A while back I asked what had happen on 5 Dec 65 as the 2nd Battalion suffered heavy causalties that day. If your father was with the 2/2, here is an account of his day.
John: This is what I can tell you about the Battle Of Ap Nha Mat on Dec 5, 1965.
We were deployed to Tay Ninh and spend the night there. Then we moved to Dau Tieng, this is in the Binh Long and Binh Doung Provinces. These areas were the breeding grounds for the 272nd and 273rd VC Regiments. Both of which were at the Battle of Bau Bang in Nov against the 1/4 Cav and A-B co 2/2... The Seventh ARVN Regiment had been mauled by them around the 2 or 3 of Dec. I saw cattle trucks hauling the dead ARVN soldiers when we were in Dau Tieng before taking off on the trail that goes from Dau tieng to Ben Cat, just below Lai Khe.
We had casualties on the 4th of December when B co lost 2Lt Watson - the 3rd Plt Leader - and some other troops. We spend the night on the trail. Then, on the morning of the 5th, after Mass as we started to move, the VC opened up and "A" co took some casualties. We started to move on again about 8:00 am. We moved parallel to a jungle road with "B" co on the left and "C" co on the right abreast, with "A"co following in reserve and Recon Plt trailing as a rear guard.
About 12:00 noon "A" co was called to take the lead, that was when the VC which were waiting, entrenched along the trail, opened up with Chinese 12.7 machine guns from tree platforms and Chinese claymores. We were very lucky that the Artillery from Lai Khe gave us good support to get the VC off our backs.
We lost 40 killed,104 wounded and one missing. The 2/2 spend 3 more days in the field. The enemy lost 301 known dead and 300 more estimated killed....For this action the 2/2 got the Valorous Unit Citation - second award.
Hope that this info helps. Let's not forget those that gave all on this 5th of Dec, the 40th anniversary of the battle of Ap Nha Mat.
Take care and be careful out there. The Saint.