CHINA ADMITS IT SENT TROOPS TO FIGHT THE U.S. IN VIETNAM
March 31, 2022 11:07 AM
It took years for either side to own up. In 1970 when C Company, 1/506th killed a very large NVA and found other items pointing to China I was told to keep it quiet.
March 31, 2022 2:43 PM
March 24th 1968, on a recon with the Tigers (Tiger Force) with Sgt James Haugh, I was the RTO- at the edge of our A.O. we spotted a large contingent of tall Orientals in grey uniforms but they we’re about a third of a click away and a bit out of our A.O.. We called TAC CP to see if they could be friendlies. The word came back that they were definitely not U.S. or our allies. A decision was made to call in artillery and there were calculations on range. Of course, the process took time, and distant squad disappeared into a tree line. We thought the artillery was a bust, so we got up and proceeded to cross a rice paddy to return more central to our A.O (area of operation). That is when the artillery rounds fell short. Apparently the distance, was not within range. Our small squad was within the killing radius of all six rounds, but we were all combat conditioned and heard the incoming and dove into the rice paddy mud. After the rounds struck in our midst there was a frantic call to cease fire and an assessment of who had been killed or wounded. Amazingly, no obvious injuries, but due to an incident earlier in the day that had put Gt Haugh in a funk, he claimed “shell shock” and sought a medivac, and I as the RTO complied. It was, as usual a bit dodgy and had to be accomplished with haste due to our having witnessed what we were sure was a contingent of Chinese soldiers. When we got Haugh medivacced we made a hasty retreat deeper into the cover of our A.O. About a week later the operation was over and we returned to our base battalion forward base camp. It was there that I learned of Sgt. Haugh’s death. Turns out there was a newbie officer in the rear area that encountered Sgt Haugh and inquired what he was doing there when his men were in the field. Haugh didn’t want “Shell shock” on his military records so he told the officer he’d merely returned to get a few supplies. The officer (newbie) acted enraged and told Haugh he was going to be on the next chopper to the field and he didn’t care what company it was going to. Turns out it was going to “C Company”. Haugh was killed a couple days later with C Company. Reports from the men I spoke with spoke of his curious courage and his subsequent death. Of course, I had been his RTO for a good portion of my time with the Tiger Force, so his death was like losing family. During our subsequent stand down someone had tossed a grenade in the officer’s tent, as an obvious response to what felt like his disregard for Haugh’s stellar reputation. The officer wasn’t in the tent, but the message was obvious and he was quickly transferred out. All of this eludes to the complexity of combat and the multitudes of hazards at that point in time. Chinese? That was our assessment. Yes, they were a much larger contingent than our 14 men, but the Tigers were quite cool in their clandestine abilities and stealthy operable maneuverings as an unusually tight controlled secretive team. Yes, I can’t help but miss the hell out of Haugh. He was certainly top tier as a Sgt, and yes, it seemed quite obvious China was present.
April 2, 2022 at 4:03 pm
I remember in 1967 hearing rumors about Chinese troops, but never encountered any.