Written by SP4 Richard Craig
in the Cavalair newspaper

 This article has been preserved by Charles Berg and I am posting it here for the heroism of the brave men who fought with Charles on LZ Ike.

      TAY NINH—-The six men on the listening post, already heavily concealed in thick underbrush and bamboo, crouched still lower as they heard the unusual noise to their front.

     Stirring as cautiously as possible, Sgt. Johnny White raised his head and peered into the darkness.  Ahead of him, six North Vietnamese soldiers were busy setting up an 82mm mortar position.

     As he turned to alert his fellow soldiers, the chilling “whoosh” of 107mm rockets sounded overhead as they slammed inside the perimeter of Landing Zone Ike, a firebase 15 miles northeast of here.

     It was the beginning of round three in the fight of LZ Ike, an isolated piece of real estate in War Zone C, manned by the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry and long a major impediment to the NVA blocking their main infiltration and supply route in 111Corps.

     It was the second time in less than 48 hours and the third time in less than a month that the enemy, in ever-increasing numbers, had been thwarted in attempts to overrun the LZ.

     In a dawn sweep of the battlefield, 90 enemy bodies were found.  Five soldiers were detained.

     The LZ was hit by 30-35 107mm rockets, about 40  57mm rounds, 80 B-40 shells, 45 82mm and 60  60mm mortar rounds, and received heavy 51 caliber machine gun fire.

     The listening post, trapped to the northwest of LZ Ike, was ordered to return to the firebase.  The six men soon realized they were caught in a cross-fire but continued their flight towards the friendly position.

     “I’ve never seen so many enemy in my life,” said Private First Class Mario Mejia.  “We fragged the mortar position when we pulled back and kept fragging a path straight towards Ike.”

     “We were lucky to get back,”said SGT White.  “not one man on the LP got as much as a scratch.  It was a miracle.”

     Huey Cobra artillery helicopters added to the aerial firepower.

     “The smoke was so thick by the time we got there it was difficult to detect targets,” said Captain Reave Ross, pilot of one the Battery A, 2nd Battalion, 20th Artillery aircraft.

     Over 200 rounds of tube artillery were fired in support of the LZ during the night.

     Contact was broken at 2:40 AM as what was left of the enemy force evaded to the north.                           I hope this is helpful to anyone looking for information about those nights.WAR IS HELL.!!!  

 Posted by Randall at 3/30/2011 6:11 PM

Categories: 1st Cavalry Airmobile, 1st Cavalry Division, US Army, 1st Cav, LZ Ike, Vietnam


  1. I was sent to Liz Ike,only because Lz Becky was over run by the Nva the night I was to be dropped off was right around the beginning of August 1969.i was with first cav 2/8.i had only been in country,about a week,right after first cav training camp.i was assigned to recon.there was 2squads of ten each. I heard we were replacing the 2/5,but I didn’t know about the previous ground attacks you mentioned.i found out pretty quick,though,when we were attacked by an Nva battalion in about mid September.we repelled the attack,but when the sun came up,there was about 8 dead nva,in front of our bunker.we were tasked to walk around the Lz,and count the bodies.i recall about 68,but someone else reported about 40.myself,and 3 others were picked for LP the next night.we went out in the woods,about 1/2 of a the middle of the night,a mortar shell,landed close by us,and all of us were wounded.we crawled behind a fallen tree for cover.our radio took shrapnel,and wouldn’t work,so we couldn’t call the LZ.a search party was sent for us the next day,and we were carried back to the LZ,by stretchers,and mules.that was sept 15. None of us died,,but myself and 2 others,were in bad shape.the 4th guy had a piece of shrapnel go through his bicep.thats my LZ Ike experience.i went from there to Japan,and then to Fitzsimmons hospital in Denver for 4 months.yeah your right,it was hell on that filthy LZ.ive always felt lucky to leave alive,after seeing all those poor guys in Yokohama,missing arms and legs.

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