October 29, 1967
Leader Works Like Veteran
VC VALLEY Š The first mission as team leader proved to be very exciting to a 2nd Brigade long range reconnaissance patrol member. Sergeant Robert C. Crawford (Tillamook, Ore.) and his LRRP team were dropped southeast of Pleiku City where they had received reports of repeated enemy activity.
The team came in contact with the enemy shortly after their insertion. It was SGT Crawford's first mission as team leader, but the young Ivyman handled the situation like a veteran. As the team crossed several rice paddies enroute to higher ground they stopped for water. Two men pulled security while the others filled canteens. Specialist 4 Malan E. West (Baron, Wis.) looked up when he heard two low whistles.
The LRRP member saw three North Vietnamese soldiers. He opened up on them killing one. The team moved into the area and found a SKS rifle. They also found a note on the dead enemy soldier which they later found out was a letter from the NVA's battalion commander. The team pulled back to prepare a landing zone for extraction, but were unable to contact their platoon leader. The radio antenna was broken. At this they heard movement, but they didnÕt find anyone.
As the helicopters made a number of passes over the area the team moved onto the landing zone. Another NVA was standing at the edge of the woodline. SGT Crawford shot at him. The chopper landed and the men were extracted.