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6,000 meters east of the town ot Phu Loc, recalled several years later
that in November or December 1967 while on patrol he stumbled upon what
was in effect 'a relief map made on the ground.' The 'map' consisted
of 'rocks, sticks, and pieces of bamboo and leaves' depicting the Marine
base at Phu Bai, Route 1, and all of the Combined Action platoons in
'Hotel' Company. Duguid remembered that a rock denoted Phu Loc headquarters
and little sticks signified Marine and South Vietnamese defensive bunkers.
He passed this information up the chain of command, but received no
reaction to the intelligence. Concurrently, however, the defector from
the 4th NVA Regiment provided supporting testimony about enemy
intentions. He related that the enemy Tri-Thien Military Region
had ordered all units under its command to carry out a major campaign
before Tet: 'The VC would attack like lightning and occupy a few ARVN
bases and [then] will use the (Tet) cease-fire period for resupply of
food.' III MAF intelligence officers gave credence to such a stratagem
as in accordance with a North Vietnamese resolution to sever Thua Thien
and Quang Tri Provinces from South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese rallier
declared that the first phase of the enemy campaign in the Phu Loc area
would include the destruction of bridges on Route 1 'to paralyze the
supply route' followed by a 'coordinated attack against the Phu Loc
sub-sector using both infantry and sapper units.'53*

By the beginning of the year, the enemy forces in Phu Loc had opened
their first phase of the offensive. From 23 December through 6 January,
enemy guerrillas and sappers launched a series of attacks against allied
convoys and bridges along Highway 1 from the Hai Van Pass to the bridge
over the Truoi River. For example on 4 January near Company D positions,
Marine engineers discovered three destroyed culvert bridges. Not satisfied
with blowing the bridges, the enemy sappers had 'booby-trapped' the
surrounding


''Colonel Robert J. Keller remembered that in late December 1967 or early
January 196S one of the Combined Action Platoons in his sector, CAP Hotel
4, located just south of the Truoi River Bridge 'killed up to eleven NVA
officers in an ambush in what appeared co be a pre-troop movement scouting
mission.' Keller Comments.




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