Photo is from the Col Robert G. Lauffer. USMC (Ret), Collection
Aerial view of the Northern Bunker Complex reveals
ifs location just below the La Tho River, near the top of the picture.
This was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting during Meade River.
On the 7th, the 3d Battalion, 26th Marines launched its assault into
the Northern Bunker Complex. Companies I, K, and L, maintaining their
line, swung to the left like a huge door, pivoting on Company H, 5ch
Marines and formed the battalion in a giant inverted "L." With the railroad
berm on their left and a three-company blocking position on their right.
Company A, 7th Marines and Drez' Company H launched a frontal attack.
Soon, the Marines ran headlong into stiff enemy resistance. Company
H made contact in a cemetery where North Vietnamese troops fighting
from two pagodas laid down heavy fire. Much of the ground was under
water, forming a quagmire through which the Marines were unable to maneuver.
On the left flank, NVA units in a fortified hamlet opened fire on Company
A and casualties began to mount. Soon, 10 Marines were dead and another
23 were wounded. Under the intense fire, the attacking companies recovered
their wounded only with great difficulty. Both companies halted, dug
in for the night, and called for preparation fires. After dark, volunteers
moved forward to recover the dead. Captain Foster, the commander of
Company A, recalled that he, six Marines, and a Navy corpsman participated
in the recovery of the dead and the wounded of his company. According
to Foster, the Navy corpsman continued treating casualties although
wounded himself and was among the last to be evacuated.73