Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

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Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Fri May 28, 2010 12:10 pm

New to the board. Have been bugging some members the last few days about hill 37. Busy weekend no one has responded I was the Echo forward observer assigned to Echo from September 1, 1967 until the end of February 1968. I have good pictures and information on other incidents but have not found anyone who can provide inside information on the hill. I would appreciate anyone who might know some specifics.

willy,

mr billwilly
Last edited by mr billwilly on Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby John Foster » Fri May 28, 2010 5:19 pm

Hi Willy,
I got your e-mail through my wifes e-mail address. I was getting ready to reply but saw this post first. You should get a lot of responses from this post.

I was on Hill 37 on Feb 2nd with Echo. I was hit with an AK-47. The round entered my right side (through cartridge belt) and exited left side (also cartridge belt).
A man by the name of Johnson (from Alabama) came to my aid with his radio and called for corpsman up. He then got hit in the wrist holding the radio and in the left shoulder (one round). He bailed for cover. Cpl Daniel Boone was the squad leader. He and others made several attempts to rescue me. The gooks were using me for bait. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, Boone ran to my position and threw a poncho near me. As he was running for cover he yelled at me to get on the poncho or he was going to leave my ass on the hill. I managed to crawl onto the poncho. Boone and another Marine whom I think was Barry Allen ran to my position and grabbed the corners of the poncho and dragged me to the botom of the hill. Doc Abbott administered 1st aid (morphine) and I was med-evaced on a 6-by with other wounded to Cam Lo. Its my understanding that Cam Lo was getting hit pretty hard at the time. I don't remember, probably due to loss of blood and morphine.
You are welcome to e-mail me at gunnyjohn@earthlink.net
John Foster on point
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Sun May 30, 2010 11:25 am

I do not know why but as we walked from the Hill Mike area on Route 9 and proceeded to move down the road to the hill 37 area it was my understanding that the hill was occupied by friendly forces known as either popular forces or ARVN.

I was the forward observer walking near the captain and as we first gained site of the hill I noticed 1 NVA come out and peek over the side and disappear.

It was too late most likely because I believe our forward unit had passed under the hill on the road and was in position to go up the road to the hill top. I have no idea why we would go up there if it was occupied by friendlies.

I can still see that NVA coming out on top of the hill. He had something rifle like in one hand and he was gone in an instant. I communicated to the captain that this does not look right. I do no know what the process was to get the word out to everybody. I heard later or observed later someone running up toward the entrance yelling we are friendlies we are friendlies. I am not sure that happened so I assume I just heard it later.

After I communicated that this does not look right I started lobbying for withdrawal to assess and later withdrawal to call in anything that we could get. Did not happen as I suggested.

It did not work out that way and the thing I remember is the captain at the bottom wire and his radio operator trying to cut the bottom wire. I do not know what they had to cut wire with and I have no idea what the plan was for the rest of the wire and possible mines. This was a steep brushy hillside and we were at the top and then things started exploding all around.

mr willy
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby beeman » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:34 pm

I was the first one up the hill that nite. The Capt. want ed volunteer and I went. I have more of the store email me at beeman1@comcast.net.
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:01 am

Beeman, I did e-mail you but I keep ending up in peoples junk mail. You might check it as I will send it again.

mr willy
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby edconradt » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:06 pm

Hi Willy I was the Company Gunny with Capt. Sams when we made the assault on hill 37l , so you had to be near us with the C.P. group as you said. When we left camp carol the info we had was the hill was not occupied . we crossed Rt 9 on the north side and went up hill 26 when we obs, observed movement on hill 37. We contacted the battalion they informed us they could be friendlies , so to be careful the skipper left one plt to give us cover fire in case and we proceeded down the road to come up the front of the hill, and that is when all hell broke lose. The plt. we left on the other hill came under fire first and then on both sides of hill 37 in the ravines we came under fire . The skipper then sent one Plt. up the road with the CP group to follow, when you saw the skipper on the wire trying to cut i, we were not sure if the area had mines in it as this used to be an old french outpost. Hope this will help you out S/F Gunny Ed
Echo Company Gunny Dec 67 to Oct 68
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby pat » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:37 am

