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War Stories

HoBo Fight Kills 68

Hounds Aid Cav



Vol 3 - No 8 - 19 Feb 1968

See the main War Story Page for this - Battle of the Hobo Woods 29 Jan 1968

 CU CHI - A relief column of U.S. infantrymen battled an estimated Viet Cong battalion recently to aid a stricken reconnaissance patrol, 55 kms north-northwest of Saigon.

Elements of the 2nd Bn, 27th Inf "Wolfhounds," smashed through 250 meters of enemy bunkers, machine gun nests and trenches to save a 3rd Sqdn, 4th Cav platoon that had been pinned down by heavy enemy fire.

Sixty-eight Viet Cong were killed during the bitter fighting.  Eight Americans died and 15 were wounded in the eight-hour battle.

The dug-in enemy gunners opened fire on the cavalry patrol shortly after helicopters dropped them into a landing zone in the northern sector of the HoBo Woods, late in the afternoon.

An hour later, the three-company relief force landed just south of the Viet Cong's position.  Describing the action, CPT Michael Wikan, Charlie Co commander, stated that his unit came under heavy RPG, automatic weapons and grenade fire minutes after landing.  The Wolfhounds returned fire and pushed their way to the edge of the tree line.

SSG James McCosh described the action as a pointman's fight.  "The VC would wait until you were looking down their gun barrels before they'd shoot."  It was McCosh's platoon that was the first to break through to the cavalrymen.

LTC Walter E. Adams, Wolfhound battalion commander, said his men did a magnificent job. "We landed just before nightfall, fought an enemy that was armed to the teeth in there, and fought all the way through the woods to that platoon," he said.

Adams explained that the gunships killed 25 of the 40 enemy reinforcements who were moving up during the critical stage - moments before his troops could link up with the reconnaissance platoon.

Many of the enemy were armed with brand new automatic weapons, rocket launchers and equipment, and seemed to have a limitless supply of ammunition, according to intelligence officers.

Captured in the encounter were eight AK-47 assault rifles, an SKS assault- rifle, a badly damaged RPG-2 rocket launcher, an 82mm mortar, one U.S. radio and hundreds of pieces of web gear, ammunition, and documents.