506th Airborne Infantry

Regiment Association

Hoi Chanhs Forecast Eagle Rocket Attack

July 30, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Transcribed article from The Screaming Eagle weekly Army newspaper

Vol. 1, No. 37 -- 101st Airborne Division -- December 9, 1968 -- page 3

CAMP EAGLE -- Paratroopers of the 3rd Brigade recently encountered two Hoi Chanhs (ralliers to the Vietnamese government) who proved unusually informative.

"I questioned the two former Viet Cong, and they warned me that Camp Eagle would receive eleven 122 mm. rockets at 6:30 that night," explained a South Vietnamese interpreter who has been in the field with C Co., 1st Bn., 506th Abn. Inf. for 11 months.

"We rushed the pair back to intelligence officers by helicopters and continued our mission," he continued.

Later, as the company was setting up its night defensive position, a series of violent explosions rocked Camp Eagle several miles away.

"My foxhole was only half dug, but I managed to squeeze into it in a hurry," said Sgt. Jim Ayling, Jamestown, N.Y. "Then I remembered what the Hoi Chanhs had said and glanced at my watch. It was 6:32."

A light fire team of gunships from the 159th Assault Helicopter Co. raked the launch sites with rockets and mini gun fire. An artillery barrage, under the control of the 2nd Bn., 319th Abn. Arty., followed.

"Both our gunships and artillery responded quickly," Ayling said. "Evidently, our intelligence people had heeded the warning of the Hoi Chanhs."

The next day, the former Viet Cong were brought out to C Co. to walk with the point element.

"They led us to a hooch which had been used as a rest station," Ayling continued. "Later, we uncovered ten 82 mm. mortar rounds and blew them in place."

The Hoi Chanhs then pointed out an area where the NVA had detonated small quantities of TNT to give the false appearance of rocket flashes the previous evening.

"Apparently, their attempt at deception didn't work too well," Ayling grinned, as he pointed out a launching apparatus which had taken a direct hit by either an artillery round or a rocket from a gunship.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software