Gunny Ed
do you remember a sgt. Hollar, he was my platton sgt. for 2nd plt. Im not sure of the spelling of his last name.
Pat Corvaglia
E Co. 2nd plt. 2nd squad
67/68
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby edconradt » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:03 pm

Pat, yes I remember him, he was awarded the Silver Star for his actions that day. I ran into him at MCRD San Diego, in 1969 or, 70 he was on the Field as a Drill Instructor . I lost touch with him after that.
Echo Company Gunny Dec 67 to Oct 68
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby pat » Thu Jun 03, 2010 5:43 pm

Ed
I have a memory of him soon after he came to 2nd platoon, to bring some morale to the troops he had a contest to who would grow the longest beard in a certain amount of time while we were in the field.
I believe he was judged to be the winner. If I remember corectly he was partially bald and it was odd to me that a person loosing his hair would be the one to win the beard contest.
I talked with my Lt. John Wozniac a few years ago and he had very high praise for Sgt. Hollar on how he always took care of his men.
s/f
Pat
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E Co. 2nd plt. 2nd squad
67/68
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:54 am

Gunny Ed:

This is unbelievable to me to hear from you. The only time I saw you was on February 6, 1968 . It is very strange after all these years that I would remember someone who I only talked to once.

I had not visited with anyone who had been there or anywhere in Vietnam for 43 years until three weeks ago.

Out of all the stories during early February of 1968 I assumed that no one would recall Echo's Hill 37.

I have just discovered the related stories about Mike in January and Cam Lo on February 1, 1968.

The Cam Lo story kind of answers why no one was sure who was on the hill.

I am still looking for answers to what was causing the explosions near the wire on February 2nd and would like to hear from someone who would like to tell the story of the night a few days later.

One more crazy thing Gunny Ed, I was sent a photo 2 days ago of a gunny taken at a reunion recently and I am sure that you were in the photo, far left green shirt and black cover with marine written in yellow and big orange marine corps symbol on right side of cover. On 37 I was the one who was dug in and under the south side of the command bunker with a clear view out the gate.

Now that is pretty scary coming from a fella who three weeks ago could not remember anyones name who I served with as Echo Forward Observer Sept 1 1967 until the end of February 1968. I am doing better now.
Willy Holt
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:04 am

Echo Company occupied Hill 37 on February 2, 1968. A few days later, not sure of the date because it was probably after midnite but the NVA returned to hill 37. As you can see you do not want me to tell any stories but I will fill in a few of the blanks.

A few days after we arrived some one found a little tiny pair of NVA field glasses laying over the bank to the camp Carroll side. I assume they still have them today. Send them to me I would like to have them. Some one did disarm a Chi-Com for me, thank you as I may have to rearm it and use it in my present life. The only easy access to the Hill was up the road and thru the wide open gate. There was no gate as it was just an open area with out wire or dirt mounds which surrounded the rest of the very top of the hill. The command bunker was out in the open middle in front of the open gate.

I was in a hole in front of the gate dug beside the one big bunker in the middle. I assume it was after midnite in the early morning of February 5 we started hearing movement. It was very noisy movement. Everybody could hear it. It sounded like clanking baseplates. Originally it was at the bottom of the hill to the North west. I actually believed that they were driving a water bou in front of them along the trail. (They were not.) They circled around the trail at the base of the hill out to route 9 and then down the road and started up the hill on the north side of the hill 37 access road. (This is where I think they were. I was not out there.) As a forward observer I called for every fire mission imagineable, but we had people out there and others in the area and I did not get anything that would explode.) I might have gotten some light.
(illumination)
If some one else would like to shed some light on hill 37 feel free.
willy Holt forward observer assigned to Echo Company August 31 1967 to end of February 1968
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby beeman » Sat Jun 05, 2010 6:39 am

