Reply with quote #1
45 years ago today in 1965 around 1350 Hrs the 2/2 got ambushed at Ap- Nga- Mat. We lost a lot of good men in that battle. May they all rest in Peace. Rest in peace RAMRODS. Sfc (ret) Juan Santiago us army.
Reply with quote #2
The Battle was indeed a major engagement in the early history of the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry in Vietnam. What follows is a brief summation of what occurred 45 years ago. The Battle of Ap Nha Mat, fought near the Michelin Rubber Plantation within 5 miles of where the decisive victory in the Battle of Bau Bang, which the 2d Battalion, 2d Infantry also fought in, was the largest engagement involving the Big Red One troops in 1965. The action took place During Operation Bloodhound-Bushmaster, the operation began on 28 November 1965. At 1230 on 5 December the battle of Ap Nha Mat began when the 2/2 came in contact with a well entrenched, heavily armed force of VC estimated to be 4 battalions. The battle went on for hours and at its conclusion 301, by body count, of the enemy had been killed. One Distinguished Service Cross and 4 Silver Stars, 2 posthumously, were awarded to soldiers of the 2d Battalion. For their heroism in the battle the 2d Battalion was awarded a Valorous Unit Award, which is equal to the Silver Star for an individual. The 2d Battalion, 28 th Infantry and A Btry,2/33 Arty were also involved in the battle.
Reply with quote #3
From the virtualwall.org page.
C Co, 1st Engineers
SP5 Raymond E. Kellems, Cannelton, IN
A Co, 2nd Bn, 2nd Infantry:
PFC Jorge M. Jaramillo, Los Angeles, CA
PFC Norman W. Johnson, McKeesport, PA
SP4 Leonard A. Jones, Allegheny, PA
PVT George E. Joyce, Portsmouth, NH
SP4 Patrick W. King, Meriden, CT
PSGT Donald W. McCammon, West Alexander, PA
PFC Carlos H. Ruiz, New York, NY
PVT Milton Solomon, Glenshaw, PA
PFC Don G. Stallard, Norton, VA
SSG John L. Thibeault, Dracut, MA (Silver Star)
PFC David J. Tungate, Indianapolis, IN
SFC Willie J. Wright, New Bedford, MA
B Co, 2nd Bn, 2nd Infantry:
PFC Steven H. Boyer, Lancaster, PA
PFC Morris F. Dibble, Corning, NY
SGT George J. Eisenberger, Pawhuska, OK
SGT Robert Goines, Newark, NJ
SP4 James Graham, New York, NY
SP4 John P. Greene, Newark, NJ
PFC Grandville R. Jones, Charlottesville, VA
SP4 Richard Killens, Cleveland, OH
SSG Czeslaw Kowalczyk, Nashua, NH
SP4 O'Neal Legette, Jersey City, NJ
SP4 Mc G. Littlejohn, Providence, RI
SSG James E. Lofgren, Saddle River, NJ
SP4 Charles E. Manzanares, Lafayette, CO
SGT Philip J. McCarthy, Baltimore, MD
PFC Warren S. Oshiro, Los Angeles, CA
PFC Joseph D. Riggle, Coraopolis, PA
SP4 Julius Roberts, New York, NY
PFC Michael P. Schwebel, Murphysboro, IL
SSG Harry S. Thompson, Indianapolis, IN
SSG Edward C. Upner, Anniston, AL
C Co, 2nd Bn, 2nd Infantry:
PFC Douglas V. Andre, Chicora, PA
PFC David L. Brodeur, St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
SP4 Frederick F. Cadille, Lewiston, NY
PFC Richard M. Facondini, Waterbury, CT
PFC Henry Gentry, Wichita, KS
PFC Michael A. Gruber, Milwaukee, WI
PSGT Luis B. Lopez, Columbia, SC
SGT Roger W. Spradlin, Orange Lake, FL
A Btry, 2nd Bn, 33rd Artillery:
1LT Edward K. Marsh, Bethlehem, PA
Reply with quote #4
Juan,I was there that Dec.5th 1965,Julius Roberts saved my life that day.He died next to me ,so did James Graham and McGeary Littlejohn and many others.Forty Five years ago,yet it feels like yesterday.Not many people remember this day.I'm glad to see you're Ok.
