The Last Bayonet Charge in Vietnam

I was a Marine grunt in Vietnam. I served with 2nd squad, 2nd platoon of BLT 1/26, a Marine Special Landing Team.

I won’t call myself a hero, in fact no real Marine would, it is considered an insult to call a Marine a hero, always has been. Let’s talk about “Dying Delta.” That would be Delta Company, 1/26.

We also had a unit called “The Walking Dead” which was 1st Bn, 9th Marines. Frankly, these were just names people made up. I can talk a bit about Delta though. Back during the summer of 69, Delta Company was set up on a perimeter a couple of clicks inland between Hoi An and Chu Lai.

    We were operating, supposedly, with the Korean Marines. In truth, they were living on ships and we were fighting. This is how Americans buy their allies. This was war like TV, bayonet charges, death every day, continual combat.

Delta had been surrounded by a large force of North Vietnamese Army troops, maybe numbering in the thousands. This was like the movie Zulu, for those familiar with such things.

The area had once been French, half destroyed villages here and there and abandoned plantations, even hedge rows like in Normandy, except temperatures well over 100 degrees with stifling humidity.

Delta had sent out a patrol that had gotten past a hedge row and was ambushed. Our squad was called in to get them.
We had three Amtracks, huge lumbering vehicles that picked us up and brought us to the other side of the hedge row, where we could hear the wounded on the other side.

This was a wild ride, several kilometers cross country, but I am getting ahead of myself.