In the wrong place!

> It must of been in the late spring because it was “TOO HOT” by morning. The Platoon Lt. called a squad and myself to accompanied him to investigate an incident between two Marine Companies. Apparently, a squad had been sent out to set up an ambush on a village for the first part of their mission and then move down to and across the river in order to set up another ambush next to the river. The second squad from a different company was ordered to set up outside the village and attack the VC/NVA as they left the area next the day. Intelligence had assured them that the village was a “hot bed” (you might say) of VC/NVA activity.
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> Well, everything went according to plan with the squad on the ambush setting up after dark and in the right place. However, unknown to them, the squad that was sent to attack the village at sunrise was to be in place by midnight. Honestly, no one understood why this squad was required to be there that long before the attack. The Intelligence Unit was not forthcoming with their thoughts on the matter (go figure–right?). Now comes the part where this well thought out plan takes a turn, the ambush squad moves out like they were told to; however, when they got to the river the Squad Leader in charge of these men decided that the river was running too fast and deep (it rains in VietNam—a lot!). So in accordance with S.O.P., they connect the Radio Operator on watch at Bn. back in An Hoa to let him know of their situation and the necessary change that was going to be made to their orders. They let it be known that this squad would be returning to the village where they had set up their first ambush and settled in for the rest of the night. It’s now midnight, the attack squad leaves their lines and process to their jump off point for their mission. Wait! Why didn’t the Bn. Radio Operator tell them of the presents of the other squad of Marines? Well, apparently he was a sleep on his watch! Actually, he did fell to sleep on his watch.
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> The next morning comes and the ambush squad is gathering their things to make ready to move out for their company position. The attack squad sees this action and getting excited about their luck at catching so many VC/NVA off guard. Some would think that maybe Intelligence got it right this time. We were never able to clearly find out about who fired the first shot but it was fired and “all hell breaks lose” between these two squads of Marines. It was a very intense firefight for a few minutes. When the Squad Leader called-up the 3.5 rocket—I was never sure why this unit would have brought a long something like that. My guess was that it was sent to them for this attack and the squad was reinforced with exera men—so why not fire it off and get rid of those rounds as fast as possible (you might have guess—I’m grunt). The rounds are too heavy to hump back to the company. Anyways, the ambush squad heard this order and figured that the only people who would use this fire power in a firefight would be other Marines. This is what saved this squad from some serious injuries. They were able to identify themselves to the other squad and put a stop to this fight.
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> The finding of this investigation was that the Bn Radio Operator failed to make note of the changes during his watch and neither of the squads were found at fault for what had happen. The problem is that this was not the only incident that occurred to my company. It has always amazed me how just one person in the chain not doing their job can put so many at risk. I have from time to time stop to think about how many situations or incidents Marines find themselves dealing with without other Americans knowing anything about it. The Navy Seals must have a pretty good P.R. person working for them—I guess.
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> As always, this is a true story—“Sh– you not”!
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> May peace be with you. Semper Fi

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19 thoughts on “In the wrong place!”

  1. You should have led with “This as a true story ,Sh** you not!” So many holes in this story ! Did you read the story before you sent it ?.You should read it. A.Mosely Wpns.E 2/1 68-69

    1. I don’t get what this story is to be about. Shit happens, if it is true you can find a report on it in the Bn records. I noticed there was no reference to any outfit. You are probably right, many holes in story. things like this happened all the time and if he were in a grunt line company he would know that it would be just another day. It’s called friendly fire and guys do die from it. Saw Jets take out squads artillery called on us and they won’t check fire cause they were sure it was the enemy. Dec66 to Aug68 back May69 till Aug69 went with 1/9, 2/9/, 3/9, 2/26 on many operations.

      1. You are right ,stuff happens but this version does’nt pass my smell test. All I know is that each Company in our unit (2/1) had a TOA and even a rookie “Butter Bar” would not send any one into another Co. TOA unless they wanted a court martial.

  2. “It happens” more than is reported. Recall how a patrol from another platoon walked in front of our LP. Lucky for them the grenades thrown at them were wet from monsoon rains. It was written off as “they got lost”. Our CAC ambush patrol was almost a target. No coordination between our people and the Grunt unit in the area. We made our Alpha and Brovo patrols up a month in advance so no reason for them not to know. We were also very, very familiar with our t.o.a.r. Lucky for us they had a sniper with one of those fancy Starlite scopes. He identified us and we went pasted them. I would bet Charlie knew where we where that night!

