Manchu "Keep up the Fire"

            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 Honor. 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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