Skip to comments.Never Forget: RT Fer-De-Lance
Posted on 10/05/2020 6:13:33 PM PDT by fugazi
On this date 50 years ago a small Military Assistance Command Vietnam - Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG) reconnaissance team found themselves outnumbered and surrounded by the North Vietnamese Army units in Laos, just ten miles or so west of the infamous A-Shau Valley.
Staff Sgt. David A. "Baby-san" Davidson led the joint American-Vietnamese reconnaissance team, codenamed RT Fer-De-Lance. Davidson had earned a tremendous amount of respect during his three years with SOG, and before that, was among the first U.S. combat troops in South Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division in 1965. His assistant team leader was Sgt. Fred A. Gassman and the remaining men were Nung commandos.
Sometimes bland descriptions like "jungle-covered mountains" fail to adequately depict just how difficult the terrain was that these men had to navigate and fight on. We are looking southeast at Davidson and Gassman's last reported position. 500 feet below the battleground is the Xe Kong River, and (according to my math) 30-degree sloping terrain -- nearly identical to the banked corners at Talladega Speedway. For perspective, the mountain peaks out at 5,400 feet above sea level -- 3,000 feet higher than the marked location. That would be awfully rugged terrain to have to hike in peacetime. Humping through the sweltering, enemy infested jungle would be a nightmare for most people. But people volunteered for this. Click on the image for a high-resolution version. (Google Earth imagery, dated 2019)
After RT Fer-De-Lance inserted, enemy North Vietnamese soldiers began searching for the small group. At about 1300 hours, the enemy was on three sides of the soldiers and closing in.
The fight was on that...
(Excerpt) Read more at victoryinstitute.net ...
And before I click the link, what was the objective?
Presumably to report on enemy movements. There isn’t much publicly available information about this particular mission. Just honoring their memory.
I knew Davidson 2 years earlier. He was one of many great 10’s (team leaders).
Thanks for posting, Bro!
Let us never forget the sacrifices of our finest Special Operations Forces warriors in defense of freedom for America and our allies.
Everything I can find on Davidson says he was greatly admired. I have always been fascinated with the courage required to go places like these RTs often would go, knowing that they were vastly outnumbered air and artillery support was unlikely or nonexistent. Takes an incredible amount of guts, and to fight on mountainsides like this team did is intense. Everyone involved must have been part goat.
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