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A Soldier Reports
From William Westmoreland's book.

P. 232, paperback edition

Whenever the VC thought they saw an advantage, they would precipitate a fight.... A VC battalion surrounded an American company and before reinforcements could intervene, killed 48 Americans. Althought VC losses were double that, it was still a serious blow for sucha a small force.

There it is, Westmoreland's acknownledgement of April 11. Nothing more.

April 11 tribute.

Veteran opens up about his experiences in Vietnam Movie will portray battle that involved Sherwood man .

Even today, some Vietnam veterans can't get over the memories of fighting in a war on behalf of their country, yet being ridiculed when they returned home in the 1960s and '70s.

Why are some of them having troubles even 40 years later? In the case of one Sherwood Vietnam vet, he bottled up his frustration and anger for 30 years before he even told his own wife anything that happened to him in Vietnam during the mid-1960s.

"I defended my country, but when I came home, the looks I got ... I was told I would want to remove my uniform and I found myself taking it off quickly after I got home," said Kenneth Mize.

Mize's breakthrough came in 2000, when he attended a reunion of Vietnam soldiers.

"It was the first time we all started talking about it," said Kenneth. His wife, Sue, has a different take. "There was a lot of crying at that reunion," she said.

Kenneth said he had the chance to release much of the anger bottled up for so many years after Vietnam, where he says he fought as hard for his country as any World War II veteran but got disdain from many Americans. Now Mize and about 134 other American soldiers are being recognized by Hollywood producers. In 2009, "The Last Full Measure" will be released as a major motion picture starring Morgan Freeman, Robert Duvall and Bruce Willis. The movie will tell the story of U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger, who lost his life trying to save 134 American soldiers who found themselves on April 11, 1966, fighting approximately 600 top-notch, well-armed North Vietnamese troops in the Battle of Xa Cam My, which took place about 30 miles outside of Saigon.

Kenneth Mize, who was 19 years old at the time, volunteered for the Army, and felt fighting in Vietnam was his patriotic duty as he was protecting American interests against communist expansion. He was a member of Charlie Company of the Second Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st U.S. Infantry Division, widely known as the "Big Red One."

On the day of the battle, a small number of American troops were searching the jungles of Vietnam when they suddenly found themselves under fire from the North Vietnamese. Little did Mize or any other Army soldier know that their battle would last more than 14 hours against an enemy armed with mortars and machine guns.

Mize was wounded in his arm by gunfire, but could not get medical attention right away because the North Vietnamese completely surround the vastly outnumbered Americans.

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Dedicated to the veterans of Charlie Company, 2/16 who served in the Vietnam War!

"We had nowhere to go," he Remembered. The battle started out in daylight but went well into the night, as scores of American troops were being wounded and killed.

"Of the 134 troops, 43 were killed and 91 survived. But only 17 weren't wounded," Mize said.

While surrounded, whenever the North Vietnamese would try to advance, the Americans of Charlie- Company moved closer to one another where they would fight from defensive positions.

During the fighting, American helicopters did their best to fly into the battle zone and retrieve wounded Americans. One of the rescuers was Pitsenbarger, a helicopter crew member who kept going back into the field, trying to get wounded American troops air-lifted to safety.

Eventually, "Pits" stayed behind on the ground, getting as many wounded soldiers into helicopters as he could and, when the helicopters could no longer safely land, he tended to as many wounded as he could, collected and distributed weapons and ammo and, ultimately, took up a rifle and returned the enemy's fire. Eventually, the Vietcong fighters withdrew Pitsenbarger did not survive the battle. His acts of bravery and valor were recognized when the Congressional Medal of Honor was bestowed upon him posthumously; Sgt. James Robinson of Charlie Company also received the medal posthumously.

Kenneth said he remembers the battle well but doesn't recall seeing Pitsenbarger during the fight. "He had to know he was in a very dangerous situation, but he kept helping others," he said. Mize said he and the other Xa Cam My survivors had to grant Hollywood producers permission to include their own stories in the movie. He said talking so openly about his experiences in Vietnam is quite an accomplishrnent for him because for so many years he refused to talk about it. "If something would come on about Vietnam on television, I would just leave the room," he said.

Mize's experience in Vietnam taught him that even if people disagree with an American war, they should always support the soldiers. He said Americans have done a much better job of that since Vietnam. He also believes part of the reason there was so much negative reaction about Vietnam was because it was the first American conflict that the news media broadcast into the living rooms of Americans.

"They saw it every day," he said.

Each year, Mize and other Vietnam vets meet and tell their stories. He plans to watch "The Last Full Measure" when it comes out in two years. "It will be hard, but I will see it," he said.

While the movie tells the story of Pitsenbarger, Mize, too, was awarded medals for his service in Vietnam. In July 1966, he received a Bronze Star because of his heroism during the battle of Xa Cam My, according to the citation.

"On this date, Private First Class Mize saw a member of his squad lying seriously wounded in front of the perimeter," the citation reads. "With complete disregard for his own safety, he crawled toward the wounded man. In doing so, he was hit in the arm by a hostile round, but continued to crawl toward the wounded man.

"When he reached him ..., Mize administered first aid, and then pulled the wounded man back inside the perimeter. He cared for his own wound and moved back to a fighting position. He remains in his position and continued to fight until the hostile forces withdrew. [Mize's] outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty, and personal bravery is in keeping with the finest traditions of the military service."

All veterans, their families and friends are invited to participate. Check out the latest news about your oldest buddies. Find an old friend. Relive some memories.

This website is designed to preserve the history of Charlie Company 2/16's time in Vietnam. It is also just one of the sites on the web that allows you to communicate with your Charlie Company brothers, and keep up-to-date with what's happening with Company vets.

It is built around the notion that each of you has a story to tell, or a friend to find. This site hopes to promote both things.

Use the navigation bar beneath the page title to move around the site.

There are many things to do here, many things to see. Check out these areas of interest:

Stories: Tales from 'Nam, C Company style.
Photo Galley: Charlie Company Photos in-country. Be sure to mouse over the photos for more information.
News: Things just keep happening to you guys!
Guestbook: We don't know that you've been here unless you sign!
Links: Other great sites!
Documents: After-action reports, General orders, newspaper accounts, miscellaneous Army documents.
Dedication Wall: Want to add a dedication to someone on the Charlie Company Wall? Contact us.

(Publishing schedule Quarterly, at least one profile or feature story on a Charlie Company Vet.
News and veteran requests, stories, photos, or questions will be posted as they arrive. So check back often.)

Editor & Webmaster:Tracy Derks

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Edward (Eddie) George As those of you who have read the first draft of portions of the book know, I have placed Eddie George in 4th platoon. His citation seems to point in that direction. However, if you know differently, please contact me. Below is a link to a dedication page for Eddie George. Please pay a visit and pay your respects.

Click Here

Deane Van Dyke,Jr.

Below is a link to a dedication page for Deane Van Dyke, Jr. Please pay a visit and pay your respects. Also read the text, which is from his Bronze Star citation.

Click Here

2002 Xa Cam My, April 11th tribute site.
2003 Xa Cam My, April 11th tribute site.
2004 Xa Cam My, April 11th tribute site.
2005 Xa Cam My, April 11th tribute site
2006 Xa Cam My Tribute




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