Delta 4 Overrun, 11Sept67

Delta 4

Submitted by: George Lepre

The following was submitted by George Lepre, the Army Veteran who is doing his graduate thesis at Yale. He came across this while doing his research. Can anyone add any details to this report?

"11September (1967): CAP D-4 was overrun by approximately 150 VC at 0330H. This action resulted in 7 USMC KIA; 7 USMC WIA; 2 PF KIA; and 5 PF WIA."

Thanks, George.

Subject: Delta-4.


I just wanted you to know that I have 2nd and 3rd hand information on Delta 4 being overrun on 9-11-67. I was in CAG School at the time at China Beach. The Instructors were using D-4 as an example of what could happen to marines in the Units. They were calling it the "Little Alamo" at the time because the September overrun was I "think" the third time that it was overrun since the beginning of the Deltas. It was taught to us in "boogieman" style, i.e.: "This could be you."

I took over Delta-4 in January, 1968. The "old salts" of the unit told me that: The unit was on two sides of the road, effectively cut in half. When I arrived it had been consolidated to only one side of the road with the river at the South side and the road at the North. The "Bad Guys" hit the compound from east and west right through the weakest points of defense, the road, with its removable gates.

I was told that the Village Chief of the East Village was among the attackers, along with known Villagers. There was another village to the West. They were known as the "good" ville, and the
VC ville. Almost all enemy contact during patrols and medCaps happened to the East and northeast of the compound, basically near or in the VC Ville.

Sappers came first and threw satchel charges into all the bunkers, they were inside the wire before any alert went up. The main VC unit was more of a cleanup action than an attack because of the effectiveness of the sappers. It was reported that many of the PFs were untrustworthy.

You have to understand that what I was told was an amalgamation of unit history from a lot of guys who weren't there during the attack, however, some were there during the cleanup and were
left to keep the unit operating after the Medivacs. They were the ones who got the first hand stories. We all know that such stories take on a life of their own after time.

I do have one comment on the PFs at Delta-4. When I took over, I was inspecting the fixed machine gun posts. I found that every 3rd or 4th round of the .50 Cal. Machine gun with approx.
200 rounds linked into a huge box was "short rounded" i.e.: the round was pushed past the link keeper at the base of the round which would cause it to fail to enter the breech of the weapon.
Same thing with the tripod M-60. The CO of CACO Delta was KIA on 3-7-68 so we can't ask him. Please don't take what I was told as "Gospel." However, I personally believe most of what I say is factual.

Semper Fi Duffie,
John Nettleton

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