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WE REMEMBER
Killed In Action, Missing In Action, & Died In Service
SP4
David William Hensel
SUMMARY
SP4 Hensel died in Cambodia on 5/16/1970 during the Vietnam War - Cambodia Incursion as a member of Bravo Company . The soldier's injury type or status was recorded as 'Gun, Small Arms Fire'. Hensel originated from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania .
DETAILS
On January 07, 1970, a Bobcat from Company C died as the result of an accidental explosion. On January 11, 1970, two Chieu Hoi’s provided information leading to a concealed tunnel four kilometers west of Trung Lap at XT 543206. One VC surrendered from within the tunnel. Others were killed when the tunnel was destroyed. On January 22, 1970, Company C, working with one company from the 1/49th ARVN Infantry, discovered a weapons, ammunition and equipment cache in a tunnel northwest of Trung Lap at XT 574249. On January 25, 1970, at 1600 hours, the responsibility of the defense of Cu Chi Base Camp was passed from the 2nd Brigade to the 3rd Brigade. During January 1970, one Bobcat died in Viet Nam. He was: Raymond A. White III. The 25th Infantry Division reported the following for the Quarterly Reporting Period of November 01, 1969 thru January 31, 1970: KIA: 71; WIA: 1037; NBD: 22; NBI: 107; MIA: 0. Personnel shortages continued to exist in Infantry Captains and Field Artillery Lieutenants as well as NCOs in the grade of E-6 thru E-9 in 11B, 11C, 12B, 17B, 17K, 31G, 63A, 63C, 76P, 76Y, 76Z and 94B MOS. It was also noted that: “With the increased Vietnamization of the war, 25th Infantry Division forces were able to maintain a posture of “protective reaction” as the mode of operations within the division’s tactical area of operations. Protective reaction refers to the type of combat operations used by allied commanders against Communist forces in the Republic of Viet Nam to provide for the security of his unit, his tactical area of operations and the Vietnamese people. This is accomplished primarily by small unit reconnassiance patrols to locate the enemy, disrupt his movements and find his caches of arms, ammunition and food.” At the beginning of February, planning guidence stressed the promotion of small unit combined operations with emphasis on upgrading ARVN Regional Forces and Popular Forces while stressing night operations. The 2nd Brigade operated with two battalions and one cavalry squadron [1/5th(M); 2/12th Infantry; ¾ Cavelry(-)] in the central portion of the division tactical area of interest and also conducted security along Highways 6A, 7A, 19 and 26. On February 05, 1970, at 0055 hours, an ambush patrol from Company C, located in the Ho Bo Woods at XT 573279, received hand grenades from an unknown sized enemy force. Helicopter gunships were called in to pound the enemy location. Several enemy soldiers were killed and one Bobcat was wounded in the contact. On February 06, 1970, at 0017 hours, an ambush patrol from Company C engaged an enemy force 2 kilometers southwest of the previous night’s contact. The unknown size enemy force returned the ambush’s fire with small arms and automatic weapons fire. Artillery and helicopter gunship fire was called in to help suppress the enemy fire. During the contact, two Bobcats from Company C were killed and two were wounded. On February 26, 1970, the 1/5th(M) became OPCON to the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. The battalion moved to the Michelin Rubber Plantation. There was also a new boundary between the 25th Infantry Division and the 1st Air Cavalry Division effective on February 26th. This new boundary change had the 25th Infantry Division give up its portion of War Zone C to the 1st Air Cavalry Division. On February 28, 1970, at 1216 hours, the lead APC of a resupply convoy headed to Dau Tieng from the battalion forward base detonated an explosive device on one of the dirt roads running through the Michelin at XT 557512. The APC was completely destroyed and seven Bobcats were killed. At 1250 hours, a Dust-off was requested for two Bobcats who were in shock. Graves registration personnel were called to the location to help recover body parts. The explosive device was later estimated to be in the 500 pound bomb category. An M-548 TVR was also damaged in the blast. The ramp from the APC was blown backwards into the 548, knocking out its final drive. During February 1970, nine Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were: Robert J. Dupell; Erick O. Olson; Charles R. Baggett; Eugene Carter; Donnie R. Chastain; James P. DeVaney; Robert E. Guthrie; Billy J. Roberts; and Douglas M. Woodward. On March 02, 1970, the 2nd Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division became OPCON to 2nd Field Force Vietnam [II FFV]. With the redeployment of the 1st Infantry Division to the United States, the area of operations of the 