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Bob Riordan Remembers LZ Margo and the DMZ Operation (continued)

Avoiding An Ambush

After the company consolidated in the DMZ and established a perimeter, I made a poor decision the next day which fortunately did not cost us any more lives.


On literally my last full day with Golf, I decided to take a squad patrol out for reconnaissance, following the very wide NVA trail west of our position. About a dozen of us traveled a click or so on full alert, the terrain was easy going and the overall setting was memorable with sunlight filtering through the high canopy. We were having a pleasant "Walk In the Sun" when the trail turned and began a gradual descent toward the Ben Hai River.

A typical camouflaged NVA bunker. This one was discovered by Marines of Foxtrot Co., 2/26, in July 1968. Photo courtesy of Kent Wonders.

At that moment our radioman advised me and the squad leader that we had lost contact with the company radio net.


The hackles on my neck were immediately up and, as I looked around, I realized that we were in the killing zone of a well camouflaged NVA bunker complex.

I quietly told the squad leader that we had reached our patrol objective and were now going to withdraw in as orderly a manner as possible.

I was hoping the NVA would view us as the lead element for the rest of the company and would await their prospective arrival rather than ambush us and that is what happened.


The NVA site commander let us walk back the way we had approached and I have always been grateful for that good fortune.

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