  3. I don’t know what happens these days but I can tell you that Marine grunts are well aware of this happening in Vietnam. I was there with 3/9/3 where we roamed all over Quang Tri Province and the surrounding areas in 66-67 and we saw it happen on several occasions and people died from it. On one of these occasions, it was the fault of the squad leader. He just got off course and walked into a Marine ambush. I do not know what the cause was on the other occasions we heard about. War is not a pretty thing and unfortunately for those involved, sometimes chit happens. I was fortunate enough to make it back. For those who didn’t, may God grant them peace. I will never forget them.

    1. I do not suggest this did not happen in nam I know it did ! I just do not buy this guys story! If in fact this birdbrains story is true,which I highly fn doubt, then the poor RO was a scapegoat!! I know I was only an “Ammo Humper” but that is my take on this story A Mosely Wpns plt E 2/1 69-69

  4. No name of the poster, no date of action and no unit, all suggesting this may be a re-telling of a sea story. The format looks like a re-post of someone else’s story

  5. This read is a bunch of BS! What I read is definitely a very lousy written bunch of crap. I Totally agree with a previous comment that each Marine Rifle Company had their own TAOR, as you see there was plenty of Nam bush to go around. As for the reference to the “Intelligence Unit” they were known to us as S-2, asshole. I question, what is a Marine Squad doing communicating directly with Battalion if not a Battalion OP? Usually we would communicate to our Company CP. As a Marine grunt who humped a year in the Bush I can tell you we kept or head on a swivel, and had good sound leadership. Semper Fi

    1. You are right on Izzy!! I was waiting for someone to bring up the fact that it was a company level op not bn Also in what world would anyone send a squad into the so called ” Hot Bed” ville This story would not even make a good t.v. movie!!

  6. Something fishy here, his ship is sinking. After our first Operation (Jackstay) in the Mekong Delta 4/66, BLT 1/5 where we lost some Marines to friendly fire, as you say, our heads were on a swivel the rest of the time we were in country. It’s happens, it is sh– you deal with. Hell, it happened within our own perimeter, Combat Base Hill 54

  7. not all that unusual.It did happen with my company on the squad level more then once.always in the early morning just after day break.They would put out so much fire power you know it was an all marine fire fight.and it was always be cause of rain.Kilo3/7 3PLT .67/68

  8. WHAT A RANGE OF COMMENTS. SOME SUPPORTING THE STORY SOME CALLING IT BULLSHIT. MY THINKING. WHY WOULD HE MAKE IT UP????? SHIT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. EVEN IN CIVILIAN LIFE. ASK ANY COP WHO CAME UNDER FRIENDLY FIRE. I BELIEVE IT’S PART OF WAR. HOW MANY OF US IN NAM WERE BOMBED OR SET ON FIRE BY ACCIDENT OR SHOT IN THE CHOW LINE. YOUR ALL SOMEWHAT CORRECT BUT ” SHIT DOES HAPPEN AND IS STILL HAPPENING. GIVE THE MARINE A BREAK. HE IS A MARINE AFTER ALL BRENDAN McCarron . VIETNAM 1ST MARINE AIR WING DANANG 1966 1968. SEMPER FI. MARINES. LETS TAKE CONGRESS OUT ON THE SHOOTING RANGE AND SEE WHO SURVIVES FRIENDLY FIRE OR PENDELTON FOR POW TRAINING AND FILM IT ALL THEN SHOW IT TO THE PUBLIC.

  9. How can you be so sure he is a Marine? Lot of faking wanabees out there making up stuff all the time We all know about friendly fire cases but this story just smells funny!!

  10. I was with the Engineers so I don’t know a lot about Grunt tactics but this story seems to be loaded with embellishments .I’ll never understand why some think it is necessary to try and be someone else Be proud of what you did ,no more no less we all had a job to do.I built bridges and ferries that transported convoys of supplies to the grunts in the bush and I am dog gone proud of it!!

  11. OK Marines let’s put a lid on this and assume there may have been some elements of this “story” that may have taken place some where in country and as recollected by the author. I just wanted to say I’m still skeptical go figure; 1. The deployed tactics, just doesn’t make sense having two squads from two different companies in proximity to one another for two different missions, strange? 2. When setting up to flush out usually VC and not NVA out of a village we deployed the “Hammer & Anvil” tactical maneuver where the fighting force on one end of the village would flush out an drive Sir Charles towards the awaiting blocking force to their demise. 3. We humped with a Weapons Team usually consisting of M60 guns and 60mm mortars, didn’t recall the “3.5 rocket”, but hell what did I know I was just a dumb Bush Marine. Semper Fi L3/7 Lima 3 Charlie 69-70 Quang Nam Province, RVN.

    1. You are right on again Izzy!! I agree it is time to let it go but,agree this a BS story with a lot of NON-MARINE tactics. A Mosely WPNS PLT. E-2/1 68-69

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