Author(s): Philip A. Keith
This is an epic, never-before-told true story of a North Vietnamese Army attack and how the men of this nearly overrun Fire Base survived. In the early morning hours of April 1, 1970, more than four hundred North Vietnamese soldiers charged out into the open and tried to over-run FSB Illingworth. The battle went on, mostly in the dark, for hours. Exposed ammunition canisters were hit and blew up, causing a thunderous explosion inside the FSB that left dust so thick it jammed the hand-held weapons of the Gls. Much of the combat was hand-to-hand. In all, twenty-four Americans lost their lives and another fifty-four were wounded. Nearly one hundred enemy bodies were recovered. It was one of the most vicious small unit fire fights in the history of U.S. forces in Vietnam.
PHILIP KEITH became a naval aviator after graduating from Harvard. During three tours in Vietnam, he was awarded, among other decorations, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Air Medal for Gallantry, the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal. Keith is also the author of Blackhorse Riders, which was awarded the USA Book Award for Military History. He lives in Southampton, Long Island.