1968 Supplement to Company F, 58th Infantry Unit History

By on November 7, 2011 in F/58th LRP


The activation of company “F”, 58th Infantry occurred in the Republic of Vietnam on 10 January 1968. The personnel comprising the company were drawn largely from two sources – the cadre of Fort Campbell’s renowned RECONDO school who had arrived in-country during the two previous months, and personnel form the 101st Airborne Division’s First Brigade’s Long Range Reconnaissance Platoon (LRRP). Thus the personnel were well trained and suited to perform their assigned mission of conducting long range patrols. However, because the 101st Airborne Division had just recently arrived in-country and was facing the monumental job of establishing itself, both in a semi-permanent location and as a well functioning fighting team, Company “F”, 58th Infantry, better known as the Division LRRPs, was called on to perform numerous functions other than long range patrolling and it was not until 4 May 1968 that the first long range patrol was conducted.

Shortly after its official activation the LRRP Company moved from its headquarters at Bien Hoa Army Base to the city of Song Be to assist in securing that city. By 28 January 1968 the company was again at Bien Hoa, and two six-man teams were dispatched with General Clay, the Assistant Division Commander, to help locate and secure a new area for the division. The remainder of the company became involved in repelling the enemy’s TET offensive in the Bien Hoa area. Shortly after TET the company moved t join its two teams in securing what was to become the Division’s base camp, Camp Eagle, near the city of Hue. During the ensuing two months the company was primarily involved in assisting in providing security for the quickly developing base camp.

May 4, 1968, marked the beginning of long range patrol operations for the company. A six-man patrol, led the 1LT John W. Gay, Jr., was emploged into the mountainous jungles north-west of fire support base Birmingham. Two hours later, after killing one and possible three VC/NVA the team was extracted. This mission turned out to be a harbinger of the action the company was to see for the rest of the year. During the next eight months the company successfully completed 124 long rage patrol missions. The information obtained contributed immeasurably to the Division’s intelligence effort, and on these missions a total of 62 enemy were killed by body count, and a larger but undetermined number was killed by air strikes and artillery called in by the teams. Loss of company personnel due to enemy action was five killed and 14 wounded during the year.

Additionally, concurrent with the long range patrol missions the LRRP Company performed numerous close-in security type ambushes for the Division, provided reaction forces for the Division as needed for general security and for responding to the needs of high ranking officials should the occasion arise, and it trained Division personnel in repelling and in the use of the McGuire Rig.

In summation, Company “F”, 58th Infantry throughout 1968 was totally committed to the military effort in Vietnam, and its performance was commendable in every aspect.

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1968 Supplement to Company F, 58th Infantry Unit History

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