Submitted by: John Cooney
From an unknown issue of Leatherneck Magazine, published in late 1966. The article was sent to the CAP Web Site by John Cooney, CAC 7.
CAC Squad Repels Night Attack By VC
HUE/PHU BAI--A determined Marine sergeant and his squad, joined by Vietnamese Popular Forces (PFs), repelled a night attack by an estimated 30 Viet Cong.
Sgt. John Cooney, a squad leader of Combined Action Company (CAC)-7, was checking security inside his compound just off Highway One near here when a Marine atop the compound's two-story hospital heard people walking through the rice paddies about 50 yards away.
At the same time, on the other side of the compound, two PFs manning a bunker saw 10 men coming down the road.
Since there is an 8 PM curfew for all villagers in the surrounding area, the "noises" and 10 men were considered VC.
A hand illumination flare was fired by the Marine on top of the hospital. He saw 20 armed men emerging from the rice paddy just before they dropped to the ground for cover.
Cooney alerted the compound.
The PFs fired the first shot at the 10 men in the road.
The Marines opened up at the VC coming out of the rice paddy.
The firing lasted only a few minutes before the VC retreated.
Cooney said, "The attackers fired about 10 rounds at the compound and hit nothing but the side of the hospital."
He sent a patrol out next morning to search the area where the VC were seen. Nothing was found except foot prints leading in and out of the rice paddy.
According to the villagers around CAC-7, about 30 VC had tried to attack the compound. They said that the VC were armed with sub-machine guns, grenades, and "long knives."
"If the VC want to take CAC-7 and my men, they'll have to hit more than the side of a hospital when they shoot and use more than 30 men," said Cooney.