 4/9 Manchus ~~
|ALVAREZ-TAPIA, JOSE LUIS ||AVERY, GERALD LAWRENCE ||BONDS, CHARLES EDWARD|
|BRANDTS, HARLAN RAY ||BYERS, JERRY WALTER ||CAWLEY, WILLIAM BRACE JR|
|CAYSON, ALVIN LLOYD ||CUTINHA, NICHOLAS JOSEPH ||ELIOT, BRUCE JR|
|FRAZIER, GARY VIRGIL ||FROST, MICHAEL DENNIS ||GALLAGHER, RAYMOND LEROY|
|JOHNSON, CAL DUAIN ||JOHNSON, LAWRENCE ||JORDAN, JACK JOSEPH JR|
|LANIER, LEE ROY ||LEE, CHARLIE FRANK ||MATHIS, JAMES RUFUS|
|MC GEE, ROBERT JUNIOR ||MELOTT, CHARLES EDWARD ||MOORE, LEONARD DAVID|
|MORK, THOMAS LEE ||MOYER, BARRY LEE ||O LAUGHLIN, JAMES FRANCIS|
|PAGE, ROY DONALD ||RASSANO, WILLIAM ||REYES, JOSE ANGEL|
|RIVERS, MICHAEL ROSS ||SALVANI, RONALD LANDON ||SKAGGS, WILLARD JR|
|SLANE, RONALD ALLEN ||VERGARA-ARBIL, AUGUSTINE ||STOCKTON, CLIFFORD GEOFFREY|
|SWAZICK, DANNY GEORGE ||TALL, WARREN LEE ||THOMPSON, JOHN MICHAEL|
|TITSWORTH, CARREL JEAN ||VELVET, WALTER C JR ||WALDEN, LARRY HUSTON|
|WATKINS, GARY WINSTON ||WEST, PAUL EDWARD ||WHEELER, DARRELL EUGENE|
|OLDHAM, KENNETH LINDLE ||WILLIAMS, JOSEPH JEROME ||WILLIAMS, VIRGIL LAWRENCE|
|WINGET, KENNETH WAYNE ||YOUNG, DANNY STEPHEN ||YOUNG, WILLARD FRANK|
~~ 65th Engineers ~~
LARRY A. WIDENER ARISTIDES SOSA
| Young Warriors;|
Should fate find you on the battlefield,
May your cause be a just one.
May your courage not falter.
May you show mercy to your enemies.
May your efforts bring the blessings of peace.
May you be triumphant and earn victory.
May your sacrifice be always appreciated.
May you endure the conflict unharmed.
Should you be harmed,
May your wounds heal.
Should you perish in the struggle,
May God embrace you and find a
Place for you in his Kingdom.
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