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Thanks to Montagnards
LRRP Member Spots NVA Soldiers

By Sp5 George Beidler Oasis - A fleeing North Vietnamese Army soldier was killed recently when three Montagnard laborers inadvertently warned a 2nd Brigade Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol of danger. Under the direction of Staff Sergeant Sherman T. Tilley (Savannah, Ga.), the four-man team was patrolling in the Central Highlands. During the first afternoon the team discovered a cache of rice and NVA uniforms. Early the following morning the LRRP received word to serve as a blocking force for elements of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry who were in contact at a nearby landing zone. "While moving through the thick brush to a pre-designated location we crossed two well-used trails," recalled Sergeant Tilley.

"Finally we set up in the wood-line surrounding a large field." "There were some Montagnards working out in the middle," said Specialist 4 William L. Branson (Ewa, Hawaii), assistant team leader, "I watched them for about half an hour and then they moved out rather quickly. I knew they hadnŐt spotted us, so I began looking around." "There they were," continued Specialist Branson, "three enemy - one in khakis, the other two in pajamas - coming out of the brush about 60 meters to our front. One was carrying an SKS. I warned the team, then fired a burst into him." The LRRP pulled back and set up an ambush along a trail without venturing into the field to search for the two remaining enemy soldiers. Four hours later the team was extra cautious. It was kind of hairy being by ourselves," concluded Specialist Branson, "but with the gunships on call, you can get up the nerve."