Reply with quote #5
Amador, welcome Home. Yes I made it that day so did my RTO, but he pass away in 1982 at the VA hospital in Charleston, WV.Please send me an e-mail and I will let you know about some of the guys that are around. Take care. Juan.
Reply with quote #6
Never forget them
On 5 December 1965, Sgt. George J. Eisenberger, squad leader; PFC Morris Dibble, rifleman; and SSgt. Edward C. Upner, rifleman; comprised an infantry squad assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry, 1st infantry Division. The squad was operating as the point element on a combat mission to search out and destroy Viet Cong (VC) activity in the densely populated and hotly contested jungle covered countryside northwest of the South Vietnamese capital city of Saigon. As the squad moved forward, the point element was ambushed by a well-entrenched and concealed VC force of unknown size. In the initial burst of gunfire, George Eisenberger, Morris Dibble and Edward Upner were struck by machine gun and small arms fire. All three men fell to the ground motionless. Because of the enemy's intense and accurate fire, other members of the patrol were unable to reach the three men whom they believed had been killed in the initial attack. As the fierce fighting continued, the American position became increasingly precarious. The surviving patrol members were forced to withdraw under heavy fire leaving the bodies of Morris Dibble, Edward Upner and George Eisenberger where they fell. The next day American forces were able to re-entered the ambush site. A thorough search and rescue/recovery operation was conducted over the next two days in an attempt to find and recover the bodies of Sgt. Eisenberger, PFC Dibble and SSgt. Upner. Unfortunately, there was no trace of the missing squad members or their equipment found. The search element was also not able to find any signs of freshly dug graves in or around the battle site. It was believed at the time that VC had removed the bodies of the Americans to an unknown location for burial. At the time the formal search was terminated George Eisenberger, Morris Dibble and Edward Upner were listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.
Reply with quote #7
My Great Uncle Roger Spradlin gave his life on that day. He was one of the men that posthumously received the Silver Star. If anyone has any personal stories to tell about him, please email me at
email@example.com. My family would love to know more about his experience in the army.
Reply with quote #8
It has now been 48 years since the Battle of Ap Nha Mat and I am sure it is still fresh in the memories of those that were there. To this day it is the worse day of combat in the 205 year history of the 2nd Infantry. May they all rest in peace.
Reply with quote #9
Hi Larry, Do you have any idea if The magazine "Vietnam" has ever done a story on the Battle of Ap Nha Mat? I have a nice collection of the magazine "Vietnam," that I have been subscribing to for year's now. If the magazine has done a story on the battle. I would try and find it in my collection of magazine's. For those that were K.I.A. May they Rest in Peace. The Battle of Hill 172 is coming up on Dec. 7th and the actual battle was on the 8th of Dec. 1967, Black Scarf Battalion 1/2. Thanks Larry, I hope that you are staying warm, if your in a cold place. I have 6" or more of snow outside, and very, very, cold here in Okie Country. Luther Patton Black Scarf Battalion 1/2 Delta Company, November Platoon, Recon. 29er Platoon Vietnam June of 67' June of 68'
Reply with quote #10
Luther, I have every single issue of VIETNAM since day one and I do not recall an article. I did a quite check on line in the magazine archives and did not find anything about the battle. Larry G
Reply with quote #11
Hi Larry, Thanks for your feedback on the subject. Do you have any idea when they published the first Vietnam magazine? I know that I could goggle it myself. What I need to do though. And that is to go through all of mine and put them in order of the dates. I could do this project now that its colder than a well diggers butt outside. LOL For those of you that do not subscribe to the Vietnam magazine maybe you should subscribe. But that is my opinion. You can check it out on line. You have to be the one to decide if you want to or not of course. So glad that I subscribe to it. And I'm sure Larry can say the same as well. L. Patton
Reply with quote #12
Well Larry, Maybe I should of asked what is the first issue of the Vietnam magazines date? Thanks Larry Patton
Reply with quote #13
