Delta CACO Sit-Reps 2

Delta CACO
Sit Reps

Submitted by: Joe Sylvia, Delta CO


Setting the Stage:  CACO Delta was assigned small areas of responsibility  in close proximity to each CAP.  Generally, CAPs were located in the vicinity of a Vietnamese village and provided all facets of pacification efforts for its assigned village.  However, their most important function was providing security to the hamlet and it's residents.

Combined Action Platoon (CAP) Delta 2 was located alongside Route 1 approximately 15 clicks south of Danang, South Vietnam.  The CAP consisted of four (4) masonry buildings that housed Marine and PF personnel and provided their very small command post.  The central building in the compound had a second floor that closely resembled a tank "copula".  It was from this location that many ARTY fire missions as well as Air Support sorties were directed against VC activity.  Delta 2 was located adjacent to two hamlets Quang Loc Tay (1) and Phong Nhi.  Delta 2's radio call sign at the time was Motherhood 2.

Each and every Marine and Navy Corpsman that served with (and put up with) Delta CACO were of the highest caliber and executed their assigned responsibilities without hesitation each and every day under the harshest of conditions.  It goes without saying that some days were better than others.  One of the most superb, aggressive, uncannily accurate at predicting enemy activity as well as developing tactical missions "Field" Marines I ever had the pleasure of serving with was the CAP Commander of Delta 2.  Delta 2 was under the very capable command of SGT Robert ROCK, USMC.

The following after action report describing a single event that occurred two days before Christmas 1967 was submitted by Delta 2 Actual.

Motherhood 2B departed Delta 2 Compound at 231900H December 1967 there mission was to establish an overnight ambush site some 1200 meters to the north west.  The patrol was made up of 4 Marines and 5 PFs.  As the patrol was moving north on Route 1, 6 VC were observed approaching from the west moving toward "Zappers Gulch".  The Gulch was a continuous thorn in our side.  It was a wide open space that separated Delta 2 from Delta 1 and was the scene of various heavy contact ranging from mines in the road, booby traps in and around the rice paddy dikes, and snipers from the distant tree-line firing on passing vehicles.  Motherhood 2B set up a hasty ambush in perfect position to gather the approaching enemy.  However, the ambush was set off prematurely by one of the PF.  Later during questioning as to the reason why the PF opened fire, his reply was that he was scared   Delta 2 Actual was advised to keep a close watch on this particular PF.

The initial burst from Mother 2B's patrol followed the PF fire by a split second and resulted in 4 VC taken down.  LCPL W.J. Lewis, 2267286/0311, Delta 2B was wounded in the left hip.  LCPL Lewis regrouped his patrol and requested reactionary force from Delta 2.

Delta 2 Actual proceeded to the scene with a small reactionary force consisting of 3 Marines and 6 PFs.  An ARTY mission was called resulting in 4 WP and 7 HE rounds received on the suspected escape route.  CACO Delta also called an ARTY Fire Mission of 12 HE rounds on additional possible escape routes.  Leading to the infamous east-west trail.

Although LCPL Lewis sustained a superficial wound, he remained calm and in control of the situation throughout the entire episode.

The patrol returned to Delta 2.  Area will be swept at first light.  First light search resulted in 4 VC KIA; 2 AK 47 assault rifles, 2 M-1 rifles with equipment captured.  The area leading to the west from the contact location was followed.  Numerous blood stains were found along the escape route.

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