The Stallions were taking turns rotating to Pleikiu from DBT to assist the Cav on some missions. Missions for firebase 5 were being staged out of the strip at Dak To. Aircraft had been taking very severe fire any time that they flew in the vicinity of the base. It was considered the tri border area.
Any aircraft in the area would draw heavy fire...F 4s to Cobras. Side Kick guns were not there. The support was coming from the 361st (Pink Panthers) Intelligence thought were that Charlie had some tanks there. This was based on the analysis of some pictures that showed two parallel tracks on the ground.
The aircraft was shot down one day and we were advised that one of the crewmembers had survived. The following day, the CO of the Cav Unit went in to get John Wayne Littleton out. On the way out, that aircraft was shot down with a loss of the entire crew as well as John Wayne Littleton.
Later on in the next few days, there were heavy air strikes all over the area. When the area was reconned, they found out that the parallel tracks had been a ruse to make us think that there were tanks in the area. They had been made by purposefully marching troops at the same width as a tank and firing at anything that moved with the confidence to act as if there were tanks there.