Gary Owen MooerSpecialist Four
C CO, 3RD BN, 8TH INFANTRY, 4 INF DIV
Army of the United States
15 March 1945 - 23 July 1967
Panel 23E Line 111
The database page for Gary Owen Mooer
REMEMBEREDby another Vietnam vet,
A Note from The Virtual WallOn 14 Jul 1967 the 3rd Battalion, 8th Infantry, was directed to establish a fire support base near Plei Ya Bo in Kontum Province. They did so, and then established two company positions further to the west; B Company's location was somewhat south of C Company's position. "A" Company was retained at the FSB for security and as the battalion reserve. B and C Companies conducted recon patrols in the areas around their respective positions. Terrain in the Bravo and Charlie Company areas was covered by single-canopy jungle with heavy underbrush limiting visibility to 20 to 50 yards.
The morning of 23 July started out with business as usual - at 0900 B Company sent out three recon patrols, one each to their north, northwest, and southwest, while C Company sent out three patrols to their southwest and south. Everything changed at 1155, when the C/3/8's 3rd Platoon leader advised his company commander that 3rd Platoon, patrolling south of the company base, had been cut off and was surrounded. 1st Platoon, C/3/8, was directed to move to 3rd Plt's aid but was itself pinned in place by intensive small arms and mortar fire. At 1207, all contact with 3rd Plt was lost. 2nd Plt, returning from patrol, was ordered to hold in place about 800 meters southwest of the C Company position.
By 1230, the C Company position was under ground attack and B Company, which had regrouped and begun movement towards the C Company position, was taking heavy fire. Gunship, fixed-wing air support, and artillery fires were called in around the scattered American forces. By 1245 B Company had joined with C Company and together fought off an assault against the C Company command post. B Company initiated an immediate counter-attack to the south and southwest in an attempt to relieve C Company's isolated 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Platoons. At 1445 "A" Company 3/8 was airlifted into the fight and other ground forces were on the move toward the battle area. Supporting arms fires were brought down on several groups of enemy troops caught in the open.
By 1530, B Company troops had closed with C Company's isolated platoons and contact with enemy forces began to taper off. As additional US forces arrived in the area they were placed astride likely avenues of enemy withdrawal, but no further significant contacts were made. A subsequent sweep of the battle area recovered all American dead. 184 enemy bodies were recovered and 8 prisoners taken, together with large quantities of weapons, munitions, and other supplies. It was determined that the attacking force consisted of elements from the 4th, 5th, and 6th Battalions of the 32nd NVA Regiment, totaling perhaps 1200 men. An enemy base camp was found several kilometers southwest of the C/3/8 position, explaining both the numbers of enemy engaged and the ferocity of their attack on Bravo and Charlie 3/8.
The after-action report states that 19 Americans died and 53 others were wounded in the fight. The dead were
Two other men from HQ Company, 3/8, were killed in action on 23 July, apparently in a separate action - SP4 Larry I. Sutton of Danbury, Wisconsin, and PFC Daniel Tramell of Bakersfield, California.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Sep 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009