View Full Version : On this day in the Vietnam war

06-24-2009, 10:19 PM
20-Minute Tale
“Hair-Raising” Ambush Kills Eight Viet Cong

It, was 8:10 p.m. and Sergeant Carlos Encarnacion, 19, Rio Granda, P.R., was leading his eight-man ambush patrol 700 yards beyond the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, perimeter.
At 8:30 on the dark, moonless night, the ambush was over and the men were returning to the base camp.
What happened in the intervening twenty minutes is a hair-raising tale.
“We picked the spot with a lake to our front and set out four Claymores on the other side of the berms in the paddy,” said Encarnacion.
“I put my machine gunner on the corner of the L-shaped ambush so he could cover both sides.”
“We weren’t there five minutes when a flare went off from the base camp and we all hit the ground,” continued the squad leader, who received the Bronze Star Medal for valor on another division operation.
When the squad got up the excitement began. Specialist Four Manuel Flores, 20, of East Los Angeles, Calif., the machine gunner, looked over the berm and saw 12 Viet Cong moving into the “Wolfhound” position.
“They were so close,” said Flores, “that I had to give the warning ‘VC!’ in a whisper. Our Claymores were no good because the VC already were between us and the mines. The only thing I could do,” continued Flores, “was stand up and fire a 200-round burst . . . the whole can of ammo. The first VC fell about three feet from me,”
The ambush squad, alerted by Flores’ whispered warning, began to withdraw, still firing at the enemy.
In the midst of the shooting, a rifle grenade landed on the berm in front of Flores.
“It rolled to the other side and went off. I guess I was lucky. It just grazed my cheek and burned my elbow,” said Flores.
Since no VC were standing when the grenade came in, the men figured it was fired as an enemy soldier was hit by a barrage of machine gun bullets. Two other men were nicked by grenade fragments.
The following morning, eight bodies were found along with four weapons, two of which were fitted with rifle grenade adapters.

06-25-2009, 01:46 AM