PFC David Wayne Derry
The next is an account of actions that Firm B, 2nd Battalion of the Twenty second Infantry Regiment, twenty fifth Infantry Division have been concerned in throughout the previous couple of weeks of March 1968.
Firm B, 2nd Battalion of the Twenty second Infantry Regiment was process organized underneath the twenty fifth Infantry Division to take part in Operation Wilderness in March of 1968. The operation was the second in a collection of operations to counter North Vietnamese Military (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC) following the Tet Offensive beginning in January 1968.
The earlier U.S. Operation Yellowstone had been very profitable in reaching an analogous mission in a neighboring province. The twenty fifth Infantry Division process drive was assigned to hunt out and destroy enemy forces and tools within the neighborhood of the city Tay Ninh and the province of Dau Tieng to facilitate freedom of motion within the space.
Within the Tay Ninh to Dau Tieng space enemy forces had established base camps and cache places that have been enabling NVA and VC operations inside the area with good provide strains resulting in the Cambodian border roughly 30km to the west.
The NVA and VC forces have been estimated at round 2,500 to three,000 personnel of which 1,200 have been thought-about fight Troopers.
The climate was general excellent, permitting for full air assist protection, and the terrain was usually flat however diversified from triple cover jungle with slim roads to massive open fields and rice paddies sometimes limiting car motion to established roads.
From 18-21 March 1968. B Co., 2-Twenty second Infantry Regiment’s particular mission was to conduct base-camp safety operations in addition to conduct reconnaissance in drive (RIF) clearing the principle provide route (MSR) between the province Dau Tieng and the city of Tay Ninh.
On 18 March, B Firm had sustained heavy casualties when 9 U.S. Troopers have been killed in motion on account of a heavy bombardment of their base camp of roughly 40 80mm mortar rounds. Over the subsequent few days mortar hearth continued, nonetheless didn’t lead to any extra casualties.
Every day B Firm would conduct RIF to brush, clear and “re-open” the MSR between the province Dau Tieng and the city of Tay Ninh as a result of heavy enemy exercise within the space.
As a result of terrain constraints, B Firm was largely constrained to mechanized journey on the MSR.
22 March 1968. B Firm performed route clearance on the identical MSR utilizing a RIF with Recon Platoon in assist. From what the data present, roughly mid-morning the lead armor personnel service, more than likely an M113, hit a 50lb stress detonated anti-tank mine within the neighborhood of the purple arrow on the hooked up map. The explosion resulted within the demise of PFC Derry and the wounding of one other American Soldier together with closely damaging the M113 they have been using in.
The next a number of days B Firm returned to base camp safety and route- clearance duties, nonetheless now with accompanying engineer assist for route clearance. Throughout this level within the struggle it was a typical tactic for U.S. Troopers to line the ground and prime of the M113’s in sandbags for extra safety in addition to using on the roof of the car because the risk from sniper hearth was lower than the specter of hitting a mine or improvised explosive gadget.
The above account is the most effective info out there to the First Military Command Historian based mostly upon given info relating to PFC David Derry and relating to the twenty fifth Infantry Division’s actions in the course of the week of 18-22 March 1968.
The data was requested by Lieutenant Basic Antonio A. Aguto, Commanding First Military.
Compiled by Captain Kevin Braafladt
First Military Command Historian