Hmmm...what is a CAP unit?
Ah ha..see: Combined Action Program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I just finished reading a book series from a writer named David Sherman titled "the night fighters (I think it was 6 books.)
In 1967 David Sherman was deployed to a Marine CAP unit in Vietnam. "The Night fighters" is a fictional story based near DaNang.
It was a pretty good read, & I learned a lot about the CAP units (that I was completely unaware of until then)
I got them all on Itunes for $1.99 each, well worth it.
He has a bunch of books, most have been pretty good.
YES! My Cousin, Ronald Chastain II was a newly minted Marine Corps Butter Bar, and freshly sent to the 'Nam. He earned the displeasure of his superiors by failing to return "an accurate body count", and was thus re-assigned to the CAP. His AO was 68 klicks notrh-west of the A Shaw valley in some shithole without a name.
When he arrived, his "squad" numbered 18 Marines who had similarly earned the displeasure of their superiors, and some 44 PF militia. Cousin Ron took three days to observe and formulate a plan. On day 4, he called out, and proceeded to knock out the "leader" of the Marine Contingent, a Corporal. The rest fell in line quickly. Cousin Ron then proceeded to fully equip, and train both the Marines, and the PF Militia to a combat effective status. Then they went hunting.
As Cousin Ron tells it, they departed after midnight. They deployed in three or four slim columns, separated by less than a klick. They carried knives in their hands, and their rifles on their backs.
If they encountered any VC, or the very occasional NVA, they would stalk them in a three man team, get to within 3 meters, and then strike. Silence, and a very bloody corpse were the only things they left behind.
The PF militia were naturals at this night movement, and taught the Marines a lot about how to move, when to move, and how to disappear at will. Cousin Ron allowed the PF militia to elect their own Officer, and then the Officer chose a Sergeant with the assent of the militia; right out of the American Revolutionary War. The Sergeant then appointed his Corporal with the assent of the Officer. Cousin Ron ensured that these folks were officially recognized in these offices by the Provincial Governor.
Bottom line: The NVA took notice, put a bounty on Cousin Ron, the Officer, the NCOs, and every other member of that CAP formation. I have no idea what kind of body count could be attributed to that CAP formation. I do know that the surrounding areas went very quiet once the NVA took notice. All of the Gomers were flooding in by order or opportunity to get Cousin Ron dead.
The Marines have a long history of using these kinds of tactics. They have proven themselves to be very adept at this kind of warfare. Sadly, their leaders are not always as smart as their Doers.
God Bless the United States Marines!
Imagine whirled peas
Peace, Love, And Superior Firepower
Bellson,, that was my A.O. also from 70-72. He must have been stationed out of Quan-tri, out on one of the fire bases. There's was the same mission as ours, search and destroy/ air assault. We did work with them and Marine arty in that area for my whole tour. They were good troops. Wonder if by some small chance in Hell we did missions together?? Could very well be. It would be a small world if we did,now wouldn't it? Quan-Tri was where allot of the Marine's were stationed, and only <than a click away from where I was.
Ask him,, I was out of Camp Eagle, 2/17 Air Cav, 101st Airborne. I'll bet he was real close by. Ask about Lam Son 917 mission,, lots of Marines in on that one with us. It was a later version of the Tet offensive,, same scenario, just later and in that area.