I was in 3sqd 3plt. on 2Feb. Capt Sams had us assault the hill from the west side. We got with in grenade distance of the wire and got pinned down. Took a lot of sniping. We got back down to the road in the evening. Around 9pm we got some air cover and after that the Capt. wanted a volunteer so I went up the road first that nite.Ron Hall the 79er was with me to clear any wire at the top. We got to the wire and got on line and assaulted the compound. We did take some fire but it didn't last long.
On Feb 5 I was on the LP on the north side over looking the Cam lo river. Around midnite we had counted 18 NVA walk by us with in 25 feet. shortly there after they hit the LP out on the front side. All hell broke loose and they had us come back in.
We lost 5 marines that nite. The next day I was on a sweep outside the compound and we buried 9 nva.
Look on this sites Our men on the wall and you can find the names of the men who gave all that day. S/F Jerry
PS Are you going to reunion this year? We could talk more.
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:03 am

After reading about the Cam Lo Cap Compound (Feb 1), I have a better understanding as to the uncertainty of the occupants of the hill on our arrival. (internet) type ) Tet Attack and double click Tet Attack 1 squad of 3rd platoon Echo Co. was there feb 1

In the initial assault on February 2, I was not in a position where I could see anything but the captain and a small section of the wire at the top of the hill. There was a lot of serious explosions to my left and I was certain that whoever was out on the approach road was in serious difficulty. We were in too close for a fire mission. I squeezed the handset a lot hoping to convey to somebody at Carroll that we had a serious problem. I only remember three things. 1)seeing 1 NVA from a distance and conveying to captain we had a problem 2) seeing the Captain at the top of the hill at the wire 3) hearing explosions I thought at the time were mortars landing to my left .

Next thing I remember is we had pulled back so that we could have an airstrike. 1 single jet came down Route 9 from behind us as we faced the hill and dropped two bombs before he got to us. The two bombs came right at us and passed over hill 37 at about 47 feet above sea level missing everything and went off into space.

Later a Huey with rockets on both sides drove up and stopped in front of the entrance gate and emptied both sides. The Huey did as good a job as you could do under the circumstances and that was the extent of the air support. There were some prisoners.
willy
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby mr billwilly » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:27 am

beeman wrote: On Feb 5 I was on the LP on the north side over looking the Cam lo river. Around midnite we had counted 18 NVA walk by us with in 25 feet. shortly there after they hit the LP out on the front side. All hell broke loose and they had us come back in.
We lost 5 marines that nite. The next day I was on a sweep outside the compound and we buried 9 nva.
Look on this sites Our men on the wall and you can find the names of the men who gave all that day. S/F Jerry
.


Thanks beeman:
I was not in communication but here is what I observed. To get the LP back in the marines on the inside layed down a base of fire and then yelled cease fire and the marines on the outside would get up and run toward the entrance and then get down and the process was repeated. My hole was right in front of the gate and I observed everything but because I was not in communication it was weird and erie. What I thought was a flare came thru the entrance went by my head and out the over the backside of the compound. Again I was unable to get a firemission but we did get illumination.

At some point the 60mm mortars dropped everything they had over the front left side and that seemed to solve the problem. I think we had prisoners. I know there were prisoners on either the 2nd or 5th or both.
I remember the interpreter passing on their stories.
willy
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Re: Echos Hill 37 February 2, 5, thru 25th 1968

Postby AK48 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:00 pm

Hey Willy, I've tried 2 weeks to post a reply to you in the discussion with no luck..Yes I am a logged in member. You mentioned pictures. Any pictures you have would be most welcome be they Hill37 or any other part of your tour. Maybe you could post them in the 2/9 picture gallery? SF, Allyn.
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