25th Infantry Division became extended. To facilitate command and control of this area of operations, II FFV took operational control of the 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. On March 11, 1970, at 0800 hours, Company B requested a Dust-off at XT 439579 for nine Bobcats wounded in an explosion. Four of the nine wounded Bobcats died as a result of their injuries. At first it was thought that the explosion was caused by an incoming enemy rocket. Later investigation determined that a Claymore mine was accidentally detonated in the area where the soldiers were standing. On March 19, 1970, Company C conducted a RIF operation northeast of Dau Tieng. At 1650 hours, the bodies of several enemy soldiers killed by artillery were located at XT 524564. On March 28, 1970, Company C, the Recon Platoon and the 1st Brigade Mini-Cav engaged a small enemy force in bunkers north of Dau Tieng in the “Razorbacks” at XT 491473. Artillery, air strikes and helicopter gunships were called in to suppress the enemy position. During the contact one soldier was killed and 3 were wounded. One “Kit Carson Scout” was also wounded. During March 1970, four Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were: John M. Chappey; Roger L. Coffman; Rodney G. Helsel; and Olaf T. Olsen. On April 02, 1970, the 1/5th(M) was placed under the operational control of the 1st Air Cavelry Division. On April 09, 1970, a Bobcat from Company C died from multiple fragmentation wounds. On April 10, 1970, two Bobcats from Company C were killed. On April 11, 1970, two Bobcats from Company A were shot and killed. On April 12, 1970, the 1/5th(M) returned to the operational control of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. On April 19, 1970, a Bobcat from Company A died in hospital from wounds he had received at an earlier time. On April 23, 1970, at 1900 hours, the Recon Platoon engaged two enemy soldiers in the “Straightedge Woods” at XT 177337. Also on April 23rd, a Bobcat from Company C died from wounds he had previously received. On April 25, 1970, at 1405 hours, Company B received small arms and RPG fire from an unknown sized enemy force at XT 180374. Artillery, air strikes and helicopter light fire teams were called in to help suppress the enemy fire. Two Bobcats were wounded in the contact. On April 28, 1970, elements of the South Vietnamese Army [ARVN] crossed the border into Cambodia to search for and destroy bases belonging to Communist Forces. During April 1970, seven Bobcats died in Viet Nam. They were: Nick A. Aguilar Jr.; Charles A. Pursell; Kevin A. Stout; Valentine B. Gomez Jr.; Gary D. Jefferson; Lee A. Stedman; and Harry C. Greer. Map 23 Base Area 354 in Cambodia. During the Quarterly Reporting Period of February 01, 1970 thru April 30, 1970, the 25th Infantry Division reported the following personnel statistics: KIA: 113; WIA: 1112; NBD: 28; NBI: 103; MIA: 0. Personnel shortages continued to exist in Infantry, Signal Corps and Engineer Captains and NCOs in grades E-6 thru E-8 in the 11B, 11C, 12B, 13E, 17K, 31G, 63C and 76P MOS. On May 01, 1970, American Military Forces crossed the Cambodian Border to join ARVN Forces in the destruction of enemy supply and personnel bases in the Parrot’s Beak, the Angel’s Wing and the Fish Hook regions of Cambodia. The first American Forces into Cambodia were the 1st Air Cavalry Division, including the 2/47th(M) Infantry, the 2/34th Armor and the 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment. The President of the United States announced that American Forces had entered Cambodia, however, he stated that they would only remain there until June 30, 1970. Furthermore they would only be allowed to venture 30 kilometers into Cambodia and no further. When word of these restrictions finally reached the soldiers, it took a good deal of the wind out of their sails of enthusiasm of finally taking the war to “Charlie’s” safe havens. On May 03, 1970, an operations order was issued for elements of the 25th Infantry Division to attack into Cambodia. On May 04 and 05, 1970, elements of the 1st Brigade [1/5th(M), 2/22nd(M), 3/22nd Infantry] moved into northwestern War Zone C to the area of Thien Ngon to relieve elements of the 1st Cavelry Division and to prepare for the attack into Cambodia. On May 06, 1970, at 0330 hours, a commando vault [15,000 pound bomb] insertion took place on the Cambodian side of a potential bridge site at XT 967752. Another commando vault insertion was made at 0430 hours. At 0710 hours, the 3/22nd Infantry Battalion made an air combat assault into Cambodia in the area of the village of Tasuos. One company from the battalion secured the bridgehead on the western bank of the river at WT 967752. The 2/22nd (M) attacked to seize the bridgehead on the eastern bank. Company E, 65th Engineer Battalion then commenced construction of a pontoon float bridge at that location. At 0955 hours, Company C, 3/22nd Infantry received a number of artillery rounds killing 2 soldiers and wounding 8. The fire was determined to be friendly artillery. The float bridge was completed and became operational by 2315 hours. 