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Deadly Assault On Special Forces In Vietnam Left ‘Drag Marks And Blood Trails Throughout The Camp’

By Staff Writer
September 13, 2022
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One of the darkest days in Special Forces history occurred on a summer morning in 1968 in Vietnam. In the early hours of Aug. 23, the Da Nang MACVSOG camp known as FOB4 was attacked by approximately 167 soldiers from the combined units of the 22nd VC Sapper Battalion and members from the 23rd NVA Regiment operating in the local area. They managed to infiltrate from the seaside (East) and from the Village side (South) at the base of Marble Mountain. They met at the Vietnamese mess hall to receive their final instructions from the cook, who was a VC colonel. 

By design or luck, RT-Rattler was on top of Marble Mountain. At the same time, SFCs Cecil Ames and Larry Trimble were monitoring the observation post. At approximately 0215, an enemy recoilless rifle destroyed the adjoining Marine outpost known as Little Marble. That was the signal for the attack.

In groups of twos, the enemy roamed at will throughout the camp, throwing satchel charges and grenades into the various barracks, killing many Americans as they slept. They succeeded in blowing up the senior NCO barracks, various recon hooches, and the old TOC causing the first of many American casualties. An attempt to blow up the new concrete TOC was prevented by a lone communications sergeant. The main supply depot was blown up when the fire reached the LP canisters. Now, it was raining 82mm mortar fire from an unknown position. Confusion, chaos, and the unseen enemy ruled the first part of the night. A group of VC/NVA attempted to blow up the motor pool but were stopped in their tracks by a Filipino civilian and motor pool sergeant...

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