Luther, Vietnam Magazine was founded in 1988 by the late Colonel Harry G. Summers Jr. The issue was released in Summer 1988 and was labeled PREMIERE ISSUE on the cover. It was intended to be published quarterly. Colonel Summers was a captain with HHC 1 st Battalion, 2 nd Infantry as the S-3 in 1966. Larry G
Reply with quote #14
I was in base camp the day of the battle,but i will never forget that day as long as i live. I lost a lot of friends that day. i will never forget the look on every ones face when they got back in to the base camp they all had that stare. May all the brave men who lost there lives that day rest in peace,they were brave men who will never be forgotten by the 1st Infantry division.I say a prayer every year on the 5th of December for the lost that day . may we all keep these men in our hearts always. God bless the 2/2 and God bless Amercica. D L Sentelle HHC 2/2 1964-1966
Victor da costa
Reply with quote #15
I was also on that battle I was with C co
2/2 we had to keep pulling back and in all that confision we forgot to take m60 ammo and I crawled forward to retrieve it .i wasn't trying to be a hero just trying to come home to my new wife of 2 months@ that time .I was glad to have the two jets come in and save our butts
Reply with quote #16
The March 2014 issue of VFW Magazine, asks vets of various battles, including 2/2 vets of AP NHA MAT, December 1965, to submit their personal recollections of the battle. Details on page 20. Phone them at 816 968-1166 Email: Rkolb@vfw.org
Reply with quote #17
As to your comments about Ap Nha Mat on 5 Dec 1965; I was the medic for the 2nd Platoon of Bravo CO, and Dibble, Eisenberger, and Upner were my men. When the battle started, I was near the Bt XO and heard him say on his radio to our Bt CO "you got us into this mess, now you get us the hell out". Later one of our RTO's told me that it was his opinion that by using the Bt XO using the word “hell” was what caused all the radios to go down with a lot of static interference. He thought that the FCC’s Uncle ‘Charlie’s’ were blocking our radios signals. Anyway he told me the radios were out for a period of time, and under combat conditions, it may have been only a few minutes that ‘felt like forever’. But getting back to my three KIA’s/MIA’s; SGT Fugere found me and had me come back to where he was, which was about 30 meters west from where I was near the XO. This was at the eastern far end of an old rice field we crossed to enter the jungle again to get into the Main Force VC kill zone. It was at this place that I treated three men, one of whom was very shocky and it was touch and go with him till we got him dusted off. SGT Fugere had five other people there and this is where he was when I saw his actions for which he was put in for the Medial of Honuor; but he only received the DSC. He single handily captured a total of 6‑7 BAR's, 12‑18 AK‑47's, several SKS's and one carbine. He kept running across the clearing into the other section of jungle and destroyed many main force VC. If not for Fugere, we all would have died that day. I was just looking over the papers on the two !st Div men that got the MOH recently, and SGT Fugere did much more than both of them on 5 Dec ’65. Fugere still deserves the MPH! About an hour before it turned dark, SGT Fugere led the rest of us from that place back down the trail to where I had been a few hours before. I found SGT Quick as he was left in the middle of the trail with a severe wound to his left shoulder and was not able to make it on his own as he had been given morphine and was having problems walking. SGT Fugere kept coming back for us and we finally got out to the LZ that the volunteers from Lai Khe secured for us. The following day we went west along the trail back into the kill zone and found a former USMC SGT near a tree on the wrong side of the trail (North side). He was still alive (the only one alive on that side of the trail) and we dusted him off; but died later in one of the Army field hospitals. About 5 meters after we found him, we began to find our bodies. It was here that we found leaflets scattered over the entire area, describing how the Main Force VC had annihilated the 2/2. One side was in English, the other in Vietnamese. The 2/2 was on the leaflets: so just how long had this battle been planned? Former Lt. David Sullivan, 3rd Pl., Bravo Co. of Colorado Springs still has one of these leaflets. I was so bloody pissed reading this that I tore up the leaflet. Just slightly after this point I found PFC Oshiro who, aside from me, was the only other surfer in the 2/2 that I knew. Oshiro and I had make plans to surf Hawaii when we got back to the ‘Land of the Giant PX’; he was kneeling down, I ran up to him, touched his shoulder and he fell forward; it was then