2 platoons from the 1/5th(M) crossed the bridge and assisted in the night security on the western bank of the river. On May 07, 1970, beginning at 0715 hours, the 1/5th(M) and the 2/22nd(M) crossed the river on the pontoon bridge. The 1/5th(M) assaulted west towards Tasuos. The 2/22nd(M) assaulted south along the river. At 1200 hours, Company B, 7/11th Artillery crossed the bridge and followed the 1/5th(M). At 1300 hours, Company A, 1/5th(M) engaged an enemy force about 6 kilometers north east of Kampong Trach at WT 905670. The fire fight lasted ten minutes. Several enemy soldiers were killed. Also in the contact, one Bobcat from Company A was killed and one was wounded. At 2050 hours, a patrol from the Recon Platoon received small arms and RPG fire northeast of Kampong Trach at WT 911666. One Bobcat was killed and one wounded in the initial contact. One platoon from Company B reacted to the contact and the Communists broke off the fight. On May 08, 1970, units of the 1st Brigade continued searching Base Area 354. On May 09, 1970, at 1010 hours, Company C engaged a few individuals and when checking the area of contact at WT 890658, they located a large base camp area with mess halls and bunkers. The base was approximately 400 meters long and 400 meters wide. At 1130 hours, Company A engaged an estimated enemy platoon one kilometer northeast of Trapeang Pikar at WT 833684. In the exchange of fire one Bobcat was killed and fourteen were wounded. At 1130 hours, Company B engaged an unknown size enemy force at WT 835705. A helicopter light fire team was employed and the enemy broke contact. At 1610 hours, Company C received automatic weapons and RPG fire at WT 840674. Helicopter light fire teams, artillery fire and air strikes were called in to suppress the enemy fire with unknown results. One Bobcat was killed and fourteen were wounded in the contact. At 2030 hours, an ambush patrol from the Recon Platoon received small arms fire while enroute to their ambush position. Fire was returned and the enemy broke contact. Two Bobcats were wounded in the contact. On May 10, 1970, elements continued a detailed search of Base Area 354. Contacts during the day were limited to hit and run encounters with one to two individuals. On May 11, 1970, elements continued searching for cache sites and base camps. In three separate incidents, APCs from the 1/5th(M) detonated AT mines. Eight Bobcats were wounded in the explosions. On May 12, 1970, at 0545 hours, the Company C night perimeter at WT 928682 received small arms, automatic weapons, RPG and mortar fire from an unknown size enemy force. Company C returned fire with organic weapons, artillery and helicopter light fire teams. Six APCs were destroyed and five Bobcats were killed. Forty-four Bobcats were wounded. Thirty of these were minor wounds not requiring Dust-off. One Kit Carson Scout was killed when he went to assist the loading of a .50 caliber machine gun and an RPG hit the track and started it on fire. At 1820 hours, an APC from Company C detonated an AT mine. The APC was a combat loss and four Bobcats were wounded. On May 13, 1970, the search of Base Area 354 continued with scattered contacts and limited rice and munitions caches located. On May 14, 1970, the 1st Brigade withdrew from Base Area 354 and moved to Katum to begin operations in Base Area 353. The last elements of the Brigade withdrew from Base Area 354 at 1925 hours. Base Area 354 was dispersed over a large jungle area, which made detailed searching difficult and time consuming. Although a substantial quantity of supplies was located and a large number of facilities destroyed, the time and forces available permitted a neutralization of only a portion of the base area. On May 15, 1970, the 1st Brigade completed movement into its assigned area of operations north of Katum. On May 16, 1970, at 1340 hours, Company B engaged an unknown size enemy force about 3 kilometers inside Cambodia northwest of Katum at XT 253997. Artillery and air strikes were called in to assist in suppressing the enemy fire. Two Bobcats from Company B were killed and six were wounded in the contact. At 2000 hours, Company C was on stand down at Tay Ninh Base Camp attending a floor show. A soldier from another unit attempted to gain entry to the show but was turned away. This soldier returned with an M-16 rifle and opened fire on the soldiers watching the show. Two Bobcats from Company C were murdered and ten were wounded. A Specialist 4th Class named James E. Paul from the 125th Signal Battalion was later convicted in a Courts Martial of two counts of voluntary manslaughter and ten counts of assault to commit voluntary manslaughter.