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way to link up with Golf [Company G}." It did not work. The enemy
laid down a tremendous amount of both automatic and small arms fire
that literally stopped the attack dead in its tracks. Both the new company
commander, First Lieutenant Thomas A. Brown, and many of his key personnel
were wounded. According to Weise, Company B was in very bad straits-a
young, inexperienced Marine officer had assumed the command and was
close to panic. At that point. Captain Vargas of Company G made radio
contact with him and in a "calm, confident voice settled the excited
Marine down, enabling him to gain better control of the situation."35

Fortunately, Weise's Company E under Captain James E. Livingston,
after crossing the dangerous stream* to the west, arrived at An Loc
about 1730 from its former position on Route 1. With the coming of darkness,
Lieutenant Colonel Weise ordered Company B to pull back to An Loc. Both
Captain Livingston and First Lieutenant Clyde W. Mutter, the commanding
officer of the reconnaissance platoon, "personally led a number of small
expeditions during darkness, across the fire-swept rice paddies, and
helped Bravo Company successively withdraw back to An Loc with all its
wounded." By this time, Company F had rejoined Company H in Dong Huan.
In its tight perimeter in the northeastern part of Dai Do, with supporting
arms and light provided by flare ships, Company G repulsed several attempts
of the North Vietnamese to overwhelm its positions. Casualties had been
heavy for both sides on 1 May. The Marines suffered 24 dead and 44 wounded
and evacuated. BLT 2/4 took 2 prisoners and reported 91 enemy dead.36


With enemy probes all along his positions, Lieutenant Colonel Weise spent a long sleepless night as he prepared his plans for the next day. Worried about the ability of Company G to continue to hold out in Dai Do, after learning according to one prisoner that the North Vietnamese had at least 12 companies in Dai Do, Weise decided upon a predawn attack. Company E was to attack to the northwest from An Loc into Dai Do and link up with Company G. The two companies would then clear the hamlet. If the attack stalled, Weise planned to send in Company H. Companies F and B would continue to secure Dong Huan and An Loc, respectively, and be prepared to reinforce.37


About 0500 on 2 May, while Company G provided covering fire, Company E left its line of departure for attack positions south of Dai Do." Heavy enemy fire caused two of the Company E platoons to hesitate, but Captain Livingston personally led his reserve platoon to regain the momentum. At the same time, Company G attacked the enemy positions in southern Dai Do from the rear. The fighting would continue for several hours at close range with the Marines using flamethrowers, white phosphorous, grenades, satchel charges, and LAAWs (light antitank assault weapons) to crack the NVA bunkers and kill the enemy troops inside them. As one Marine squad leader with Company E observed, the NVA were "in fortified positions and bunkers and not moving."38 Although wounded by grenade fragments, Captain Livingston continued to encourage and prod his men forward. By about 0930, the two companies had secured Dai Do.39


About a half-hour earlier. Colonel Hull made another visit to Lieutenant Colonel Weise's temporary command post at An Loc. Satisfied with the progress of the attack, Hull directed the BLT commander to continue "to keep the pressure on the enemy." Weise remonstrated that his unit "had just about run out of steam." He recommended instead reinforcement by other battalions to his north and on both his flanks. Using anvil and hammer tactics, the battalions on the north would attack south and squeeze the NVA between them and the Marines in Dai Do. At this point, however, Colonel Hull had few available resources and could only promise Weise that he would try to get the 2d ARVN to cover BLT 2/4 s western flank.40


About noon, Colonel Hull informed the BLT 2/4 commander that an ARVN mechanized battalion would be available. Using the stream to the west of Dai Do as a boundary, the ARVN were to capture the ham-



* According to Lieutenant Colonel Weise the stream was "nearly unfordable," being about five and a half feet deep and fairly swift running. Livingston solved the problem by having a "half dozen of his tallest Marines strip down, plant themselves in the deepest parr of the stream, and pass the shorter, heavily laden Marines hand-to-hand to the shallow water." Weise, "Memories of Dai Do," p. 19.


** Master Gunnery Sergeant James W. Rogers, who at the time was the 1st Squad Leader, 3d Platoon, Company E, recalled that during the night of 1-2 May his squad had the mission of establishing an "ambushMistening post outside of An Loc and to remain in position until dawn." He and his squad emplaced their position near a burial mound about 75-100 yards in front of the company perimeter. Just before daylight, they heard voices in front of them. Assured by Captain Livingston that this was not a friendly patrol, Rogers thought that they may be NVA attempting to surrender and called out to them in Vietnamese asking if they were Chieu Hoi. The NVA opened fire and the Marines responded with their M16s and a M60 machine gun. The firefight ended and the Marine squad pulled back to the company perimeter ro take part in the attack. MGySgt James W. Rogers, Comments on draft, dtd 2lNov94 (Vietnam Comment File).






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