(John Olson/Stars and Stripes)

Near Landing Zone Ross, South Vietnam, Jan. 14, 1968: A Huey helicopter lands to pick up wounded from a combined infantry and cavalry mission that was halted when the North Vietnamese opened up with 75mm recoilless, 50 cal. and AK-47 rifles.

Stars and Stripes reported at the time that three tanks and one armored personnel carrier were destroyed and the Americans suffered five wounded during the action. Included were soldiers from B Troop, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment; C Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment; and A and D Squad, 1st Platoon, B Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. The units had been moving 1000 meters West along a road leading through the Que Sanh valley with the objective to take a hill some 500 meters away when a tank hit a 500 pound mine, injuring two, one seriously.

In a subsequent firefight, the NVA managed to disable a second tank as well as an armored personnel carrier, pinning the units down in the cross fire. After three hours of air strikes — some hitting as close as 50 meter from the men — the order to withdraw was given. A total of 22 NVA were killed. The action took place about 2,000 meters from Landing Zone Ross, north of Chu Lai.

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