that I found the bullet hole in his head. There was a rope tied around Oshiro, so the VC must have used that to drag him down the trail. The volunteers from Lai Khe and another unit that was out with us by this time were taking our KIA’s to the LZ. Oshiro was on the South side of the trail so I crossed to the north side of the trail to look for Dibble and Eisenberger, as I found their bodies there the day before. But their bodies were gone. I told SGT Fugere and we continued west on that trail as Fugere had found Upner’s body the day before in the clearing we crossed to get to the main kill zone. When the fighting started, Upner had stopped at the path I walked into at about 1130 hrs on 5 Dec 65 as I was trying to get our patrol that was flanking us to come in. I saw a bush in the middle of the path and was a few meters from it when Fugere called me back to the trail as the 2/2 was moving again. Behind that bush was a BAR team and Fugere saved my life; but at about 1230 hrs when the battle started, the BAR team got Upner in the back. When we got to that path, Upner’s body was not there, which really got Fugere mad, as Upner and Fugere had been very close for many years. He and I both stared across the clearing and knew that our three MIA’s were down that trail that we had been on the day before. We started walking toward where we were sure our MIA’s/KIS’s were and then the unit that was with us told us that we had to go back to the LZ as it was going to be dark soon. Fugere would not go back to the LZ till he was assured that he would be able to search for Upner, Eisenberger, and Dibble the next day; the 7 th of Dec. On the morning of the 7 th, some news people were choppered in and we could not get out of the LZ till late that day. By the time we finally got to the path where Upner was KIA’ed, it was starting to get dark, and again Fugere was promised that on the 8 th we would go all the way. To make sure that Fugere and the few of us that were left of the 2/2 when back to the LZ; we were forced at rifle point back to the LZ. That was the only time an American soldier came close to pointing a rifle at me. On the morning of the 8 th we were ordered to board the choppers and go back to Lai Khe. I thought Fugere was going to explode when we boarded the choppers. This was the battle of Ab Nha Mat on 5 Dec ’65. There was more to it, but I made my point about Upner, Eisenberger, and Dibble.
Reply with quote #18
Would like to talk to anyone that served with my uncle Patrick king. Died in this battle
Reply with quote #19
I ran across the below recommendation for the Medal of Honor for Sgt Fugere, written by a combat medic named Chris Walters.
Does anyone remember the individuals and can you add to the narrative?? https://combatmedic1965.wordpress.com/the-medal-of-honour-for-sgt-fugere/
Reply with quote #20
I have a comment to make on the narrative, SGT Reisner name was actually Leonidas Raisis and he is listed as dying of wounds and is on the Wall.
Reply with quote #21
I know Chris Walters the 2nd Platoon medic and I knew SGT Oliver Fugere. He was wounded in January 1966 at Chu Chi while we securing the area for the newly arrived 25th ID. Fugere was one of the bravest men that I served with, and although I was not in the Battle of Ap Nha Mat, I had heard of his actions on December 5th and tend to believe that they are true. CPT W.K. Benson, USA-Ret B Co. 2/2 Inf 12/65-10/66
Pearl Manzanares Alexande
Reply with quote #22
We would love to find anyone that would remember my brother, Charles E. Manzanares, we all called him Johnny! He was an awesome man and we still miss him so much! My nephew, David R. Manzanares was just 4, but my brother loved the kid so much! Used to toss him up in the air for play!
Would anyone remember my brother? He was so awesome! He had light brown,curlie hair and green eyes! Quite handsome and loved by many! I just know you all would love if you met or remembered him! We have so many stories to say about Johnny! God loved him as well! Did wonderful things for everyone in this town of Lafayette, Co. MY e-mail is above. Would be so thankfull if anyone knew him
Pearl Manzanares Alexander
Reply with quote #23
My uncle John Grady was there in 65. He just gave me some pictures of the guys at the rubber plantation. Any one remember him, I would like to hear from. He doesn't talk much about it but I think he would like to hear from friends of way back, thanks.
Reply with quote #24
Hi John, Would your Uncle by any chance be the one who wrote the poem about "The Black Scarf Battalion? Patton Black Scarf Battalion 1/2 Nam June 67' June 68'
Reply with quote #25
Unlikely Luther. It was the
at Ap Nha Ma. 2/2